Photo via Colin Swan/Flickr (CC-BY)
Earlier this week, The Hollywood Reporter published a piece by Woody Allen's son Ronan Farrow about the media routinely ignoring the child-molestation allegations against his father. And on Thursday, the actor-director's publicist pushed back by banning the publication from an luncheon at the Cannes film festival.
In his op-ed, Farrow writes about how the media takes the easy way out by not holding Allen accountable for his alleged abusive actions against Farrow’s sister Dylan, who penned her side of the story for The New York Times two years ago. “The allegations were never backed by a criminal conviction. This is important. It should always be noted,” writes Farrow. "But it is not an excuse for the press to silence victims, to never interrogate allegations. Indeed, it makes our role more important when the legal system so often fails the vulnerable as they face off against the powerful.”
Even when the press does try to bring up the allegations, Allen often brushes them off. According to Vulture, emcee Lauren Lafitte made a joke at Allen’s expense at the Cannes opening ceremonies—"It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S." Allen said comedians are free to make whatever jokes they want, and when asked about the rape allegations, said, “I have moved so far past that.”
Allen's publicist Leslee Dart also defended banning THR from the Cannes luncheon. "It's only natural that I would show displeasure when the press—in this case, The Hollywood Reporter—goes out of its way to be harmful to my client,” she said.
Though the child molestation charges against Allen cannot be proven or disproven, Allen hasn't necessarily hidden his preference for younger women. In 1976, he was quoted saying, “I mean, if I was caught in a love nest with 15 12-year-old girls tomorrow, people would think, 'Yeah, I always knew that about him.'”
While Farrow hopes his piece will inspire the media to start asking tougher questions, by looking at rest of The Hollywood Reporter, it seems that may still take some time.