Brow Beat

In an Emotional Interview With Gayle King, Dylan Farrow Calls Out Hollywood’s “Culture of Silence” Surrounding Woody Allen

Dylan Farrow, with a chyron that says "Dylan's Story: Farrow on sexual abuse claims against Woody Allen."
Dylan Farrow
Still taken from the video

It seems the fallout from the Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo movement is only just beginning to catch up to filmmaker Woody Allen. Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, has accused him of molesting her when she was 7 years old, an allegation she took public in 2014 in a letter to the New York Times. Now, in her first TV interview on the subject, Farrow has recounted the details of the alleged assault to CBS’ Gayle King and says that while she isn’t angry with those who have worked with her father, she does hope they can “acknowledge their complicity” in ignoring the allegations against him.

The conversation between King and Farrow was often emotional, especially after Farrow began to cry while watching a 60 Minutes segment in which Allen denied Farrow’s accusation, calling it “illogical” and “insane” and saying, “If I’d wanted to be a child molester, I had many opportunities in the past.”

“He’s lying and he’s been lying for so long. And it is difficult for me to see him and to hear his voice. I’m sorry,” Farrow told King. She also refuted the claim that her mother, Mia Farrow had coached Dylan to lie about the assault out of anger over Allen’s affair with Mia’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi. “What I don’t understand is, how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father?”

At times, the segment also had echoes of Farrow’s op-ed in the L.A. Times from late last year, in which Farrow called on celebrities who have worked with Allen by name. In fact, the interview comes just days after actors Rebecca Hall and Timothée Chalamet pledged to donate their salaries from his movies (and after Selena Gomez’s mother revealed that she tried to talk her daughter out of working with the director). But when King asked whether Farrow is angry with actors who have worked with him, her response was aimed specifically at those who have since expressed solidarity with victims of assault:

I’m not angry with them. I hope that, you know, especially since so many of them have been vocal advocates of this #MeToo and Time’s Up movement, that they can acknowledge their complicity and maybe hold themselves accountable to how they have perpetuated this culture of silence in their industry.

[…]

I have been repeating my accusations unaltered for over 20 years and I have been systematically shut down, ignored or discredited. If they can’t acknowledge the accusations of one survivor, how are they going to stand for all of us?

Woody Allen responded to the segment as a whole with a statement to CBS:

When this claim was first made more than 25 years ago, it was thoroughly investigated by both the Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of the Yale-New Haven Hospital and New York State Child Welfare. They both did so for many months and independently concluded that no molestation had ever taken place. Instead, they found it likely a vulnerable child had been coached to tell the story by her angry mother during a contentious breakup. 

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.

It’s worth noting that at the time of that investigation, a judge did deny Allen custody and visitation rights of Dylan. Prosecutor Frank Maco, who has said in the past that he had “probable cause” to charge Allen but refrained because he didn’t think young Dylan Farrow could handle a long trial, reiterated to CBS This Morning that he found no evidence that she was coached by her mother at the time.