Woody Allen’s Son Hits Media For Shit Reporting On His Sister’s Allegations

Woody Allen‘s estranged son Ronan Farrow has penned a blistering essay condemning the media’s reporting on the alleged sexual assault of his sister Dylan Farrow, and its predilection to favour accused perpetrators of sexual assault while helping to silence their accusers.

Ronan, who drew upon his own experiences as a reporter, particularly when interviewing a biographer of Bill Cosby when there were merely whispers of his alleged sexual assaults, blasted the media for effectively silencing, undermining, and contributing to the trauma experienced by Dylan, who alleges that her father sexually assaulted her at the age of seven.

His essay appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, timed to coincide with Allen’s latest film opening at the Cannes film festival.

“Being in the media as my sister’s story made headlines, and Woody Allen’s PR engine revved into action, gave me a window into just how potent the pressure can be to take the easy way out. Every day, colleagues at news organisations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen’s powerful publicist, who had years earlier orchestrated a robust publicity campaign to validate my father’s sexual relationship with another one of my siblings. Those emails featured talking points ready-made to be converted into stories, complete with validators on offer — therapists, lawyers, friends, anyone willing to label a young woman confronting a powerful man as crazy, coached, vindictive. At first, they linked to blogs, then to high-profile outlets repeating the talking points — a self-perpetuating spin machine.”

He compares this to his sister’s experiences, who found most newspapers unwilling to touch her story when she first decided to speak out. When the New York Times finally agreed to publish her story in 2014, they gave her 936 word online and an article embedded with caveats about the case – but when they published her alleged attacker’s story a short time later, they gave him double the space and prime print position, with no caveats.

“It was a stark reminder of how differently our press treats vulnerable accusers and powerful men who stand accused.”

Ronan – who addresses his own shame in not speaking out when his sister did in 2014 – also blasts THR for their recent cover interview with the film director, which never once raised the interviews directly with Allen and only briefly and inaccurately mentioned them. (They referred to the charges being “dropped”, but later issued a correction: “not pursued”.)

In Cannes, of course, Woody Allen’s red carpet appearance – with stars Blake Lively, Kirstin Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg at his side – the rape allegations were again not put towards him, it being “not the place” and “not done”.

But – and this is a real big ‘but here – that didn’t stop him from being butt of a rape joke during the opening ceremony, where Variety reports that only minutes before he had been given a standing ovation.

“It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe,” said master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte, “even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.”

The times, they are a’changing.

Read Ronan’s essay in full over here: My Father, Woody Allen, and the Danger of Questions Unasked.

Photo: Getty / Tony Barson / Monica Schipper.

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