Karen Allen, who played Marion Ravenwood in the first Indiana Jones move Raiders Of The Lost Ark, is speaking out this week to defend the iconic character of Indiana Jones from claims that he was a pedophile.
The movie Raiders Of The Lost Ark premiered forty years ago, introducing audiences to the love story of Indy and Marion. One scene, however, has become controversial in the eyes of some today.
When Indy first comes upon Marion in her bar, they discuss the falling out they had with her father after they became romantically involved years ago. Holding a grudge, Marion shouts at Indy, “I was a child!”
“You knew what you were doing,” Indy fires back.
The scene is vague, with the characters not elaborating any further, but it has led speculation that Indy may have engaged in a romantic relationship with a girl who was inappropriately aged compared to him. Some have even gone so far as to call him a pedophile, but Allen is not having any of it.
In a new interview with Uproxx to mark the fortieth anniversary of the movie, Allen said that while she always thought her character was justified in being mad at Indy, she didn’t think he groomed a literal child.
“I think I say I was 16. I don’t know,” Allen explained. “That’s always what I imagined is she was 16, he was 26. And he was her father’s student. And it’s left very mysterious.”
She went on to say that filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas intentionally left the scene vague to give the two characters a history when the audience first met them. For this reason, she was always under the impression that the romance was a bit less whirlwind than Marion let on.
“So we don’t even know what it is. I mean, they could have kissed a few times, and she was just completely bowled over, and he could have just not wanted to get involved with someone so young,” Allen said. “And maybe my father would have been furious at him. I mean, what’s great about it is we don’t know what the circumstances are. So she obviously cared deeply for him. He may have cared for her, too. But, in the end, decided it was a dangerous situation and he didn’t want to be involved.”
“I mean, I guess, when something is as vague as that, you can color it any way you want to color it. I’ve tended to color it, sort of, that it was quite innocent,” Allen added. “When she says, ‘It was wrong and you knew it.’ I mean, I think maybe he led her on in some way. But when she says she was a child, I think she meant she was 16. Something like that.”
Allen concluded by saying unequivocally that she does not see Indiana Jones as a pedophile.