No one asked Woody Allen about his alleged sexual crimes at Cannes

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: May 12, 2016 11:49 IST
Director Woody Allen attends a news conference for the film "Cafe Society" out of competition before the opening of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016.

There was one question on every reporter’s mind at the press conference for Woody Allen’s new film, the Cannes opener Café Society, and none of them asked it.

Read: Woody Allen’s adopted daughter accuses him of sexually abusing her at 7

Mere hours before Allen, multiple Oscar winner, took the stage with stars Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively and Jesse Eisenberg, his estranged son Ronan Farrow published an emotionally charged piece slamming the media for ignoring the fact that his father was, in his and many others’ opinion, a sexual predator.

Read: Ronan Farrow’s piece

Of the 8 questions asked of Allen, none were about Farrow’s column, published in The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, ironically proving the point Farrow was trying to make.

Director Woody Allen at a news conference before the opening of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 11, 2016. (REUTERS)

Farrow, a journalist at NBC News, called out numerous international publications, including THR, for being too cowardly to carry his sister Dylan Farrow’s open letter detailing Allen’s sexual assault of her at age 7, presumably afraid of Allen’s immense PR machine. When The New York Times finally carried it, it did so with several caveats and only as part of a blog. Soon afterwards, it published a much larger piece on Allen without mentioning the allegations even once.

Dylan, in a detailed account, alleged in an open letter published on February 1 by The New York Times that Allen “sexually assaulted” her when she was seven years old at the Farrows’ Connecticut home, renewing a charge against the movie director that was first leveled in 1992.

Woody Allen poses with actor Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively as they arrive on May 11, 2016 for the screening of the film Cafe Society during the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. (AFP)

Allen responded in a letter posted online Friday night by the Times that insisted “of course I did not molest Dylan.” He instead claimed the young Dylan had been coerced and misled by her mother, Mia Farrow. The two acrimoniously separated after Farrow discovered Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, who was 19 or 21 at the time. (Her date of birth is uncertain.)

Read: Dylan Farrow’s open letter

Ron Farrow wrote in his letter, “That kind of silence isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it’s not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we’ll overlook, who we’ll ignore, who matters and who doesn’t.”

But now, more than 60 women have spoken out against comedian Bill Cosby, alleging similar behaviour. Farrow believes the times have changed.

“We are witnessing a sea change in how we talk about sexual assault and abuse. But there is more work to do to build a culture where women like my sister are no longer treated as if they are invisible. It’s time to ask some hard questions,” he finished.

Read: 10 facts about Woody Allen’s sexual abuse allegations

But it seems unlikely that he is done.

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