Previn’s treatment reveals two inherent contradictions in the #MeToo movement. The first is that #MeToo decrees that all women are victims (since all men are predators) thus denying them agency in their own stories. The beginnings of Previn’s relationship with Allen were undeniably unorthodox and, possibly legally questionable (although despite insinuations the affair started before Previn turned 18 this has never been proven). Today, however, Previn is a 47-year-old mother of two adult children who last year celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with Allen: she clearly does not consider herself a victim of anyone except Farrow. Such a scenario, however, does not sit comfortably with proponents of #MeToo who must cast her as a victim in order to further demonize Allen.
Which brings us to the second inherent contradiction: #MeToo demands that all women must be believed — except where their stories upset the prevailing narrative. In this case, Previn is doubly damned, for not only does she refuse to demonise Allen herself but she instead goes on to castigate Farrow, who, with her numerous adopted children and political activism – not to mention her crusade against Allen – has become something of a modern-day apostle in the public consciousness. Previn, therefore, has upset the natural order of #MeToo, not least because if one woman accuses another of abuse and #MeToo demands we “believe women”, how do we automatically know which woman to believe?