‘Manhattan’ Star Mariel Hemingway Says the Woody Allen Film ‘100% Couldn’t Come Out’ Today

MANHATTAN, from left: Woody Allen, Mariel
United Artists/Courtesy Everett Collection

Mariel Hemingway starred in “Manhattan” as Tracy, a 17-year-old girl attending the Dalton School who starts dating a twice-divorced, 42-year-old television comedy writer. The black-and-white romantic comedy film, which was released in 1979, didn’t draw much criticism for that relationship at the time. In fact, it’s the second-highest-grossing film (when adjusted for inflation) from director Woody Allen, who also played the 42-year-old man named Isaac that was having sex with a teenager.

While speaking with Anne Heche and Heather Duffy on their podcast “Better Together with Anne & Heather,” the actor and granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway said the movie “100% couldn’t come out” today given the underage romance portrayed in the film.

“I’m not condoning any behavior,” Hemingway said, “but that movie probably couldn’t come out today.”

Hemingway has not yet seen the new HBO docuseries “Allen v. Farrow,” which examines the events that led up to 7-year-old Dylan Farrow, the daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, accusing her father of sexually abusing her in 1992. The actor said it was very hard to discuss this situation, saying she loved Allen and that her experience working with him on “Manhattan” was wonderful.

“It’s a bit touchy for me because he wasn’t disrespectful of me or unpleasant,” Hemingway said. “I don’t know Mia, I don’t know Ronan and I don’t know Dylan. I don’t know that story. It’s not my story to tell.”

The actor continued to say that she is not involved with the situation because it contradicts the belief of who she believes the filmmaker to be.

“Me saying that is not me going on a bandstand defending, but the integrity of his work to me still stays intact,” Hemingway said. “I’m not going down that road with him. Maybe that’s cowardly of me.”

Heche said it’s important for her to create a space on her show that “continues the conversation so that we can all grow.”

“Look, we might not always say the right thing, we might stumble, we might say something that’s not politically correct, but our motives are pure,” Heche said.

Hemingway said the direction of so-called “cancel culture” is heading in scares her because she doesn’t want “to shut the conversation down and canceling who they’ve been to us in a generation.”

“We’re not allowed to be in a gray area anymore,” Hemingway said. “We have to choose a side… who said?! That’s not how we grow!”