Woody Allen has responded to charges that he molested his daughter, Dylan Farrow, by writing an op-ed in the New York Times.
People will disagree—some people don’t want to change their minds, because they are too invested in victim culture—but I find it convincing.
Here, Allen writes about how, when he first heard that Mia Farrow was accusing him of molesting Dylan, he found it so farcical that he didn’t even take it seriously.
I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.
Mia Farrow has gotten a pretty easy ride from the press during all this, and that’s unfair; if we are to consider things like Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi and the content of his films in judging the veracity of these allegations, shouldn’t we also consider the character of the person making them? Her threat to Allen’s sister that “he took my daughter, now I’m going to take his”; the bizarre voodoo Valentine’s Day card she sent him; her adulterous relationship with Frank Sinatra and the lies she has perpetuated about that for decades.
Yesterday I read Maureen Orth’s Vanity Fair piece about Mia Farrow in which the question of Ronan Farrow’s paternity was raised. It’s a bizarre and, I would say, disgraceful piece of journalism, clearly negotiated between Farrow and Orth to make Farrow look as saintly as possible while rejuvenating the abuse allegations against Woody Allen. Two-thirds of the article is about Farrow’s charity work in Africa, not normally a topic of interest to Vanity Fair.
Here’s the part about Ronan Farrow’s paternity:
I asked Mia point-blank if Ronan was the son of Frank Sinatra. “Possibly,” she answered. (No DNA tests have been done.)
That’s it. There’s no follow-up question, no discussion of why she let Allen believe for decades that the boy was his, nothing about how Farrow was both cheating on her husband and cuckolding Sinatra’s wife.
And what a bizarre answer: “Possibly.” About something so serious, you give a coy, one-word answer?
That is fucked up.
(Sorry, but it’s true.)
And this is what I mean by negotiated: That Orth simply lets that answer stand, without follow-up or commentary, shows that a deal has been cut between her and Farrow. Because no self-respecting journalist would put that out there with out further discussion, without balance, without context.
Well—maybe Nick Kristof.
Woody Allen can never prove his innocence, and many, many people will never believe it. The reasons for that are complicated, but as I’ve suggested elsewhere, I do believe that anti-Semitism has something to do with it, and ignorance—”well, if he dated Soon-Yi, he’s the type who would rape a child”—and a bogus notion of identifying with the victim as a means of making oneself feel like a better person.
But I hope that, for most of us, Allen’s passionate but reasoned argument will remind us that people who are accused of crimes should be considered innocent until they are proved guilty—especially if the legal process has already found them innocent—and that people who make those accusations aren’t always telling the truth. No matter how much we want to think so.