28 year-old Dylan Farrow has written a letter to N.Y. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof about what she claims was a sexual assault by Woody Allen in 1992, when she was seven. Kristof has written a column that includes portions of her letter and which offers comments and questions.
No one can be clear about what may have actually happened, but I’m not going there again. Dylan has “come out” because of a special Golden Globe career-tribute award recently given to Allen in absentia. She obviously wants the world to know that Allen is not a right guy. She told Kristof that “when she heard of the Golden Globe award being given to Allen she curled up in a ball on her bed, crying hysterically.” It therefore seems a reasonable assumption that if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had not given this award to Allen, Dylan would not have broken her silence…right?
Kristof’s access to Dylan was arranged through Mia and Ronan Farrow, with whom he’s friendly. In other words, whatever the final truth of the matter, feelings of rage and vengeance on the part of Mia and Ronan Farrow are why this incident is being re-aired. Dylan may have been violated by Allen 21 years ago, maybe, but the Kristof piece is meant to to cause damage or, if you will, deliver some payback. In the absence of incontrovertible proof, it’s basically a grenade thrown over the wall.
Kirstof asked Dylan “why she’s speaking out now,” he writes. “She said she wants to set the record straight and give courage to victims: ‘I was thinking, if I don’t speak out, I’ll regret it on my death bed.'” Fine, understood…but she didn’t feel moved to give courage to victims until the Golden Globes came along and gave her a little nudge.
“These are extremely tough issues, and certainty isn’t available,” Kristof writes. “But hundreds of thousands of boys and girls are abused each year, and they deserve support and sensitivity. When evidence is ambiguous, do we really need to leap to our feet and lionize an alleged molester?”
Fair question: If this ripples outward and rocks a few boats, is there any chance this will have some bearing on Cate Blanchett, star of Allen’s Blue Jasmine, winning the Best Actress Oscar? I think its a ridiculous stretch to connect the two but the question is in the air so I’m asking it. A alleged 21 year-old incident and the 2014 Oscars are obviously unrelated. Still, the climate has been slightly tainted.
Blanchett is being interviewed tonight at the Santa Barbara Film Festival by Deadline‘s Pete Hammond. If I were in Hammond’s shoes I’d bring it up, gently, obliquely. If I know Hammond, he’s not going to even glance at the 20-foot pole which he could conceivably use to allude to the issue. Either way Dylan Farrow’s letter will be the elephant in the room tonight. Or in the Arlington theatre, I should say.