This morning The Hollywood Reporter‘s Tatiana Siegel revealed that a secretly-shot, four-part documentary about the whole Woody-Mia-Dylan thing (Jesus…again?) will soon air on HBO. It’s called Allen vs. Farrow. Episode #1 will be shown on Sunday, 2.21 with subsequent episodes airing over the next three Sundays.
The tone of the Siegel article, in particular a paragraph that says the forthcoming Kirby Dick-Amy Ziering miniseries is “reminiscent” of Dan Reed‘s Leaving Neverland, another HBO-aired investigative piece about sexual predation, gave me concern in view of the fact that Reed’s doc eviscerated Michael Jackson with first-hand victim testimony. Not to mention Siegel’s statement that the Kirby-Ziering doc contains “exclusive, in-depth interviews on the subject with Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow and family friend Carly Simon“….what is this, some kind of deny-the-facts hit piece? Where are the Woody friendlies?
An hour ago I emailed and texted the following to co-director Kirby Dick:
“We’ve conversed in Park City once or twice, but you’re not expected to remember. We know a few of the same people, etc.
“I have two urgent questions about Allen vs. Farrow, or more specifically Tatiana Siegel’s THR article about it, which broke this morning. Two points in particular have me concerned.
“One, by comparing it or making an analogy to HBO’s Leaving Neverland, Siegel instills a clear impression in the minds of readers that your doc is a hit piece — that it will get Woody big-time.
“Two, she states that a significant number of the talking heads are friendly to or otherwise supportive of the completely unfounded, completely unsupported by facts accusations against Woody. The talking heads mentioned in her piece are Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon…WHAT? Did you talk to Kate Winslet also?
“What about Woody himself, not to mention Moses Farrow, not to mention Soon Yi, not to mention eloquent Allen defender Bob Weide, not to mention…??
“I’m guessing that (a) Siegel might be a Mia-and-Dylan supporter and that (b) she therefore wrote this article in such a way as to give an impression that Allen vs. Farrow will torpedo Woody like the Neverland doc nailed Michael Jackson. That’s just a guess.
“The other interpretation is that Allen vs. Farrow does lean toward the Farrow side and away from the Woody side in defiance of all the facts, evidence and professional conclusions of the investigators.
“Question #1: Does Tatiana Siegel know something, or is she just presenting a sketchy impression that she would like to see realized in your four-part doc?
“Question #2: Did you really not interview anyone on the Woody side (outside of prosecutors, investigators and other official examiners)?
“A sooner-rather-than-later reply would be greatly appreciated.
“Cheers — Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere”
“The series, which was shot in secret, is reminiscent of HBO’s involvement in the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, which also tackled a once-beloved artistic genius accused of pedophilia. That docuseries also was made under the radar and announced just days before its Sundance launch, followed by a March 2019 release on HBO.
“Once celebrated for their on- and off-screen partnership, Farrow and Allen’s lives were irrevocably fractured and their sprawling family torn apart with the public disclosure of the abuse allegations in 1992 and the vitriolic disputes that followed. Allen v. Farrow will be available to stream on HBO Max.
“Featuring new investigative work pieced together via intimate home movie footage, court documents, police evidence, revelatory videotape and never-before-heard audio tapes, Allen v. Farrow also includes exclusive, in-depth interviews on the subject with Mia Farrow, Dylan Farrow, Ronan Farrow, family friend Carly Simon, prosecutor Frank Maco, relatives, investigators, experts and other first-hand eyewitnesses, many of them speaking publicly about the events for the first time. The series also offers prominent cultural voices who explore Allen’s body of work in a broader context and reflect on how public revelations about the personal lives of artists can lead to re-evaluations of their work.”
Here, for the 78th or 79th time, is the HE argument:
(1) There is no evidence to support Dylan’s claim. But there’s a fair amount of evidence and ample indications that Mia Farrow, enraged by Woody’s romance with Soon-Yi Previn, made it all up to “get” Woody during an early ’90s custody battle, and as part of this determination coached Dylan to make the claims that she did. I happen to personally believe this scenario. There’s simply no rational, even-handed way to side with the “I believe Dylan Farrow” camp.
(2) If after reading Moses Farrow’s 5.23.18 essay (“A Son Speaks Out“) as well as Robert Weide’s “Q & A with Dylan Farrow” (12.13.17) and Daphne Merkin’s 9.16.18 Soon-Yi Previn interview…if after reading these personal testimonies along with the Wikipedia summary of the case you’re still an unmitigated Dylan ally…if you haven’t at least concluded there’s a highly significant amount of ambiguity and uncertainty in this whole mishegoss, then I don’t know what to say to you. There’s probably nothing that can be said to you.
(3) Excerpt from Yale–New Haven Hospital Child Sexual Abuse Clinic report (issued in 1993): “It is our expert opinion that Dylan was not sexually abused by Mr. Allen. Further, we believe that Dylan’s statements on videotape and her statements to us during our evaluation do not refer to actual events that occurred to her on August 4th, 1992.
(4) “In developing our opinion we considered three hypotheses to explain Dylan’s statements. First, that Dylan’s statements were true and that Mr. Allen had sexually abused her; second, that Dylan’s statements were not true but were made up by an emotionally vulnerable child who was caught up in a disturbed family and who was responding to the stresses in the family; and third, that Dylan was coached or influenced by her mother, Ms. Farrow. While we can conclude that Dylan was not sexually abused, we can not be definite about whether the second formulation by itself or the third formulation by itself is true. We believe that it is more likely that a combination of these two formulations best explains Dylan’s allegations of sexual abuse.”
Robert Weide‘s “The Woody Allegations: Not So Fast,” initially posted on 1.27.14.