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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.”
every time an actress i like makes a movie with woody allen a part of my soul dies
— lele (@anakin_skywalks) May 12, 2016
Woody Allen is one of the great American filmmakers, but I believe Dylan Farrow.
— Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) May 11, 2016
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.
Jaya Saxena is a lifestyle writer and editor whose work focuses primarily on women's issues and web culture. Her writing has appeared in GQ, ELLE, the Toast, the New Yorker, Tthe Hairpin, BuzzFeed, Racked, Eater, Catapult, and others. She is the co-author of 'Dad Magazine,' the author of 'The Book Of Lost Recipes,' and the co-author of 'Basic Witches.'