Time's up for Woody Allen? Dylan Farrow speaks out

Amidst the scandals and criminal allegations in Hollywood surrounding Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, and others, one figure had not drawn much attention until much more recently: Woody Allen. Recently, other actors have begun apologizing for continuing to work with him in the #MeToo era in a long-delayed response to allegations of child molestation by his daughter Dylan Farrow. Those claims have been repeatedly amplified by her brother Ronan, whose work to expose Weinstein helped catalyze the current social moment against sexual assault and misconduct.

Dylan Farrow spoke for herself earlier today on CBS This Morning. In a one-on-one interview with Gayle King, Farrow gives a detailed description of Allen’s alleged sexual assault, and describes what sounds like grooming behavior before that:

She says that Allen treated her differently than her siblings even before that:

FARROW: He would follow me around. He was always touching me, cuddling me and if I ever said, you know, like I want to go off by myself, he wouldn’t let me.

KING: Some could say that’s a very doting and loving father.

FARROW: Except he wasn’t this way with Ronan.

KING: What else would he do?

FARROW: He often asked me to get into bed with him when he had only his underwear on and sometimes when only I had my underwear on.

Allen insists that he never molested Farrow in any form. King plays a clip of an interview Allen gave to 60 Minutes in which he questions the entire assumption of the allegation, which is that he’d go out of his way to molest his younger daughter months after the affair with Soon Yi had been discovered:

Isn’t it illogical that I’m going to at the height of a very bitter acrimonious custody fight, drive up to Connecticut where nobody likes me and I’m in house full of enemies – I mean Mia was so enraged at me and she had gotten all the kids to be angry at me – that I’m going to drive up there and suddenly on visitation, pick this moment in my life to become a child molester. It’s just, it’s just incredible. I could if I wanted to be a child molester, I had many opportunities in the past. I could have quietly made a custody settlement with Mia in some way and done it in the future. You know, it’s so insane.

Allen also issued a three-paragraph statement defending himself from the allegations. Allen has long claimed that his ex-partner Mia Farrow brainwashed their daughter into believing that Allen had assaulted her, and claims that his older son Moses witnessed it:

“Dylan’s older brother Moses has said that he witnessed their mother doing exactly that – relentlessly coaching Dylan, trying to drum into her that her father was a dangerous sexual predator. It seems to have worked – and, sadly, I’m sure Dylan truly believes what she says.

“But even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time’s Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn’t make it any more true today than it was in the past. I never molested my daughter – as all investigations concluded a quarter of a century ago.”

That’s not quite true. The Yale-New Haven medical investigation and a probe by child services did conclude that no molestation took place, but prosecutors in New York thought they had a case. They only deferred from filing charges because the case would have hinged on Dylan Farrow’s testimony, and they didn’t believe she could withstand the pressure and trauma of a celebrity trial:

Farrow says she wishes now that prosecutors had not been so deferential about her state of mind. “I do wish they had [filed charges],” Farrow tells King, “even if I’m just speaking in retrospect.” She asks which explanation is crazier — her being brainwashed so thoroughly that she recalls a phantom assault to this day, or that Allen molested her?

That’s a tough choice to make. On one hand, we have seen children coached into making outrageous and false allegations in the past. The infamous and ghastly injustice of the McMartin Pre-School Case is just one case in point. On the other hand, we have Allen apparently grooming Farrow’s older adopted sister during her teen years and then marrying her after nude photos of Soon Yi were found by Mia Farrow. That’s deeply suspicious behavior, added to Allen’s entire artistic ouevre and obsession with teenagers as objects of affection. There is a major difference between sexual attraction to teens and to preadolescent children, of course, but the sequence of events with his now-wife demonstrates that Allen has a serious issue with boundaries at the very least. In that context, Farrow’s argument seems the strongest.

While we may not ever get answers to a mathematical certainty as to what happened in August 1992, Farrow’s decision to open a public campaign against her father will have big repercussions in 2018. Last week, Mira Sorvino penned an open letter of apology to Dylan for working with her father, which started a movement of denunciation from other actors as well. The pressure will build on other Allen collaborators, perhaps in the same form Mashable used yesterday:

Major stars who have yet to comment on their work with Woody Allen include Justin Timberlake, Emma Stone, Owen Wilson, Tom Hiddleston, Larry David, Selena Gomez, Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Jude Law, Meryl Streep, Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart, Colin Farrell, Blake Lively, Cate Blanchett, Colin Firth, Rachel McAdams, and Hugh Jackman.

It’ll be tough for Allen to recruit actors for his projects with this kind of media heat, perhaps especially the younger actresses for which his films are renowned. Without that, time may finally be up for Woody.