The four-part HBO docuseries Allen v. Farrow debuted Sunday, with Dylan Farrow, the adopted daughter of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, detailing her allegation of childhood sexual abuse against the Annie Hall director — and Allen is among those reacting to the the first part.
Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn, also an adoptive daughter of Mia, slammed the docuseries in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick “had no interest in the truth. Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods. Woody and Soon-Yi were approached less than two months ago and given only a matter of days ‘to respond.’ Of course, they declined to do so.” (Docuseries producer Amy Herdy told Variety she started trying to make contact with Allen several years ago.)
The statement from Allen — who was never charged — and his wife continued, “As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false. Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place. It is sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO — which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow. While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts.”
Ronan, the only biological child of Mia and Allen, who is estranged from Allen, said in an Instagram post that he’s “proud of my sister,” who has said she endured the abuse at age 7 after what she described as grooming by Allen.
Rosie O’Donnell, who revealed in 2019 that she was sexually abused by her father, watched the doc intently, retweeting articles detailing the allegations first made in 1992.
When someone asked what the point was in rehashing the accusation, she replied that, “Dylan gets to tell her story.” She also said she adores Mia.
Kathy Griffin called the docuseries “excellent” and said she had “much respect” for Mia and Dylan.
As Allen trended on Twitter on Monday as a result of the doc, director Judd Apatow said it’s “hard to understand” those defending Allen.
When people defend Woody Allen it’s hard to understand what they are defending. He admits to much of it himself. He is obsessed with children and vulnerable young women. Are they saying he groomed and molested this child but not that child? https://t.co/I0564UaAb1
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) February 22, 2021
Some more reactions:
Just watched the first episode. It’s very clear this is going to be a phenomenal and incredibly painful doc series. If you’re also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, no matter how many years in therapy, please take the trigger warning seriously. It’s tough.#AllenVFarrow
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 22, 2021
White privilege is letting Woody Allen keep his films playing on HBO MAX, while now running a documentary about his alleged sexual abuse.
He’s collecting a check, while simultaneously getting exposed on the same platform. Gross. #AllenVFarrow
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) February 22, 2021
However, it was also called “selective filmmaking” as Allen didn’t participate.
When you’re watching the Woody Allen doc it’s probably best to remember that every story has multiple sides and it’s easy to be convincing if you only tell one of them.
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) February 21, 2021
This is an anti Woody Allen movie. A pro Woody Allen movie that didn’t include perspectives from Mia, Dylan, etc would also be convincing. Don’t let selective filmmaking fool you.
— Katie Herzog (@kittypurrzog) February 21, 2021
The docuseries looks at how the charges were first levied against Allen in 1992, but after a custody battle denied Allen visitation rights, Mia declined to pursue criminal charges. Allen has repeatedly denied the allegations in the nearly 30 years since they were first made.
“I mean, I worshipped him,” Dylan said in the HBOMax doc. “He was so funny and he made me feel so special. That’s where things get really, really complicated, because threaded throughout all of those good times, there was a lot more going on. Every time he showed up at the apartment, like a magnet, he would just come straight to me. Intense affection all the time,” Farrow said, adding, “I was always in his clutches. He was always hunting me.”
Dylan recalled Allen getting into bed with her — both of them in their underwear — and the filmmaker wrapping his body around her “very intimately.” She also recalled Allen “directing me on how to suck his thumb” and “telling me what to do with my tongue. And I think that lasted a while. It felt like a long time.”
In Allen’s memoir last year, he detailed how he started a relationship with his then-partner Mia’s adopted daughter Previn. He first met Previn when she was 7 and in 1991 they began a sexual relationship — when Previn was 21. In January 1992, Mia discovered nude photos Allen took of Previn, leading to their split. In August of that year, Dylan’s allegation against her father was made.
Allen and Previn remained together, marrying in 1997 and adopting two daughters.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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