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Dylan Farrow Accuses Father Woody Allen of Sex Abuse

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by agalisgv, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    Dylan wrote an open letter to the NYT detailing the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, Woody Allen.

    We all have to make our own judgment calls, but I decided a long time ago I would never pay for nor watch another Woody Allen movie again, and I never have.
  2. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

    I believe her because of his behaviour with Soon Yi. Unfortunately child abuse is too common in all aspect of society. But in Hollywood I do not believe there have been any serious effort to do with the problem ans punish offenders.
  3. Spareoom

    Spareoom Well-Known Member

    I think in Hollywood (and maybe anywhere where celebrities are concerned?), people are very unwilling to rock the boat, ESPECIALLY when it comes to something as widespread and yet deniable as sexual abuse, because it doesn't directly affect their work and could cost them a lot of money. I mean, how much money is Woody Allen going to make his producers if he's sitting in jail? Some people seem to think that the art is just as important as justice.

    I don't know much about Woody Allen (only have seen one of his films), but I see no reason to disbelieve Dylan's account. She is not the first and sadly will not be the last...Hollywood of all places seems to be especially rift with stories like these that are just now coming to light due to an increased awareness and protection of victims. In a day gone by, an article like this wouldn't even go to press.
  4. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    Here's a lengthy article giving the other side. I always like to hear both sides of the story:

    Her letter is very upsetting and I'm glad she's speaking out (assuming she at least believes what she is telling is true), because it might inspire others to do the same, but where there is reasonable doubt a person can't be convicted (and I do realize he never stood trial). It's heartbreaking to know that she gets such trauma from seeing and hearing about him and seeing him win awards, but since he hasn't been charged with or convicted of anything he has the right to continue making films. Unfortunately, real abusers are always going to be free and I'm sure that's very upsetting for the victims but IMO not as great an injustice as locking up an innocent person. Hopefully her letter inspires others to speak up about abuse because if everyone stayed silent, no abusers would ever face legal consequences. It's sad that there's so much shame and stigma attached to such abuse. As if the actual abuse itself wasn't bad enough. :(

    For the record, I don't think I've ever seen a Woody Allen movie and am not very interested in doing so. I get a negative "vibe" from him overall based on my extremely limited exposure but that's not enough reason for me not to give him the benefit of the doubt. I give her the benefit of the doubt too, which may seem contradictory, but I don't like to rush to judge other people without all of the information. (Essentially, I think I just don't have enough information to say whether the abuse occurred. I do know that false memories can be created more easily than we'd like to believe, and that's been shown in psychological studies).
  5. magicpixie

    magicpixie New Member

    That was a hard read. I hate to say that I love Woody Allen movies but I do. After reading Dylan's letter I don't think I can watch any of his movies again. The last paragraphs of the letter are very powerful.

    I applaud her for having such strength and for writing such an eloquent letter. Dealing with that kind of abuse is difficult and it must be more so when your abuser is a famous and beloved figure.
  6. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    taf2002 and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Pardon me? According to Woody Allen and Soon-Yi, she was 19 when their relationship began, and I don't think anyone seriously disputes this. The fact that he was involved with his partner or ex-partner's adult daughter (adopted daughter, FWIW) may be morally reprehensible, but it doesn't strike me as any indication he was likely to engage in child abuse.

    If you're going to believe Dylan Farrow, it should be for some better reason than that. (And there are such reasons, as reasons for disbelieving her.)
  8. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    An interesting read, but I disagree with the premise that we can't give them both the benefit of the doubt (to at least a certain degree). Also, he misses the possibility that she believes what she is saying is true but her memories are not exactly correct. Even the author of the Daily Beast article that gives the side argued in Woody's favor presumes that she is not deliberately lying about the abuse. I think it's quite unlikely that she is. I think it's slightly more likely that she believes what she is saying is true but her memory is not exactly accurate. And I think it's probably more likely than both of those options that he actually did engage in inappropriate behavior. But there is reasonable enough doubt that he is still free, and free to make movies, and if people like those movies there's no reason he shouldn't receive awards for them. However, if people do think he's probably a really bad person, they're also free to boycott his movies as some in this thread indicate that they have done.

    Also, I think there's even a fourth possibility, that he did engage in strange or "creepy" behavior that didn't raise to the level of criminal. The way she describes the prior events (before the attic incident) it sounds like they made her kind of uncomfortable, but it's not clear that they were criminal. It's uncomfortable to think about but there are a lot of gray areas in life. I don't think anyone is all good or all bad.
  9. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    I think that Woody Allen has a history that shows questionable behavior on his part with young girls. This makes it very hard for me to give him the benefit of the doubt. I also have personal experiences that make what Dylan Farrow said in her letter ring very true for me. The questionable behavior, the "naps" where Daddy isn't wearing underwear -- this is *also* sexual abuse, btw, just because he didn't rape her those times. It is actually criminal behavior, too, and he could get in trouble for it because touching your children sexually is incest. You don't have to stick your penis into them for it to be incest and criminal.

    So perhaps not every detail happened exactly as she remembers it but I have a hard time believing that nothing incestuous happened between her and Allen. And pretty much nothing in his various denials over the years has had that ring of truth for me. It's all your typical posturing of a pedophile. I have seen unjustly accused men and they did not react like this. They did not lash out at their children.

    I also found that Daily Beast piece to be a hatchet job full of slut shaming towards Mia Farrow (whose behavior, particularly with other men, is mostly irrelevant here) and not remotely unbiased. It totally supports the idea that we live in a rape culture that demands women be of utmost purity before they will be believed while men are automatically given the benefit of the doubt.
  10. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    You seriously think they would admit it if the relationship began when she was a minor? And she was his freaking step-daughter when she was a child. His relationship with her is really creepy.

    Woody Allen claims a lot of things, including insisting that Ronan, who is a dead ringer for Frank Sinatra, is really his biological son.

    But, I'm sure there are people inside and outside of Hollywood who want to believe Woody Allen for various reasons. I'm sure Dylan knows this, so I admire her even more for speaking out.
  11. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Mia Farrow and Woody Allen both have a strong element of creep about them.

    During the '80s, I watched the McMartin Preschool abuse case played out over the course of years, leading to the death of at least one of the adults, and ruined lives for others. Some of the kids sincerely believed they'd been abused in weird and satanic rituals, but it was rather conclusively proven that they were false memories that had been provoked/coached. It was a terrible situation. Many of the parents truly, truly believed their kids had been abused. There were a rash of similar allegations around the country. Lives were ruined.

    Mia Farrow's role during the period of the alleged abuse was strange and creepy, and it taints the evidence. I believe Dylan believes she was abused. But is it a true memory, or was she coached by her mom into believing that? I think of the McMartin case, and I'm not sure.

    But abuse is real.

    In this particular case, lacking physical evidence, I'm hesitant to jump on and judge Allen guilty, especially when there doesn't seem to be a pattern of abuse. Which doesn't mean he's innocent...

    Polanski's case seemed much clearer to me.

    And, other than Annie Hall, I can't say that I'm a fan of any of Woody Allen's films. He may be a brilliant filmmaker, but they're not to my taste. (I didn't like Polanski's films either. Not sure that liking/not liking them particularly influences the way I think about them.)
  12. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry. :(

    I understand that. In Dylan's letter though she says that he WAS wearing underwear while they were under the covers and doesn't mention any touching during those scenarios. Sticking his thumb in her mouth and breathing in and out with his face in her naked lap sound outrageously strange and creepy but do they constitute a crime? I honestly don't know.
  13. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Buzz said that Woody Allen's conduct with Soon Yi made it believable that he would have molested a seven-year-old girl. You can't use conduct that might have happened but no one knows about for sure other than the two people involved to prove conduct on another occasion.

    I think Mia Farrow would have accused him of it if she had any reason to do so. The fact that she hasn't accused him of that suggests that she knows it isn't true.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  14. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    I remember the first time I learned of that case in a sociology class and thinking it was absolutely mind-boggling that a case like that could possibly happen. It's literally one of the strangest and most unbelievable things I've ever heard of that is nonetheless true.
  15. overedge

    overedge covfefe uber

    They may not be criminal, but they're certainly inappropriate and troubling behaviour by a parent.
  16. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    Because, if they did begin having sex when she was a minor, they would have told Mia? Seriously? Dylan told Mia about her abuse. Totally different. I really doubt that Mia is certain that Soon Yi and Woody really started their relationship shortly before she discovered the naked photos he had of Soon Yi. I think Mia did accuse Woody of exploiting Soon Yi's mental problems. And I have no difficulty believing that Soon Yi had some serious issues. What girl that age rips her family apart by getting involved with a guy who is several decades older than her and is basically her step-father? That's screwy.
  17. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    And other children have been taken out of the home for similar types of behavior. Especially the naked lap stuff. You just don't put your lips on your kid's naked genitals. There is no reason for a parent of either gender to be doing that. (And I don't see how he could be breathing into her lap without his lips down there.)
  18. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    If he did touch his lips to her naked genitals then that quite clearly fits the definition of sexual abuse. It wasn't entirely clear exactly what she meant by that statement which is why it seemed potentially gray. And in any case, he DID lose custody of her and I'm sure the allegations were considered as part of the reason.
  19. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I made the same decision after me got together with Soon Yi . It wasn't that difficult because his movies were all so self-indulgent and egocentric anyway. With the exception of one or two films, he was always the central character in them and they were inevitably about the angst and neuroses of rich entitled artist and writer types who had too much free time in their summer homes and too many beautiful people to have affairs with.

    Allen just gives me the creeps, period.
  20. overedge

    overedge covfefe uber

    I looked at the linked article in The Daily Beast, and IMHO it's crap - and very nasty crap. The author seems to be saying: oh, no one knows what really happened. And then he lists a whole bunch of reasons as to why his friend Allen probably didn't do it. Even though no one knows what really happened :rolleyes:

    I also noticed that he gave the new first name that Dylan now goes by, which she herself didn't use in the NYT article. That told me all I needed to know about the author's alleged intent to be unbiased.
  21. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    There were definitely some things that bugged me about the Daily Beast article too, especially if he "outed" Dylan's new name that she didn't want to be known by. But the article was intended to be a response to those jumping to judge Woody Allen so of course it was going to include reasons he saw that Woody MIGHT not be guilty. I trusts that he believes Woody truly not to be guilty and that's the reason he wrote the piece. If he didn't really believe that then it would be very ethically questionable to spin things the way that he did, and I'm sure it would be an upsetting read for Dylan. Nonetheless, I think that everyone deserves to have their side heard, both in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

    However, there were some things that bugged me as much or more about the response MacMadame posted, namely that giving ANY benefit of the doubt whatsoever to Woody means that you think Dylan is intentionally lying and are blaming the victim and perpetuating rape culture. I am as far from a rapist as can possibly be. I find the idea of someone (usually a man) thinking that he is owed or entitled to the "use" of a person's body (and ESPECIALLY a child's) under ANY circumstances to be absolutely repugnant, to the point where I feel physically ill at the thought of such an attitude and truly feel ashamed to be a heterosexual male sometimes. And feel some guilt for having sexual attraction and sexual fantasies at all.

    I've never been in a relationship or had sex largely because I'm SO concerned with potentially creeping a woman I'm potentially interested out that I don't express interest even in getting to know them better or seeing each other outside of contexts where I would see her anyway, because I'm concerned that I will be judged as having inappropriate intentions and that it would be presumptuous of me to think the chances of her being interested in doing something with me are greater than the chances that she'd feel uncomfortable that I asked. Yet I've been accused of "blaming the victim" and perpetuating rape culture on this board in response to the Steubenville rape case because I commented about how excessive drinking on the parts of both the perpetrators and the victims was a poor choice, which is a reason why I don't drink. I don't look down on those who do, but I see the negative effects alcohol can have and am not comfortable taking that risk that I might not know when I've had "too much" to drive or when I or someone else has had "too much" to consent sex. And I feel almost panicked thinking about the situation with the mortal fear that maybe I would have done something terrible too had I been one of the men in that situation. I don't THINK I would have, because it's totally, completely against my values, but I just don't know how large amounts of alcohol would affect me.

    I know I have my issues and overthink things, and sometimes am very wordy and perhaps unclear when expressing myself, but I really resent that I was accused of "blaming the victim." It's an upsetting thing to be told when that's not my intention at all.
  22. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    Soon Yi as Farrow's daughter was indeed a step-daughter in all but name to Woody Allen no matter how his apologists or defenders try to turn it around to his advantage. I have no doubt in my mind that his inappropriate relationship with Soon Yi began before she was of age. Of course Allen will never admit it nor will Soon Yi who imo was messed up by him long ago. The man clearly has no boundaries. She is the sister of his children with Farrow and yet at some point he made sexual advances to her and started a relationship behind Farrow's back (she only found out after discovering nude photos of Soon Yi taken by Allen), and now he's married to Soon Yi. She's her own sibling's step-mom. It's disgusting. To me it is a form of incest. It's no wonder Ronan and Dylan won't have anything to do with him as well as their other surviving siblings.

    eta: I agree - Ronan is a dead-ringer for Frank Sinatra! It's only become more obvious with the passage of time. And Sinatra's family are said to have a good relationship with him: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/enterta...en-fathered-by-frank-sinatra-not-woody-allen/

    Sinatra died in 1998 at age 82. The singer’s daughter, Nancy Sinatra Jr., when asked about the family’s relationship with Ronan, told the magazine in an email, “He is a big part of us, and we are blessed to have him in our lives.”
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  23. IceJunkie

    IceJunkie Well-Known Member

    I think it is probable that Dylan is telling the truth. It's possible she isn't.

    I hate the treatment that alleged survivors of incest/rape often receive by the media, especially when the perpetrator is a famous, beloved individual. Wade Robson's recent allegations against Michael Jackson received absolute vitriol. Still, I hate the idea that one accusation can ruin a person's life - it isn't right that unsubstantiated allegations can do that. In these types of situations, where no one truly knows what happened, no one is vindicated. No one will ever truly know whether Woody Allen is a child molester or not.
  24. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

    Strange, he doesn't look a bit like Frank Sinatra to me, though he doesn't look like Woody Allen either. He seems to resemble his mother more than his father (whoever that may be). I do wonder why, if he wants to distance himself from Allen as much as possible, he doesn't undergo a DNA test. Yes, I know Sinatra's dead, but it sounds as though members of Sinatra's family would be willing, and that would give a fairly conclusive result, wouldn't it? Has he not done so because he's actually afraid that Allen IS his father?

    I stopped going to Allen's films when it became so nauseating and ridiculous that the stories always included beautiful young women trying so hard to get their hands on this unattractive and very much older man. I thought he made a few appealing films, notably The Purple Rose of Cairo, Broadway Danny Rose, and Zelig.
  25. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    He looks a little like young Frank when his hair is combed the same way, but more like a young Mia. Nancy Sr is a little creepy too, the way she is obsessed with anything Frank. He left her decades and several wives ago. I read somewhere that he had to slit his wrists to get her to agree to a divorce so he could marry Ava Gardner.
  26. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    No. I think she would have found out either earlier than she did or after doing some investigating once she found out about the photographs.

    The age of consent in New York is 17. If they started when she was 16, it would have been difficult, though not impossible, for them to have an affair for three years without anyone noticing something suspicious, especially since, when it would have started, she was living with her mother and a large number of siblings.
  27. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

    Yes, that's my take on it too. The odds are much higher than she's telling the truth than that she isn't.

    We're talking about a guy who makes films that soft-pedal pedophilia where ancient guys are worshiped by extremely young girls and often have sexual relationships with them and who initiated a sexual relationship with his very young step-daughter when he was old enough to be her grandfather. This is not some upstanding citizen who has never shown the slightest interest in young women and has had an accusation of incest lobbied at him completely out of the blue.

    And that Daily Beast article was all kinds of disturbing with it's nastiness towards women and it's hero worship of Allen.
  28. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    I guess I read the article differently. I think there are things he could have done better but I thought he was responding to people being quick to automatically judge Woody and portrayed things as more ambiguous. And I think that side deserves to be heard as much as Dylan's side. I didn't read it as "hero worship" of Allen or nasty towards women in general. Even he granted that he didn't think Dylan was making the accusations up.

    As I mentioned, I've never seen a Woody Allen movie, but it seems based on the way you describe his movies and his actual relationship with Soon-Yi that he might very well have a fixation on younger women, which you might find creepy, but is very different from pedophilia, when the object of attraction is prepubescent children. I dislike when the term is misused to refer to men being attracted to young, but certainly pubescent and usually of legal age, women, because it implies that that is a mental disorder when it is not. Which is not to say Woody might not be strange, creepy, possibly abusive, and perhaps have other mental disorders. :shuffle:

    (Actually in the new DSM the APA takes the controversial stance that truly pedophilic attraction isn't necessarily a disorder in itself either: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/dsm-pedophilia-mental-disorder-paraphilia_n_4184878.html )
  29. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    I have never seen any of his movies, so I must ask: what the feck is so great about him anyway??? Me, personally, I don't find him in the least bit attractive (very dorky-looking), so I can't imagine having to sit through one of his movies.
  30. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I'm no expert, but AFAIK attraction to young children and attraction to post-pubescent teens are distinct types of paraphilia, so I'm hesitant to use Allen's relationship with Soon-Yi, disturbing as it is, as evidence of pedophilia.

    I don't doubt that Dylan is telling what she believes to be the truth. Whether her memories are accurate or not is something I couldn't possible say. but she certainly deserves understanding and support - it couldn't have been an easy thing to share.
    RFOS and (deleted member) like this.