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Zunguzungu
By Aaron Bady
Anyone claiming to be an expert is selling something. I brandish my ignorance like a crucifix at vampires.
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Woody Allen’s Good Name

This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.

If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody AllenHi, The Daily Beast!, then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.

The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assuming she’s lying,” except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured. It works both ways, or should: if one of them has to be lying for the other to be telling the truth, then presuming the innocence of one produces a presumption of the other’s guilt. And Woody Allen cannot be presumed to be innocent of molesting a child unless she is presumed to be lying to us. His presumption of innocence can only be built on the presumption that her words have no credibility, independent of other (real) evidence, which is to say, the presumption that her words are not evidence. If you want to vigorously claim ignorance–to assert that we can never know what happened, in that attic–then you must ground that lack of knowledge in the presumption that what she has said doesn’t count, and we cannot believe her story.

To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it, though, of course, I could be wrong. But it’s okay if I’m wrong. For two reasons. First, because my opinion is not attached to a juridical apparatus—because I have not been empowered by jails and electric chairs and states of exception to destroy people’s lives—it isn’t necessary for me to err heavily on the side of “we need to be really fucking sure that the accused did it.” It’s a good thing, generally, that juries are empowered to say “We think the accused is probably guilty, but we’re not sure beyond a reasonable doubt, so we will not convict.” That bar is set high for a reason; if you’re going to lock a person in a cage for a long time, you need to be really sure. But we are also empowered to say the same thing. We are also empowered to say “We think Woody Allen probably molested a seven year old.” And because we are not in a court of law, we don’t even need to say the second part. The fact that we will not convict him doesn’t even need to be implied. He is not, after all, on trial.

The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right. Because I am not on Woody Allen’s jury, I can be swayed by the fact that sexual violence is incredibly, horrifically common, much more common than it is for women to make up stories about sexual violence in pursuit of their own petty, vindictive need to destroy a great man’s reputation. We are in the midst of an ongoing, quiet epidemic of sexual violence, now as always. We are not in the midst of an epidemic of false rape charges, and that fact is important here. All things being equal, it’s more likely that the man who has spent a lifetime and a cinematic career walking the line of pedophilia (to put it mildly) is a likely candidate. All things being equal, the explanation that doesn’t require you to imagine a conspiracy of angry women telling lies for no reason is probably the right one. It’s a good thing that juries can’t think this way, that they can’t take account of Occam’s Razor, because—in theory—the juridical system needs to get it right every single time (or at least hold tenaciously to that ambition). But you and I can recognize the bigger picture, because we aren’t holding a person’s life in our hands. Especially in situations like this one, the overwhelmingly more likely thing is that he did it. The overwhelmingly less likely thing is that a pair of bitter females—driven by jealousy or by the sheer malignity of the gender—have been lying about him for decades.

What is the burden of proof for assuming that a person is lying? If you are a famous film director, it turns out to be quite high. You don’t have to say a word in your defense, in fact, and people who have directed documentaries about you will write lengthy essays in the Daily Beast tearing down the testimony of your accusers. You can just go about your life making movie after movie, and it’s fine. But if you are a woman who has accused a great film director of molesting you when you were seven, the starting point is the presumption that, without real evidence, you are not telling the truth. In the court of public opinion, a woman accusing a great film director of raping her has no credibility which his fans are bound to respect. He has something to lose, his good name. She does not, because she does not have a good name. She is living in hiding, under an assumed name. And when she is silent, the Daily Beast does not rise to her defense.

In a rape culture, there is no burden on us to presume that she is not a liar, no necessary imperative to treat her like a person whose account of herself can be taken seriously. It is important that we presume he is innocent. It is not important that we presume she is not making it all up out of female malice. In a rape culture, you can say things like “We can’t really know what really happened, so let’s all act as if Woody Allen is innocent (and she is lying).” In a rape culture, you can use your ignorance to cast doubt on her knowledge; you can admit that you have no basis for casting doubt on Dylan’s statement, and then you can ignore her account of herself. A famous man is not speaking, so her testimony is not admissible evidence. His name is Woody Allen, and in a rape culture, that good name must be shielded and protected. What is her name?

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450 Responses to “Woody Allen’s Good Name”

  1. Sarah Horrocks says:

    That makes no kind of sense at all. So any time there is an accusation by anyone against anyone else, unless we immedietely make a decision that the victim is always right, we are calling them liars? Whaaaat?

    Maybe we should stop having courts of public opinion and stop acting like we’re all lawyers and judges, and start listening to people’s pain rather than spending all of our time mobbing up on matters where we may not have all of the important information.

    It is entirely possible to give Dylan Farrow the space to speak, and to listen to what she has to say with empathy, without also forming a lynch mob. We’re not judges, jurors, or executioners. Let’s try just being people, yeah?

    • Nancy says:

      Since when is expressing an opinion on a web site the equivalent of being a “lynch mob”? Get a grip!

      • Jon says:

        Since your opinions ruin a man’s life.

        • Veryon says:

          This is the proof that the article is about either some persons need to fill a content slot, and / or an ego trip. If their opinion really didn’t matter, they wouldn’t need to express it.

        • Angie says:

          I’m pretty sure Woody’s doing just fine despite all of our opinions. Which, by the way, is the point of this whole article.

        • Sheila says:

          The possibility of ruining a man’s life is so much more important than the ruining of a child/woman’s being? Consider if you’re wrong Jon, the other lives that will be ruined and I don’t mean careers or reputation, I mean their very being.

          • Jon says:

            Are you are the self appointed judge to make the decision of who’s life is ruined?

            Sorry – posted incorrectly to Veryon

          • Jessi says:

            Jon, I don’t even see how you can seriously make a comment like that. You don’t have to appoint yourself judge to know that the judicial system doesn’t always work out, especially for the victims of rape and sexual abuse.

            You also don’t have to appoint yourself judge to know that when a grown man CHOOSES to force himself on a child, her life will be affected in a much more profound way than a man who already has a lot of money and would not suffer much even if something like this did mean the end of his career.

            How would his life…his entire life…be ruined? At the very worst, he’d have to quit making movies. I don’t know that Woody Allen made that choice, but if he did, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Dylan’s life was affected a lot more than his. Boohoo…he had to go to trial. Some people don’t believe him. Woe is he. His life was NOT ruined. He’s not going to jail. This isn’t even a point worth arguing. Even worse, it’s insulting to anyone who has ever suffered sexual abuse because you’re implying that the ruin of their innocence is inconsequential. That their life wasn’t already ruined when this happened to them. That going to trial and telling a courtroom full of people about their humiliating abuse on top of having it happen is meaningless.

            I know that people do get falsely accused and that innocent people get convicted. That is truly tragic. I have actually seen this happen to someone I know. The child falsely accused the step father and then later recanted. He was doing it out of anger, but to say that there is even a decision to be made here is wrong. He wasn’t found guilty. His life wasn’t ruined. Hers really might have been.

        • tinyorc says:

          Please explain how exactly Woody Allen’s life has been “ruined”. Because from where I’m sitting, he’s still an incredibly wealthy man, influential, widely loved, respected throughout his industry.

          • Jon says:

            For now. The bigger issue is that it’s quite obvious all of this just HAPPENING to come out amidst the Oscars is a deliberate attempt to rob Allen of any awards due to him.

            Additionally, if people buy into the inane post court judgementalism (sic: emphasis on mental), it will perhaps affect his career. We can’t know that yet.

            If that isn’t enough this amounts to libel. If in fact his career is hurt and he prove it, and even if he can’t prove and can prove this is attempt at that (which it is) he has solid ground to sue en-mass every publication that posts this tripe and possibly the libelous commenters as well. I suggest you look into finding a good lawyer, just in case, because you are a criminal.

        • Henke says:

          Don’t worry.. white rich men can get away with anything these days and if anything he has ruined his own damn life.

        • Deb says:

          I think if his life were going to be ruined by this “situation”, it would have already been ruined. Even so, this author’s opinion certainly does not have the power to do that, particularly since the opinion of the accuser has not done so.

          However, the quality of life of the accuser seems to have been, if not ruined, seriously diminished.

          You seem to have assisted in proving the author’s point.

          • Jon says:

            Allen rep isn’t ruined my my little post. it is the plethora of vitriol and inanity by criminals like you, engaged in mass libel, that can ruin a career and it so obvious with this happening so timely to the Oscars that this is a premeditated crime. If there is anyone getting away with crimes it is you mindless fucks.

    • Donna says:

      Allen said he had never been in the attic. Yet, his hair was found in the attic. Yeah, someone is lying.

    • will says:

      I agree completely.

      The rambling non-argument of this article is basically a huge ego justification.

      Case in point, “… it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right. ”
      The article is basically the lyrics from “This is why I’m hot.”
      “This is why, this is why, you ain’t because you not.”

    • Les Toil says:

      I have ALWAYS been a massive massive fan of Woody Allen. His movies and writing are just incredible (I can’t count how many times I’ve read his three paperbacks “Without Feathers”, “Getting Even” and “Side Effects”). But Woody has pretty much publicly mushed it in our faces how much he feels that women over 30 have absolutely no sexual appeal to him–and that has always infuriated me. The older he got the younger his co-stars got (at least in the films he put himself in). It was just a clear statement that women over a certain age have no value to him which is pretty much a commentary about ALL women. It’s just as much an insult to young women as older ones. Basically it’s “Yes, yes, you have a brain, strong convictions and a great personality but it’s really the supple young skin I value the most”. So if he can’t even conceal the obsession his has with youth in his own damn movies, I have to assume those secret photos he was taking of Soon-Yi behind Mia’s back probably WEREN’T the “art” he was trying to convince Mia and the world they were. So how could Dylan’s claims be contrived? So all we can do at this point is make judgments based upon actions.

    • mindy says:

      first of all we are all jurors. second in court a lot of times there is proof of something and it is not presentable. people get away with stuff they are gulty of all the time. look up stats on getting away with murder! remember oj? he wrote a freekin book about how he killed his wife!!! the problem with our judicial system is we have to meny technicallities to be effective. so no, we cant leave it to a judge to decide. ps everyone you mentioned is a person. so your statment is kind of stupid and moot

      • Jon says:

        Jurors don’t make arguments. They sit back and listen. So STFU.

        • Jennifer says:

          Jurors make their arguments in the jury room before they come to a verdict.

        • Ri says:

          You are irrationally defending a man who doesn’t need or want your help. You’re coming off like a psycho. Nobody’s opinions here, or anywhere else are going to diminish his quality of life, as has been proven for more than 20 years. His works of fiction are an expression of himself, so yes, there is some significant insite into him as a person there. HIS brain created it, why would he be detatched from it then? It’s not proof of anything, but it does provide a more complete picture. Oddly though, it was his own interviews that make me feel confident in saying he has sexually abused his daughter.

          But really, this guy lied to his partner of 12 years, and all those children for more than 6 months about having a relationship with Soon-Yi. He sees nothing wrong with that, doesn’t understand how it could affect his credibility or caused real hurt to others. If he does, he just doesn’t give a shit. Because he’s Woody Allen, and the heart wants what it wants.

    • Jennifer says:

      Sarah Horrocks, I don’t think you understand what the author is saying at all, or maybe you didn’t read it in it’s entirety. This was a really well written article based on logic and common sense, by an author who is obviously very intelligent.

      As to all the other commenters on here, anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence, who has read the many articles and learned of all the details surrounding this issue, and has a good understanding of human behavior and how the world works, can be sure beyond a doubt that Woody Allen, did in fact molest his daughter. Those who want to deny it are naive, and prefer to live in a fantasy world of denial. I can understand that, its easier that way, right? Another thing to consider when reading articles written by Woody Allen’s supporters is that there are many people besides Woody Allen who will lose money from this. Think of the people or organizations who own the rights to his films. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there are people being paid to post comments of support for Woody Allen under a lot of these articles. We all should consider how public relations firms hired by celebrities work.

    • We get it. You’re a Woody Allen fan. Writing a well-thought article with an opinion (albeit contrary to YOURS) .. is indeed, very human. “Lynch mob”?? Where’d that come from? Seriously? Stop villifying the author because the opinion differs from yours and presents something to give pause for thought. That’s all this article was .. some things to think about. Can you stop railing long enough to THINK? Unlikely

    • Chaz says:

      This is one of the most poorly argued points I have ever read. I hope for Dylan Farrows sake that you’re not defending her, because this is a diabolical article.

    • Nathan says:

      Your brother/dad/uncle/xyz molested me when I was 7. Since I have ostensibly no incentive for accusing him of this, the onus is now on him to disprove it. Even if it can’t hold up in a court of law because there is no evidence, everyone he knows should be aware of the accusation and assume the self-proclaimed victim is not lying and your ___ is guilty (the court of public opinion). See how bizarre and dangerous this line of reasoning is? It’s just a silly logical premise.

      Also, it’s not blaming the victim or evidence of a rape culture to acknowledge that memory is highly suggestible. There was a big “repressed memory” craze in the 90s when the concept came into the mainstream, and a lot of the high profile cases turned out to be fabrications. I’m not saying intentional, evil fabrications. Just plain, incorrect recollections or figments of imagination. Our brains are weird and unreliable.

      On the more sinister front, it is possible that Mia could have implanted memories. Here’s an interesting article on some (unrelated) research on how this is done:

      “While Loftus couldn’t definitively prove that repressed memories weren’t real, she could show that it was possible to implant a memory of a traumatic event that never happened….

      “The students were told all four memories were real and had been supplied by their family member. After receiving the packet, the students identified whether they remembered each event and how confident they were that it had happened to them. In follow-up interviews the researchers asked them to recall details from the events they remembered.

      “Seven of the 24 students “remembered” the false event in their packets. Several recalled and added their own details to the memory.”

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/18/health/lifeswork-loftus-memory-malleability/

      Until we invent time travel, none of us will ever know what happened. I guess until then we will all choose sides based on our preexisting biases, as evidenced on this thread. I HAVE noticed an unnerving tendency to stigmatize an “innocent until proven guilty” notion as some sort of a veiled excuse to defend a molester, when it is in fact the foundation of our justice system. However fucked that system in fact is in practice, it’s a worthy goal, and nothing to scoff at.

    • Sherry G. says:

      There is plenty of documentation about what occurred in this situation. Go read the article published over the weekend entitled, “10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation.” There was a book written about this 20 years ago, “Love and Betryal,” by one of the nannies that worked in the Farrow household – in New York and Connecticut. There were 3 adults watching the children that day and they were instructed, after numerous problems with Woody, that they were not to leave Dylan alone with him. Mia went shopping, Woody stopped by to visit, and the three adults in attendance looked around after a bit and realized Woody and Dylan had disappeared somewhere in the house. It was a large house and after searching for quite some time, they opened a door and found the child on a sofa, underwear missing, in her sundress – and Woody’s face buried in her lap. Another item to read is the 33 page decision, which is linked to from the bottom of the Vanity Fair article. The truth was always crystal clear – but a great PR team has thrown chum for 20 years to try and cloud the issue and warp the public’s perception of what happened. Bravo to Dylan for having the courage to speak.

  2. Mary says:

    I believe he is not guilty. Why? Because I believe in the rule of law. There was not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did in fact molested his daughter. Are we supposed to then take a moral stand and give his daughter the benefit of doubt, who asks us to believe her from a letter she publishes through her good friend Kristoff? This is nothing but witch hunt. I’m fed up with politically correct people who automatically assume that all women are victims and if they say they were raped, then they definitely were. This is biased, this is prejudiced. Maybe you need to change your victim mentality and look for evidence, the fact remains that there is no concrete evidence. Unless someone else comes forward accusing him of rape then I’m going to give him the benefit of doubt.

    • survivor says:

      How can you say he’s definitely innocent when you can’t say he’s definitely guilty!? Its like saying ” I may be having a heart attack but I don’t know for sure so I’m going to ignore it no one else sees this pain. If there’s no witness that can see inside than why do anything about the pain. ” Which then would lead up to death. Sorry but your one sided crap is wrong. If you didn’t see anything then it’s not your place to judge or find anyone guilty or innocent. And since you obviously have NEVER been on the victim/survivor side you should keep your opinions to yourself or be careful not to take any sides. Who are we to judge!? Only the “perpetrators” , God, and the “victims ” really know what happened in the private, secluded places. That why they choose secluded times and places so there isn’t witnesses.

      • Joseph says:

        You quote:
        “How can you say he’s definitely innocent when you can’t say he’s definitely guilty!?”

        This is a logical fallacy #1. Its called “Argument from Ignorance” or “argumentum ad ignorantiam” (wiki it). Just because there is a lack of evidence on one side of any argument does not automatically make the opposite side of the argument true.

        You ended up using this same logical fallacy again later near the bottom of your reply here:

        “That why they choose secluded times and places so there isn’t witnesses.”

        Again, a lack of having witnesses does not mean a crime happened either. Both statements can be false, or both true, or either or.

        As well, you jump into a hypocrisy here:

        “If you didn’t see anything then it’s not your place to judge or find anyone guilty or innocent.”

        Your stating that its no ones place to place judgement, but you then place judgement yourself (using a logical fallacy!), leading to a paradox.

    • Patricia Bowen says:

      At the time of the initial allegations, the prosecutor said there was probable cause to charge Woody Allen but he wouldn’t do it because it would be ‘traumatic to the fragile victim.’ Now the statute of limitations prevents any prosecution, so Allen gets away with because the D.A, failed to do his job back in 1993.

      • Nancy says:

        And when Allen was suing Farrow for custody of Dylan and two others, this is what the judge said:

        “None of the witnesses who testified on Mr. Allen’s behalf provided credible evidence that he is an appropriate custodial parent. Indeed, none would venture an opinion that he should be granted custody. When asked, even Mr. Allen could not provide an acceptable reason for a change in custody.”

        That’s right, not even Allen’s own witnesses would testify that he was an appropriate custodial parent.

        And concerning visitation the judge said:

        The common theme of the testimony by the mental health witnesses is that Mr. Allen has inflicted serious damage on the children and that healing is necessary. Because as Dr. Brodzinsky and Dr. Herman observed, this family is in an uncharted therapeutic area, where the course is uncertain and the benefits unknown, the visitation structure that will best promote the healing process and safeguard the children is elusive. What is clear is that Mr. Allen’s lack of judgment, insight, and impulse control make normal noncustodial visitation with Dylan and Satchel too risky to the children’s well-being to be permitted at this time.
        It is unclear whether Mr. Allen will ever develop the insight and judgment necessary for him to relate to Dylan appropriately. My causation is the product of mr Allen’s demonstrated inability to understand the impact that his words and deeds have upon the emotional well being of his children.
        I believe that Mr. Allen will use Satchel in an attempt to gain information about Dylan and to insinuate himself in her good graces. I believe that Mr. Allen will, if unsupervised, attempt to turn Satchel against the other members of his family. I believe Mr. Allen to be desirous of of introducing Soon-Yi into the visitation arrangement without concern for the effect on Satchel, Soon-Yi, or the other members of the Farrow family. In short, I believe Mr. Allen to be so self-absorbed, untrustworthy, and insensitive, that he should not be permitted to see Satchel without appropriate professional supervision until Mr. Allen demonstrates that supervision is no longer necessary.

        • Bruce says:

          I believe this opinion is based on the relationship he had with Soon Yi. Not because he believed Woody Allen was a pedophile. I believe that the descriptions of Allen’s are accurate (self-obsorbed, etc), but they don’t necessarily lead to being a pedophile.

          • Sherry G. says:

            Yes, but there was a lot of other evidence that the Allen PR team want the public to ignore. They are counting on you not to read the judge’s full decision or to review the actual facts of the case that were introduced in court and deemed by the judge to be believable. A lot of the people who are arguing for Dylan on these threads are doing so because they have read up on the facts of the case. And those who are arguing for Allen are doing so more because they have heard the spin of his people and don’t investigate further. The point is, to me, that I hate to see people defending a child molester.

          • Ri says:

            No, the document is 33 pages long. It’s not about Sonn-Yi. You should read it. I don’t have the link, but it’s definitely out there.

      • Julian Cicone says:

        I call BS on that prosecutor having probable cause. That prosecutor represents Mia, his job is to find incriminating evidence against him. So while he says he has probable cause, he won’t explain what evidence he has for probable cause nor does he carry out the criminal process. Mia also goes a long with it? She’s claiming her daughter was sexually molested by her father and yet they went go further with the process because of Dylan’s so called “fragile condition”?

        I don’t buy that. Its bull. The fact is. An investigation was done, medical tests and questionings and so on was conducted and was done and Woody Allen was not indicted or arrested because there was no evidence to indict him.

        So nothing happen. No evidence was found to indict Woody Allen or take it to trial. And Mia and Dylan’s testimonies and stories also were contradictory in many ways which only made an indictment that much harder.

      • Zack says:

        All of this, if true, means that Allen is a self-centered and horrible father, but not a word in there indicates he sexually molested his daughter. Just because someone would be a bad custodial parent doesn’t mean they would sexually abuse their child

        I have no dog in this race. I don’t like Woody Allen’s films and I find the man’s courtship with his current wife (Soon-Yi) to be bothersome, but there are huge leaps to be made to assuming he is guilty of the abuse. Let’s also remember that Mia is no saint in this situation, and allegations of physical and emotional abuse have been hurled her way as well. The reports I read from the initial investigation indicate that Dylan seemed coached in he story, and at times her story was inconsistent.

        If you are really interested in this case, I recommend the following read, which uses actual first hand knowledge of Allen and Farrow, rather than sits back on tabloid fodder to make judgements:

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/27/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast.html

        • Sherry G. says:

          Go read the Vanity Fair article on the 10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation that came out last weekend.

      • Jon says:

        Move to Canada.

    • John says:

      Mary, review the case history. Lack of evidence wasn’t the reason the case wasn’t brought to trial. The prosecutor said that, “while he found ‘probable cause’ to prosecute Allen, he was dropping the case because Dylan was too ‘fragile’ to deal with a trial.” (source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20782501,00.html)

      The author’s point is that, while “beyond a reasonable doubt” may be a good standard for making decisions in criminal cases, it really isn’t the best method for deciding what is most likely true about the world. While we may not hold enough certainty about the event to criminally convict Allen, the preponderance of evidence does still seem to suggest that he most likely did something very terrible here, and it therefore still seems most reasonable for us as private individuals to presume his guilt and speak of him accordingly, even if we don’t go so far as to criminally punish him based on that assumption.

      • Julian Cicone says:

        John you are wrong too. While the prosecutor said he had “probable cause” but dropped the case because Dylan was too fragile to deal with a trial, an investigation was also done by the police and other investigators who conducted a series of interviews and medical tests and questioned people and the police and investigators did not have any real evidence to prove Dylan was molested or attacked in anyway and therefore an indictment of Woody Allen could not of happened.

        There was more people looking into this case than Mia Farrow’s prosecutor. An actual police team and investigative team conducted their own study and investigation and research into the situation and found no evidence after a series of medical tests, questionings, interviews, and other things.

        Also if Mia’s own daughter was actually molested and raped. Why would she agree to not press charges. And if her prosecutor just didn’t want to take the case, why not get a new prosecutor especially if you have all that money so justice for your daughter could be served.

        But that didn’t happen. So while most women who are raped or molested are being honest, and a small minority like 3% are lying. We do have a system in place where you are innocent until proven guilty. No evidence and trial on Woody Allen so I’m not going to boycott him or his movies and make any opinions or accusations about him.

        • Toni says:

          It is not possible to just go out and get another prosecutor. Unlike defense attorneys, who may be replaced at will by the defendant, the prosecutor is a lawyer representing the government and not subject to being changed, even if you believe they are doing a poor job.

      • Julian Cicone says:

        And my I ask what “preponderance of evidence” do you actually have?

        Medical tests were done, mental tests were done, questions and interviews were conducted. Multiple things were done during multiple investigations by different groups.

        No evidence was found during all the investigations taken place to indict Woody Allen. Mia Farrow’s lawyer who was the prosecutor represents her regardless so he’ll automatically take her said since she’s paying him

        • Ro says:

          You are ignorant. Molesting someone doesn’t leave any physical evidence behind

          • Carp says:

            Ro is correct – molestation does not necessarily leave any physical damage or evidence. A medical examination which yields no physical evidence does not mean that a psychologically damaging assault did not occur. It is a logical fallacy to state that molestation cannot occur without physical evidence.

        • KELLEY says:

          What? Mia wasn’t paying the prosecutor. Prosecutor’s don’t get paid by the people they represent.

      • wiffy says:

        @John

        You so conveniently forget to note that the prosecutor was hauled over the coals by the bar etc. several months after that unfounded, irresponsible, statement due to a complaint by Allen. The board also found that the statement likely prejudiced Allen in the custody proceedings.

        And what a sick country the US if when despite a state prosecutor (the one person on whose shoulders falls the prosecuting of crimes to protect the rest of society, in this case children, from crimes), claiming to have “probable cause”, can chose not to press charges against a suspected pedophile… the most heinous of crimes and against children !!! Do prosecutors decide not to prosecute “probable cause” murderers too ?

        What about video testimony, curtains, judge’s chamber, or the use of experts? And what about pressing charges 5 or even 10 years later once the child was less “fragile” and/or old enough to withstand it? And what about placing a “probable cause” suspect of such a horrible crime under full surveillance until a trial? Or doesn’t protecting others’ kids, yours too, from a “probable cause” pedophile weigh the same as protecting a fragile Dylan ?

        Some great sense justice you have there in the US, albeit hardly surprising seeing how from the comments, yours included, “innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t seem very popular either, even though investigations at the time turned up nothing against Allen while they did turn up suspicions that there was no abuse and that Mia had coached the child (who probably believes it happened – Mia has recently been accused of “brainwashing” the family by Allen’s and her adopted son who has renewed links with Allen and cut off those with Mia). Food for thought… if you can!

        • wiffy says:

          errata: It was concluded there was no abuse, not just suspicions, the suspicions that turned up were that Mia had coached the child.

          And a last comment. If Dylan believes what she says all my sympathies are with her whether her memories are real, mistaken, the fruit of coaching or whatever, but if she really wanted to protect other children the time was to come out earlier so Allen could never do the same to his other or any children. She wouldn’t even have needed to do it publicly: she could have gone to the police and told all that she remembered. Shown the video, had them open up the old case files, volunteered to take a lie detector (at the time Allen cleared one he took voluntarily while Mia refused to even sit one!).

          • Liz says:

            “If Dylan believes what she says all my sympathies are with her whether her memories are real, mistaken, the fruit of coaching or whatever, but if she really wanted to protect other children the time was to come out earlier so Allen could never do the same to his other or any children.”

            “IF Dylan believes” ??? Your presumption that she is lying is crystal clear and your pronouncement on how she should have dealt with her trauma shows that you have no respect or the slightest understanding of the experience she described in her letter.

            How do you know what she “should” have done? Was that how you dealt with the powerful public figure who raped you when you were a child?

          • Bruce says:

            @Liz,

            Woody Allen was not accused of rape. It was sexual abuse. Now regarding Dylan, most people believe that she believes what she is saying. The prevailing thought is that Mia planted the idea. I don’t think I’ve seen 1 comment that calls Dylan a liar. It is pretty damaging for Mia that their son Moses is refuting Dylan’s account. He clearly states that for years he hated Woody Allen along w/ his siblings, until recently. That shows he really has no motive other than clearing the air.

    • HoldOnAMoment says:

      Mary. Thank you. It is my understanding these claims were fully investigated, over and over again by multiple expert mental health professionals. There was a three person panel, as well as a prosecutor, all who found that the allegations were unfounded. I think that unless you are familiar with what used to be called Parental Alienation Syndrome (now it is called Child Polarization) and are exquisitely familiar with the specifics related to this particular case, then we just simply don’t know what happened and no one is in a position to speculate. No one can determine this but the parents themselves. It’s inappropriate to call anyone a “liar” or a “pedophile” and the comment of “survivor” below which says “sorry but your one sided crap is wrong” is out of line in my opinion. The pen name suggests something that had to be survived, and that of course is likely a tragedy. But that in no way allowed ‘survivor’ to cast aspersions on anyone. I’m with Mary. Evidence is the key. Clearly the family has been torn apart for years by these allegations and has been affected again. But until someone with actual knowledge and the ability to fully investigate from an independent perspective comments publicly, then perhaps the best thing to do is to simply wait, and help all victims of abuse, no matter their station, popularity or ability to garner attention.

    • Poppy says:

      He was not declared innocent by law. The fact that someone deemed there to not be enough evidence does not mean he is innocent. This is a common problem is child abuse cases – im sure you wouldnt declare all those abusers to be innocent?? If there is not enough physical evidence, that is all that means …It does not mean he didnt do it.

    • TeresaInPa says:

      How about his son Ronan? He also accused Mr Allan. Is that good enough for you?

      • Bruce says:

        Ronan is younger than Dylan…if Mia could have planted the idea in a 7 year old, do you really think her 4 year old brother would be any different. I speculate that at the end of the day, either Woody Allen is a complete monster or Mia Farrow is a evil vindictive woman…

    • Ri says:

      What evidence are you looking for?

  3. Dr. Q says:

    There’s a scenario where Dylan is still a victim, and Woody didn’t touch her: Mia created in Dylan what in psychology is known as a “false memory” (see the website I’ve linked as “mine”).

    So, Dylan thinks something bad happened to her (she is still a victim because the memory and the trauma are real for her, so you can say she is NOT lying), but Woody didn’t do anything bad to her (just as the investigation showed at the time the custody trial).

  4. Laurence Stevenson says:

    I believe you are wrong in saying they cannot be both telling the truth. Perception is very different from ‘fact’. While he may not have ‘done it’, she sincerely believes that he did. The resulting damage is the same. It’s just that, should this be the case, Allen is not the perpetrator.

    • Henke says:

      You’re response made me think of R.D Lang, a psychiatrist, that came up with a set of rules as criterias of a dysfunctional family:
      Rule A is don’t.
      Rule A1 is rule A does not exist and Rule A2 is never discuss the existence or non-existence of Rules A, A1 or A2.
      So within a dysfunctional family, what this means is that you can talk about anything besides the horrors you have to pretend isn’t happening.
      And if you do speak out, most often than not, its met with shock, horror, and the fetishization of the victim(s).

    • Ri says:

      But it could go the other way, as well.

  5. Earnest says:

    It is absolutely possible to believe that both parties are simultaneously not lying. You simply have to be willing to 1) believe that Woody Allen is not a pedophile (something there is no evidence I see to support) and 2) accept that memory is fallible and moldable. It is possible that her accusations could be entirely true to her but not based in fact.

    Dylan also did have something to lose in this. As a 7-year-old, a relationship with your mother is the most valuable thing in the world to lose.

    • John says:

      Can we not also believe that Allen’s memory is fallible/moldable, then? Perhaps he’s experienced a dissociation based on the guilt and/or fear of potential consequences he could face, and is now convinced he didn’t do something that he actually did?

      The author’s central point still stands – we are far more eager as a culture to question the truthfulness/sanity/whatever of one who alleges rape than we are to question the same of the one who denies it.

      • Mag says:

        You could, except the experts who investigated this case for six months back up his contention. There was no evidence of abuse and the girl either made up events or was coached.

        So Allen’s memory of that time seems to be the accurate one.

        • Ro says:

          “The 6 month investigation”. . . AKA the last shred of argument all the apologists are desperately clinging to.
          The “investigation” was led by Allen’s people. The lead psychologist making all the claims in the deposition never actually interviewed Dylan. And everyone else on his team refused to testify, and destroyed all their notes before trial.
          There it goes. . . There goes your argument.

          • Bruce says:

            In what US municipal or federal justice department is an investigation “led” by the accused’s people? Also, the prosecutor that did say he thought there was probable cause to charge him, but didn’t want to because of Dylan’s “fragile” state was reprimanded by the bar association if I’m not mistaken because he unfairly influenced their custody hearing.

        • KELLEY says:

          Not to mention that Allen doesn’t fit the profile of a pedophile. If he did, we’d have heard about several other little girls he’d been molesting. It’s never just one child. It’s never just one time.

          All that aside, why is this being tried in the court of public opinion? Is all this healing for Dylan? Somehow I doubt it. Shame on Mia and Ronan for dredging it up in a public forum some 20 years later.

        • Jo says:

          Another common misconception: the investigatory team were not “Allen’s People”. The Yale-Harvard team were an independent team who interviewed Allen’s psychoanalyst as well as the therapist Dylan had been seeing the year prior to the custody hearings. Some of thier findings were based on what “Allen’s people” said, but the Yale-Harvard team were not paid for or connected to Allen in any way. That would have been a scandal in it of itself .

      • Jon says:

        But this is not a court of law. You have no right to convict. Anything anyone says is a moot point.

        • Gin says:

          Um, he married his partner’s adopted child. Even if we can’t say he is a molester purely based on that, it’s still creepy enough for me to doubt his innocence. Why would she lie about what had happened? There would be great backlash at her, and she must have known that. It’s like the Jimmy saville case, and the Lost Prophets case, famous people get a pass easier because for some reason we tend to assume the accuser just wants to get something out of the accused.

          • Jon says:

            Doubt all you want in private. You have no right to slander his name. I hope he files a few slander suits. There are probably about a hundred he could go after.

    • Nancy says:

      We do know that Allen was seeing a therapist for his inappropriate behavior around Dylan, including a compulsion to shove his thumb in her mouth. I’m sure that means absolutely nothing.

      From “What Falls Away”

      “A psychologist who was already helping another child in the family (Woody believed everyone would benefit from therapy) witnessed only a brief greeting between Woody and Dylan, but it was enough for her to mention it to me, and express her concern that Woody’s attitude was “inappropriately intense, because it excluded everybody else; and it placed a demand on a child for a kind of acknowledgement that I felt should not be placed on a child.”
      That was nothing! I told the therapist, and the years of fear, disbelief, silence and denial welled into words. I told her all of it, and I prayed she would be able to help.
      To my great relief the therapist began to work with Woody, to help him to understand that his behavior with Dylan was “inappropriate” and had to be modified. Now many of the things that so disturbed me seemed to improve. She made him stop putting his hands under Dylan’s covers, stop putting his face in her lap, stop the constant caressing, stop hunting Dylan down, stop having her suck on his thumb.
      Although the therapist addressed the specifics, she was unable to modify the overall wooing quality of Woody’s approaches, his own neediness expressing itself to Dylan. And if I left a room with Woody and Dylan in it, when I returned, I was still likely to find him doing those same things again.
      At least now when he got mad at me, he was more likely to come around and say, “Look, I’m really sorry. You’re right to tell me when this kind of thing happens. Just tell me. It’s OK.
      So we had come a long way, I had articulated my concerns, he had acknowledged there was a problem, and a therapist was in place addressing the issue with him. He was making an effort. I had to believe that everything would be all right. I had to.”

      • Nancy says:

        And BTW – “What Falls Away” was published 17 years ago. For some reason Allen hasn’t sued over what his fans must surely believe is libel.

        • Robert Bleeker says:

          “Jon says:
          February 4, 2014 at 10:44 pm
          “Irrelevant. The case is closed”

          I think you ought to deepen your understanding of the case a fraction, because the legal gravity of the case – alleged abductiond in combination with the assumed sexual assault odf a seven year ol child – is without limitation.

      • Jon says:

        Irrelevant. The case is closed.

      • HoldOnAMoment says:

        And here, if a psychologist was making public statements about any individual that he or she treated, without an explicit release of information from the party or his or her parent, no statement can be made about ANYONE and the psychologist should have lost his or her license by now. I’m not sure who’s writing here – but no licensed mental health professional is allowed to speak about the confidences of any client. Period.

    • Liz says:

      Sure. Allen could be “not lying” if he believes that using a child’s body to get himself off is his personal right.

  6. The case of the Central Park Five, among others, demonstrates that the clear line you think exists between public outcry and judicial conduct doesn’t actually exist in real life. Public opinion had everything to do with how that case was prosecuted, and directly contributed to the conviction of five innocent black and Hispanic men. And just like you do now, all of the people screaming for them to pay were perfectly comfortable with their own grasp on the truth.

    You don’t see yourself as contributing to a similar phenomenon, because like most lefties, you believe in your own wisdom and benevolence above and beyond all things– including your own knowledge of our carceral state and its enormous history of prosecutorial aggression. I’m afraid “I’m smarter and less racist than those other people so my take on events is better than theirs” is not a responsible stance in a country with a vast carceral state. And whatever is true, the notion that there is some bright line between the judicial process and the conversations of the public is simply belied by cases like the Central Park jogger. That is just not true.

    Of course, Woody Allen is a rich and powerful person who won’t suffer because of any of this. But the constant tendency within the halls of online liberalism to condemn as an apologist for rape anyone who argues for a presumption of innocence in sex crimes, to say nothing of actually arguing that someone may be innocent, contributes to a culture that ensures more legal aggression. And we know, for a fact, that this legal aggression will inevitably fall disproportionately on the heads of poor black men. That’s not a guess; that’s reality. I was picking through Twitter last night, reading people arguing for laws that make it easier to convict someone of rape and for prosecutors and police to be more aggressive. To a person, I’m sure they all thought of themselves as deeply progressive people. But their impact, inevitably, will be not to hurt the Woody Allens of the world but rather the unnamed innocent poor and minority people who are the target of our carceral state. As will yours be. That’s what it means to live in a caste system.

    But I’m sure you don’t believe that you could ever contribute to racism or class war. Because you’re so wise and so good.

  7. Jim K says:

    We can and should extend the presumption of innocence to both parties. It’s as simple as saying “I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what happened.” It would be different if a friend came to me with a story; of course I would believe them. As public figures are concerned, though, I don’t feel the need to be judge or jury.

  8. Lisa Duggan says:

    Awesome post Aaron Bady! Thank you. I am circulating everywhere I can. You have a new fan.

  9. Dora Herrera says:

    Maybe the protectors are all good Catholics?

  10. David says:

    I can both believe that what she is saying may (may) not be true and that she is not lying nor being malicious. We’re talking about a childhood memory, and not one that is recent or fresh in the alleged victim’s mind. I absolutely believe that she believes what she wrote happened. And I have no idea if it did.

    I don’t necessarily disagree with any of your larger points, I just think this is not a good example with which to illustrate them. I mean:

    “And when she is silent, the Daily Beast does not rise to her defense.”

    No, you’re right, the New York Times does.

    • Lisa says:

      If you want to talk about fresh evidence, please do a little research. There you will find what the custody court and the appellate court thereafter (because Allen appealed the custody decision) had to say. Both courts found the evidence quite credible and tended to believe (in rather strong wording) that Mr. Allen did molest his 7 year old daughter. The appellate decision is online and there are many excerpts online via news reports at the time from the custody court.

      • Jon says:

        There you have it. It’s been taken care of by the courts. Move along. There’s nothing more to see here.

        • Simple Desultory Philip says:

          Once a court case has been settled, we should never talk about it again. That’s why nobody ever mentions abortion in this country.

        • Pete says:

          How about no, we don’t move along. We’re allowed to discuss the issue, and you don’t get to direct us away from it.

          • Jon says:

            The only problem with that is libel. It is illegal to defame anyone in writing. Are you advocating crime? Perhaps anarchy? You are acting beyond the law and ignoring the legality of the court. Just be truthful about who you are.

          • Simon says:

            @Jon Well then it doesn’t concern you does it? Libel is not a crime. Why don’t you inform Woody Allen so he can sue, which is how libel is resolved? Why are you trying to be a judge issuing a gag order?

          • Kevin says:

            You have no idea what the word libel means, please stop trying to scare away people expressing an opinion..

          • Jon says:

            Just because Woody does not sue does not make your libelous behavior any less criminal. You are a criminal. Just not prosecuted. No one has the time of day to bother with you or what you care or don’t care about.

      • HoldOnAMoment says:

        Please post the link if you would be so kind. I am interested in this, and if the courts found that Mr. Allen indeed molested his child, then why was he not punished, sent to prison, cited for child abuse, etc? Or was he?

        • KELLEY says:

          Do some research on how the court system works maybe. Jesus.

          • Bruce says:

            Your response is pretty weak…Jesus. For every person that gets “over” on the legal system; there’s someone else being released from prison because of corrupt police investigations or DNA shows that someone else committed the crime. If someone is trying to change my opinion on something, then asking for a link to prove the point they’re making isn’t ridiculous like you’re implying. It’s kinda necessary.

          • Jon says:

            Move to Canada.

    • c.s. says:

      I agree with this. In a case like this I think that both can at least be thinking they are telling the truth. Just because you think there’s a chance Woody didn’t do anything, doesn’t mean that you are ready to lynch Dylan Farrow for being a liar. I personally believe that she at least thinks she is being honest. Whether it is true or not, I don’t know, and I don’t think me admitting to not knowing is giving in to ‘rape culture’.

    • AB says:

      I can still remember that night some 30 years ago when my uncle molested me. It feels like yesterday. There is no doubt about it, no perhaps or maybes. I have no courage to confront my uncle because that would devastate my mother. It would also ensue he said-she said scenario. Until my mom lives, I am not saying anything. I have no courage like Dylan. I don’t even need an apology or closure. The damage is done and is beyond repair, at least in my case. Somewhere along the line, Dylan was not heard, properly, the doubts and uncertainties have not been cleared. Being famous might have helped to keep things unresolved. I hope Dylan can get her closure in due process, without vilifying.

      • Jon says:

        So because you went through your ordeal, now anyone who tells a similar story is automatically telling the truth and whoever they accuse is automatically guilty.

        • Simon says:

          Man you are so obnoxious. People have the right to make their own judgements and form their own opinions and they don’t need to justify them to you. Why don’t you keep your pretentious legalism to yourself?

          • Jon says:

            Here’s a definition of obnoxious: “make their own judgements and form their own opinions and they don’t need to justify them”

        • Des says:

          That’s your response to an assault survivor telling her story? Congrats, you’re a sociopath.

          • Jon says:

            Wow. A remote pseudo-psychologist. You can diagnose mentality from around the world over the internet. Do tell, where did you study?

        • Grace says:

          You are actually a horrible disgusting human being. But this is coming from a privileged male so I’m not shocked. Go choke on a bowl of dicks you fucking cock sucking rapist apologist piece of vile human garbage. I pray for the love of God you never have any kids because you are disgusting and no child deserves a piece of shit of a father.

          • Jon says:

            Maybe you should check with my kids before passing judgement. By the way, where did you come by your information? I think you may have been mislead.

      • stopandlisten says:

        This kind of response only hurts the pro-Farrow side of the debate. I don’t think anybody doubts the reality of Dylan’s suffering. But there is a bigger picture here.

        There have been many creative people throughout history who have done despicable things. An artist’s creative contribution does not excuse from his/her personal failings, but it is also not fair to conflate the two.

        This is at the core of this debate due to the timing of these re-surfaced allegations. Dylan’s letter accused of Hollywood and the public for endorsing the work of a man who she views as a villain. But his accomplishments in the film industry have nothing to do with this.

        I don’t have an opinion on the truth of what happened in the Farrow household back in 1992. And it’s not my business. All I know that it was a painful and difficult time for that family. But I do feel sympathy for Dylan Farrow. And Woody Allen as well. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have the world hating on you.

        Everyone, please, stop judging and hating. We don’t know the whole truth.

        • Bruce says:

          The problem that I have with this is the timing. If the article in the Daily Beast is accurate, then Mia Farrow is quite a piece of work. Apparently she was contacted by the Golden Globes when they were developing the film tribute to WA. She had to approve of her likeness being used. She did, then turned around and feigned shock and anger that Hollywood would pay tribute to a sexual offender. If it angered her so much, why did she approve it?

          And for someone that is “supporting” sex abuse victims, isn’t it’a bit odd that she supports Roman Polanski, who admitted to and was CONVICTED of raping a teenage girl? She testified on his behalf, so her credibility is quite suspect.

    • Katherine Chant says:

      seems like it’s pretty fresh in her mind. and in an experience like that isn’t repressed to save her mind in the first place, it’s not going to fade. especially with him turning up on every movie screen and being friends with people she knows.

      • Jon says:

        Define fresh. She was seven.

        • Gin says:

          Jon, why are you so sure Allen is innocent? You seem to be very against even the slightest possibility of Dylan speaking the truth. She was seven, yes, but I dare say there are things people do not forget or remember wrong. I don’t think you’d forget being molested.

          • Jon says:

            I didn’t say he was innocent. But you imply he is guilty. That’s libel. Your written words amount to libel. And your argument is based on a statement made by a woman’s attempt to recall her childhood at the age of seven, no doubt highly influenced by her mother.

            Can you recall with accuracy the events of your life at seven, especially a traumatic event? They tend to be blocked out. Even the next day after things happen, memories are altered by perceptions, interpretations, and people around who make assumptions and conjecture.

            It may make Dylan feel good to write publicly. It may make people like you feel good to air these feelings. But it is wrong and illegal for you to do so at the expense of a man’s career and life. You are not God. You are not worthy of passing public judgement on a man. You act illegally and above the law. You are an anarchist in the worst sense.

          • stopandlisten says:

            “The finding, said Dr. Tonegawa, a Nobel laureate for his work in immunology, …is yet another cautionary reminder of how unreliable memory can be in mice and humans.”

            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/26/science/false-memory-planted-in-a-mouse-brain-study-shows.html

        • Simple Desultory Philip says:

          …and said pretty much exactly the same thing, back when she was actually seven.

        • Heather says:

          If you are molested at 7, as I was, the memory remains excruciatingly “fresh.”

          • Jon says:

            The perception seems fresh. It’s an illusion in your mind. Look up fresh in the dictionary. You misuse the term.

            Overruled.

        • M.B. says:

          You are a serious wack-job. My father did the same to me over the course of a couple years and they are fresh in my mind…20 years later. Events like that don’t change shape. They haunt you in the same form, same way. They are vivid and horrifying and “fresh”. Just stop, man.

          You keep throwing around libel around and I can tell you have no idea what you’re talking about. No ones going to get sued over comments on a website.

          • Jon says:

            Prove it. No one may have yet to be sued. That doesn’t mean they can’t be sued and it doesn’t mean they are within the their legal rights to defame anyone.

            Celebrities usually brush aside morons like you with such prejudgement as not worth the time of day, let alone hiring a lawyer to go after. That does not make their behavior any less libel or criminal;. Libel remains libel no matter where it is committed or by whom. It is just harder to prove in the case of message board comment sections.

            You rationalize your criminality as all criminals do. What’s next? A pointy white hat? Lynch mob? Where do criminals like you ever stop. I suggest you seek professional help.

  11. Michael Delaney says:

    I love the logic: he probably did it though who can be sure etc. What’s next? The Witch Trials. Throw him in the water and if Woody floats he did it and if he drowns . . .

    This column is a disgrace.

    • Joyce says:

      Yet this column, and the commenters here, are better than any other I’ve seen. He raises some good points, as do the commenters who point out that she could totally pass a lie detector test even if the whole story had been made up by her mother and rehearsed. She believes it now, whether it happened or not. I’ve been inclined to believe he’s a creep for what he did to Soon-Yi alone, but tended to believe this didn’t happen since doctors examined her, and assume found hymen intact, which is a pretty straightforward thing to rule out – I haven’t read that explicitly in print, but what else could ” no evidence of molestion” mean? This doesn’t mean he didn’t touch her in other inappropriate ways that wouldn’t leave physical evidence. And sounds like he certainly did, based on the quotes from What Falls Away. I’d forgotten she wrote that book, id like to read it now. However, another important point is that, rape culture aside, in the late 80s and early 90s there certainly was also an epidemic of false accusations. There was the McMartin trial, child sexual abuse hysteria, and lives were ruined and a man spent over 5 years in jail without having been convicted of doing anything. All charges were dropped in 1990 after the case dragged on most of the 80s. This incident follows close on the heels of that. That case set in place some proper ways that children should be questioned,the guidelines of which sadly were not adhered to by Mia Farrow in her filming of Dylan and questioning her. I didn’t know until just now that he had been in therapy for his inappropriate touching. I had heard of her inappriate coaching. And I do presume he has creepy pedophilia tendencies, as he had even pointed to in his films of the late 70s. This is why I don’t understand why she would bring children around the man in the first place. If she saw Manhattan, then what is wrong with HER, Mia? Dylan is the victim either way. Thank you commenters all for your excellent points here.

    • Rebecca says:

      The column specifically addresses the difference between the burden of proof required to form a personal opinion and the burden of proof required to convict a man of a serious crime, and makes no arguments that the latter should be changed. Considering the author firmly expresses his support for this higher burden of proof in criminal matters, I can only assume your slippery-slope accusations of Witch Trials are the result of not reading the column or of deliberately attempting to misrepresent it in order to discredit it.

  12. G says:

    Spot on, Aaron – I couldn’t stop nodding the entire way through reading this.

    The Daily Beast article has been shared thousands of times on Facebook like it’s some kind of righteous revelation, but when you actually read it it’s the same old sickening story of blaming the victim.

    Woody Allen fanboy: I wasn’t there, and I’m not biased, but Mia Farrow is literally a hypocritical succubus who brainwashed her children and stole their souls. Anyway, Woody is so *above* all of this. Like, he writes a movie a year on a typewriter and never leaves the house and his new daughters think he’s just the cutest.

    If anything, the article opened my eyes to what Dylan is up against – what she’s faced since the moment she was abused, the enormous courage it took to speak out, and the strength it takes every day to listen to people call you a liar.

    I don’t know Dylan Farrow, and I’m sure my opinion means nothing to her, but I stand by her 100 per cent. Hopefully Hollywood does the same.

    • c.s. says:

      All the writer did was come at things from Allen’s perspective. The majority of the articles I have read have been looking at it from the Farrow’s point of view (which is completely fine, may I add), but what’s wrong with looking at things from both sides?

    • Jon says:

      I agree, you don’t know Dylan Farrow

    • Bruce says:

      I’ve said it before…if Mia Farrow was sincere with her tweets after the Golden Globes, then why did she approve of her film footage being used in the montage for Woodt? She knew well before the broadcast…that’s hypocritical at the least .

  13. Phillip Kelly says:

    “All things being equal, it’s more likely that the man who has spent a lifetime and a cinematic career walking the line of pedophilia (to put it mildly)…”

    That’s borderline slander. The most loaded thing I’ve heard anyone say to try and sound correct. Now you’re trudging in the mire of gossip.

    What does this even mean?

    • Lisa says:

      Start with Annie Hall. Then consider that Allen had a 17 year old girlfriend when he was 52 and then took up with a 19 (or maybe 20) year old who was the sister of some of his adopted children (although she was not his daughter) several years later. That I would say is not borderline slander, those are just facts and they do suggest pedophilia. I know, I work in the criminal justice system (defending pedophiles btw) and I know the profile.

      • HoldOnAMoment says:

        Just FYI, Mia Farrow was born in 1945 and her first husband Frank Sinatra, was born in 1915. Her second husband, Andre Previn, was born in 1929. So, 30 years separated her from the first spouse, and 16 years separated her from the second. What’s up with these people?

      • Jon says:

        Your statement is actually libel (slander refers to the spoken word – libel to written). You are accusing a man based on your perception of his profile as matching others with the same behavior convicted for crimes. Are you a judge, jury, and executioner?

        • Simon says:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel#How_to_prove_libel : “…in the United States, the person must prove that the statement was false, caused harm, and was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or a public official, the person must prove the first three steps and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth”

          Lisa’s statement is clearly not libel, and you clearly know nothing about the law.

        • Anne says:

          SORRY I’m not here to talk about anything except libel, which you don’t really seem to understand? If anyone is going to be sued for libel, it’s going to be Dylan or Mia–not a million random people on an internet comment board. Giving an opinion about a matter like this in a public forum is not illegal, and most courts would not give a guilty verdict about opinions posted in comment section of an article (if a case was even brought up, which it ALMOST CERTAINLY WOULD NOT BE–why on earth would Woody Allen suddenly start using the internet, go on “thenewinquiry.com”, and decide to sue hundreds of people in the COMMENTS section of an article? WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT? LIBEL, JFC.)

          Not to mention that most of the comments here are clearly opinions, to the point of many comments stating something like “this is my opinion, I wasn’t there and I don’t know.” If you know anything about defamation cases, making it clear that it is an opinion will take the case off the table pretty quickly. Also not to mention that almost no one here is actually publishing anything about Woody Allen–they are mostly comments that are restating information that has been given by other people; OBVIOUSLY those other people would be first in line for a lawsuit. Of course, this is not to say that no one has been or could be sued for anything they post in an internet message board, but that in a situation such as this, when there is no new information being published and all statements are likely to be taken by their readers as opinion rather than fact, any case is likely to be thrown out (again, in the unlikely event that a case was ever brought up.)

          And if you really think that we might all be sued for libel, then why post: “And your argument is based on a statement made by a woman’s attempt to recall her childhood at the age of seven, no doubt highly influenced by her mother.” — Are you not, in fact, making a statement about both Dylan and Mia here? Is that statement not that Mia “influenced” her daughter’s confessions, likely by way of coaching? (not to mention that you said “no doubt”–implying truth to your statement; you didn’t even say it was your opinion!) Sounds like character assassination to me. “Are you a judge, jury, and executioner?” Are you an “anarchist”? Anyway, I’m just giving you shit because obviously Mia Farrow/Dylan Farrow isn’t going to sue you for a comment you made on an article on a random internet site. But my point is that it feels like the only person whose good name you care about is Woody Allen. “Just be truthful about who you are.”

          • Alex says:

            Thank you for addressing this imbecile’s repetitive, ignorant and largely incorrect comments regarding libel. I could not agree with your statements more!
            I haven’t read through the entire comments thread yet but I hope that following this ‘Jon’ has decided to either shut up or offer a more logical and useful opinion…

          • Kevin says:

            Thank you… He obviously is ill informed about libel.. or maybe he is well informed about libel but is trying to instill fear into to people who are not well informed and are expressing their opinion.. I would like to know the ip address of the libel zorro…

          • Jon says:

            Please cite your legal grounds. Your word means nothing.

    • Someone with common sense says:

      He married a girl of at most 17 years of age whom he knew for years previous and admitted to being with long before they were married. He’s made several movies about pedophilia. Please explain to me how you DON’T get that he ‘walks the border’.

      Oh, unless you’re saying that you get that he totally IS a pedo, and it’s slanderous to only hint.

      Note: He’s already been charged with indecent contact with a minor – a babysitter walked in on him molesting Dylan when she was a little girl. The judge on that case did NOT dismiss the testimony of the babysitter – had it gone to court he would have been convicted. The only reason it never went to court was Woody Allan’s slander of Mia Farrow (and Mia’s retaliation). That was 20 years ago. You really think that singular indecent was the ONLY time he molested her?

      Give me a fucking break.

      Please send your daughter over to his house if you’re so fucking certain.

      • Susan says:

        Nothing you above is correct. None of it!

        Soon-Yi and Allen got together when she was 19, not 17, and they married when she was 25.

        He’s made several movies about pedophilia? Huh? What movies are you talking about?

        There were no charges ever pressed. The prosecutor said there was not enough evidence. The nanny and babysitter recanted their statements.

        If you can’t at least get your facts straight you fail at making an argument.

        • Joyce says:

          Soon-Yi is now 43, and they married in 1997, I believe that actually made her 27 when they married, hardly an unusual age to get married. She’s just the wrong choice for a man who should have known better and should have had better boundaries. He has impulse control problems around young girls, without question. The relationship has the “ew” factor big time for most people, and the way it all started doesn’t pass the smell test. But 2 wrongs don’t make a right, and if Dylan’s story was fabricated, as Moses is sadly saying today, that would make Mia a monster too. Why would she stay around him for 12 years and not break up with him, keep her children near him and adopt more children with him, i would have been out of there the first time i saw him flirting and sticking a thumb in a mouth suggestively. Something doesnt add up, why would you wait around hoping that a counselor could get him to stop doing the behaviors, and give him more opportunities to do the behaviors. I keep coming back to the idea that she put her children in harms way in order to continue starring in his popular films over 12 years time. It’s really hard for the public to know what to believe now, other than its a tangled f’ed up mess of a family tragedy now. Because knowing he has a pattern of impulse control problems where young girls are concerned makes it credible what Dylan is saying. So why didn’t her mother get her out of there much sooner. I can only logically conclude that both parents are flawed human beings and both Dylan and Soon-Yi are victims. As well as the other 13 children.

      • Jon says:

        You’re a moron.

    • Jason Mayland says:

      At age 19, Woody Allen married his first wife when she was 16.

      In his thirties, he wrote a story (and later filmed it) about a man who had a relationship with a sheep – a docile, gentle sheep, who couldn’t say no to his advances – and he didn’t see anything wrong with it.

      When he was 40, he had a relationship with a 16 year old extra on the movie Annie Hall. He later turned that relationship into a movie, Manhattan. His 42-year old writer character was dating a 17-year old character in the movie. They had several scenes in bed together. The age of consent is 17 in New York, but rather than choose an actress of legal age to play the part, he chose Muriel Hemingway, who was 16 at the time. Muriel later confessed that before filming those bedroom scenes with Woody, she had never even kissed a boy.

      In his 50s, Allen took nude pictures of teenage Soon Yi Previn, who was also his girlfriend’s adopted daughter and the sister of his own children. It’s only after these pictures were discovered that he declared his love for Soon Yi.

      These are just the facts I can think of off the top of my head.

      • Katerina says:

        Sorry but that still has nothing to do with pedophilia.

      • Susan says:

        1. There was nothing illegal about his first marriage.

        2. I assume you’re talking about the Gene Wilder part in Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex. If so, you’ve got to be kidding me if you think this proves anything in any larger context.

        3. According the Annie Hall actress your talking about, Stacey Nelkin, she was 17.

        4. Woody Allen did not force Muriel Hemingway to play that part.

        5. Soon-Yi was 21 when the photos were taken.

        Again, you have to start with correct facts.

        • Tessa says:

          Susan, you should really read the Vanity Fair article from 1992 by Maureen Orth. It’s a long, comprehensive look with over a dozen sources that were in the household and is very enlightening.

          However, for whatever reason, you are quite adamant in your defense of Woody Allen. It seems no matter what anyone says, you will defend Woody Allen, who you likely have never met. And you will definitively claim that Dylan Farrow has been lying for 20 years – since she was seven years old – about being molested. She has changed her name, endured an onslaught of terrible publicity and people such as yourself calling her a liar, for what?

          You are saying a middle-aged man marrying a 16 year old girl brings up no concerns; that concerns me.

          Let me “start with the correct facts:”

          Soon-Yi’s age is unknown. The government of South Korea guessed that she was 7 on her passport without having ever met her and upon her arrival in the U.S., Mia Farrow had doctors do a bone scan and they said Soon-Yi was 5 to 7. At the time of the photos, she was anywhere from 19 to 21 and had been in a relationship with Woody Allen for at least six months.

          Whether or not Woody Allen forced Muriel Hemingway to play the part (which no one alleged he did) does not change the fact that she was 16 and he hired her to play his romantic interest.

          You can at least admit, regardless of pedophilia, that a man in his late 50s having an affair with his girlfriend’s 19 to 21 year old daughter is seriously immoral and weird, not to mention creepy.

          Please keep an open mind long enough to read the Vanity Fair article with the babysitters, family friends, other children, shrinks and others’ accounts of what Woody Allen acted like with Dylan.

          Why not admit you don’t know the truth rather than jumping to discredit someone who has no benefit of sharing her very painful story? Your attachment to Woody Allen is strange. Also, the prosecutor did say they had more than enough to charge Woody Allen.

          • Joyce says:

            Its *Mariel*, not Muriel.

          • lilymaid says:

            many of you are missing the point This is about her emotional and intellectual development not her age. He focused on her because she had developmental issues and was very young EMOTIONALLY.

        • teenaged girls says:

          Actually even Allen will say she was 19 and the truth is she could have been 17 to 19. Because she started sneaking out the Summer before seeing someone she would not name, it is possible, probable that she was seeing him when she was as young as 16. Regardless, if you look at her from the time she was flat chested narrow hipped un made up and looked very much like a child. She was no teenager who looked 25. She was also quite plain, lets be honest, yet Allen was grooming her telling her she could “model”. Yeah, right. Look at the photos. He looked even older and she looked even younger. This was no Mia and Frank — as gross as that was.

      • Jon says:

        Works of fiction are not facts.

      • Gen says:

        Although his predilection towards very young women wouldn’t be considered admirable by most, connecting an attraction to post-pubescent but immature females to pedophilia is not how you are going to win this argument. Plenty of men are sexually attracted to teenagers, although they are culturally prohibited form admitting it. Any porn site is full of videos that advertise themselves as featuring “teens”. Although the last statement is obviously not a scientific observation (a self-selecting group frequents free porn websites obviously), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that a decent proportion of grown men are sexually attracted to recently matured girls. However, older men who engage in relationships with such young women are likely taking advantage of skewed power dynamics in a way that is likely morally indefensible to most.

        All that being said, raping a small child is a completely different matter. You are connecting two very different transgressions.

        • BrooklynWoman says:

          Yes, this. Woody Allen’s history suggests his sexuality is organized around young but sexually mature women — late adolescents. This is not the same thing as sexual attraction to pre-pubescents.

          There has never been another allegation of sexual molestation made against Woody Allen, before or since. Contrast this to Michael Jackson, a clear pedophile.

          Pedophilia is a specific disorder and pedophiles have an extremely difficult time modifying their behavior. They tend to be repeat offenders.

          Of course, I don’t know whether Woody Allen molested Dylan Farrow or not. But there’s enough murkiness in this case that it’s unreasonable to accuse someone who doesn’t pledge their “support” to Dylan Farrow of being morally impaired or blinded by celebrity or what have you.

  14. SweetWithaSideOfSass says:

    Beyond what she is saying now. If my dad married my adopted step sister…. I don’t even want to think about that! That should be against the law. That’s not called adoption that’s called Human Traffic. It’s a sad day for all women, men, children that were victimized and are scared to come out. They are afraid to tell their stories for many reasons. It takes a lot of courage to tell on a everyday man. She knows that she will have haters she admits that. BUT she also wanted to say her mind and make piece with it. She isn’t in the police station. So many people don’t come forward for the plan fact people might think they are lying. You say everyone feels that we have to believe them. I see cases all the time that people are like they are lying the other half thinks we should take their word. What’s in her name a strong women that has pushed past in all and made her peace in my eyes. She’s not in the spotlight like her brother she doesn’t want a claim to fame or her 15 minutes. She’s just never had closure or justice.

  15. mary says:

    Well-written and sustained by logic as well as passion. Thank-you.

    I was sexually abused by my own father. He was an alcoholic bum, exactly the stereotype of a child-rapist, yet he vehemently denied the abuse. Amazing.

    It disheartens me the way that so many have rallied to defend Woody Allen. Particularly Amanda Palmer, supposedly one of the voices of feminism nowadays.

    Thank-you.

    • Jon says:

      By your logic, any father who has a daughter is a potential rapist. All fathers should be convicted.

      • Wendy says:

        Woody? Is that you? You sure feel the need to respond to any comment speculating on Woody’s guilt. I think, “Jon”, that your job is done here. Time to troll somewhere else.

      • Concerned says:

        If these pathetic and disgraceful comments you’re leaving to every sensible person on here are any indication, you’re probably a pedo yourself like your idol Woody “child molester” Allen.

      • Henke says:

        It is true that any father who has a daughter can be a rapist , any man that has no children can be a rapist too. But that doesn’t mean all men are rapists what it means is that you can’t really say who is a rapist and who is not a rapist because there is no damn stereotype image on what a rapist “is”. Or is there some sort of unheard of logic that only you know of that there are certain traits that would spot a rapist in a crowd of men ?
        If so.. by all means share with the world because it would make lives of women a hell lot safer and less worrying.

  16. Greg says:

    As much as I love The New Inquiry, this article is a muddled mess. It does get a few important things right. For instance, I agree that it is a reasonable position to believe that it is more likely than not that Dylan’s accusations are true. However, the main argument of the article — that if you don’t accept Dylan’s account as true, you necessarily have to believe she’s lying — is simply false. I am 100% convinced that Dylan honestly believes what she’s saying. Nevertheless, it makes sense to exercise caution about her accusations, not “because rape culture,” but because the incident she is speaking of allegedly happened when she was seven years old. To the extent one believes in the pronouncements of modern neuroscience on the acquisition, retention and recall of childhood memories, a refusal to allow for doubt makes no sense. Childhood memories are notoriously unreliable, despite how sure people are of their childhood memories and how much vivid detail often surrounds them. Indeed, neuroscientists have found that the inclusion of vivid details in the recall of childhood memories formed before age 8 are a marker of unreliability, especially where traumatic events are concerned. Add to this the questions surrounding the various inconsistent and irregular investigations, and the fact that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were involved in a hostile, poisonous relationship at the time of the alleged incident, there is a substantial basis for leaving significant room for the possibility that Mia Farrow is the source of Dylan’s honest belief that Allen molested her.

    Another, separate question, however, is whether the Hollywood establishment should go out of its way to honor Allen with gala ceremonies and awards. That is indefensible. Even if one believes there is good reason to doubt these accusations, it is extremely bad form for the Hollywood establishment to celebrate and honor Allen’s work. They cannot know that these accusations are NOT true; indeed, there is a reasonable basis to believe they are likely true. Under those circumstances, when there is a reasonable basis to believe Allen is a child molester, how in the world does it make sense to fete him? Either they are taking the position that the accusations are false, which they can’t possibly know, or they are taking the position that it doesn’t matter whether they’re true or not. I’m not sure which position is more indefensible.

    • Mike B. (@epenthesis) says:

      I don’t think you can have your cake and eat it too. Proceeding under the assumption that he is innocent does not mean ignoring and shunning him and disregarding his body of work “just in case”–if he is in fact innocent, that would be horribly cruel. His work as a director and actor calls for recognition.

    • Joyce says:

      Good point Greg, I guess they really should not have honored him. Not at this time. I think time will tell. Will he be accused again in the future by the girls he adopted with Soon-Yi, or will more childrencome forward to confirm or deny, or come forward to explain the brainwashing techniques usec? He’s never cared for awards anyway, so why did they bother. I’m sure he would have rather not drudged all this up again. Painful to all concerned. It was a bad idea.

  17. I really wanted to read this, but I’m sorry to say that I could not finish.

    You didn’t provide any context for me to dive into and develop a foundation for your article. Your assumption is that I’ll know what Woody Allen “did,” and that misplaced assumption is bad writing technique/disinterest in developing readership. Obviously I can read between the lines and deduce, but that’s not good enough.

    Moving forward, please bear my comment in mind. Even prepending a simple news link which you find relevant to your post would be great.

    My aim is not to extend hostility, but to provide perspective. Thanks.

  18. Fatima says:

    “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong.”

    Oh. Okay?

    Sheesh. This entire column is literally claiming that facts don’t matter, because rape culture. It also ignores the very plausible idea that everyone in this believes what they are saying, and that no one actively lying. What I read is that Dylan’s story (amid a messy divorce) kept changing was one of the reasons this was not brought to trial. Testimony of children as evidence is notoriously unreliable and has lead to wrongful convictions — but, wait, do you even care? From what you write, no.

    It’s one thing to be a creep and date a 19 year old, but another to suddenly be a pedophile (you don’t seem to know what the word means or its pathology — look it up). I prefer to live in a society where such a leap at least gets to be questioned (and yes, defended!), without some hectoring column piece telling me that saying “we don’t know” is “silencing” the victim or calling her a liar (it’s worth noting that her open letter has been printed in every major publication).

    You are so certain in your entire world-view that looking at evidence is secondary. Nothing is case-by-case since all subscribe to a black-and-white rape culture view of the world, so I guess I can understand why you look down at the entire legal system or evidence in general. Unfortunately it makes for terribly unconvincing columns, undercuts your credibility and is obnoxiously self-serving.

    • Katerina says:

      Well put.

    • Rosewoman says:

      I certainly understand the trauma of seeing a criminal
      feted and celebrated rather than condemned: OT

      In 1947, Nancy Reagan’s father, the despised money hungry anti-everyone Chicago doctor, Loyal Davis, performed a prefrontal LOBOTOMY on my mama when he was only authorized for a normal surgery.
      When confronted after deleting her fine Irish mind, he stated unequivocally that our family should THANK HIM for returning a docile woman.
      His bill came 4 days later.

      To call Loyal Davis despised is not hyperbole. He was on the staff at the Maternity Center of Chicago, and his open and absolute contempt of the destitute black people who came to the Maternity Center during pregnancy was very well known and documented. The contempt was extended
      to the interns and residents below him. His hideous and corrupt values were known throughout the Medical community, and his unauthorized prefrontal lobotomys were recorded in his biography as well as Nancy’s.

      When I saw these bad values being celebrated and feted in the Reagan Presidency, day after day, year after year, I was sick. Although Ronnie was an affable fellow, the nasty material values were obvious. Ronald and Nancy Reagan did not spend ONE MINUTE in any social exchange that did not benefit THEM! And they taught and encouraged those same nasty diligence for all Americans.
      MONEY.

      • Joyce says:

        Interesting OT story, I’m so sorry for you.
        I also understand the trauma of seeing a criminal feted and celebrated rather than condemned. Its not proven that’s what happened here, but I do believe that’s what Dylan, and maybe some of the other children think. The award was a bad idea – drudging up pain for all concerned.

  19. Matt says:

    I wanted to add my brief thoughts in this topic because I have been very conflicted on it. I haven’t known what to think.

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but my very tiny leaning toward presuming innocence is not at all due to rape culture or assuming her lying. I have no idea what to think. I know, because I’ve studied the topic, that memories created through suggestion (especially in childhood) are a big problem in these cases, both sexual abuse and in more general cases of trauma. But at the same time, you can’t assume that’s what is happening or happened, because it strips the individual of their agency. Many people have been abused. Many secretly. Many in ways that have no corroborating evidence.

    This case was investigated at the time and the investigative team either found that he didn’t do it or that there was no evidence (I can’t tell which based on reports, they’re conflicting). If there was going to be a way to show his guilt, that would have been the time. But they didnt.

    Which doesn’t prove he’s innocent. And it doesn’t prove she’s mistaken or that she is lying. It just leaves a massive question mark that I have no idea what to do with. Everyone wants to pick a side but I feel like there is no way to pick one without making judgments about the other side that we can’t reasonably make.

    And there is something to be said for the continued victimization of an individual who was assaulted, and then must watch their attacker go without punishment, or even be celebrated. But at the same time, the horror of having one’s legacy destroyed by an untrue accusation, potentially ruining one’s career and the way people look at you as a human being can’t be discounted.

    Potentially worsening the pain of an innocent victim, taken advantage of by a figure of authority and celebrated by the world, versus potentially ripping down the life of ANYONE over a nasty dispute created in a bitter divorce, putting the scarlet letter of “child rapist” on their chest, is not a decision any one should every have to make.

    But make no mistake, the court of public opinion may not have the power to take away a persons freedom, but it does have the power to destroy the life a person has spent their entire life working for. There IS a responsibility there, because our willingness to damn him matters a great deal for an individual who spends their life on the public stage

    I don’t know what happened back then, and I don’t think most people ever will. Passing judgment on either side is a game of assumptions, and a game I’m personally unwilling to play, given the stakes. But if I say that he deserves no awards, should be marked in any way other than “accused,” that is a judgment. She may struggle with his face in the news receiving praise, but at the very least that does not necessitate judgment of her. It is a judgment of the deficiencies in our ability to punish the wicked and protect the innocent.

    That is my view and thought process, though I know many have one that is less nuanced and more influenced by rape culture. I just want to make it known that that’s not the only way to arrive at this conclusion.

    • Jon says:

      Excellent post. I would ad that Farrow too enjoys celebrity now as well as in the infamous Vanity Fair article.

      My only real concerns are, does she have an agent, and are the film rights available?

    • Anne says:

      Matt, thank you for this thoughtful response to this whole messy situation – this is largely how I’ve been feeling about it all. I feel that it’s a huge juggernaut, that highlights the very problem with publicity, celebrity, scandals and the ‘court of public opinion’. I’m so very exhausted by all the opinions… of both sides. I’ve voiced my own, because every time the public wants to lynch someone, in the name of ‘protecting’ another I just get my back up. I don’t even like Woody Allen, and I certainly don’t support pedophilia, and I even lean towards the belief that he probably did it, too. BUT WE DON’T KNOW. So, by all means, support Dylan in her healing and let her have her say, but can’t we offer sympathy to one without having to lynch the other? And if Hollywood wants to celebrate his movies, what does that have to do with Dylan? She doesn’t have to watch. It’s just that we are all so (justifiably) disgusted by the mere thought of pedophilia that we cannot even for a moment bear the notion of giving a potential offender the benefit of the doubt. Because that would be supporting rape culture. Again, something I feel strongly about too. But when the damage has been done, and we cannot lawfully convict the offender, we have to turn the other cheek and give our care and attention to the victim. Let Dylan heal, but fueling her hatred for Woody Allen is not a healing method. Forgiveness is. Forgive them both. Is that even a possibility?

  20. john says:

    Thank you for eloquently standing up in Dylan’s defense, and at the same time, illustrating just how utterly pervasive rape culture is.

    Understandably, people are reluctant to see those they admire are capable of this type of depravity. It’s a defense mechanism of course.

    By highlighting the unconscious conditioned response to the ‘he said, she said’ rape scenario, you’ve helped validate others who have been, and unfortunately have yet to be in this position .

    This really needed to be said, and you did so outstandingly.

  21. Peter C says:

    A neat little bundle, tied up with ribbon printed with the Law of the Exluded Middle, but too clever by half. It is entirely unnecessary to believe that Dylan is lying, to believe Woody Allen is 100% innocent of any wrongdoing.

    A lie is “a false statement or piece of information deliberately presented as being true” [AmHrtgDict 1969]. Thus, it is not necessary to believe that one is telling the truth, and the other is lying.

    Given such tragic incidents as the McMartin Preschool abuse trial in the 1980s when the public first learned of the difficulty of distinguishing between repressed memory of actual events and false memory syndrome, the truth in the Allen case may never be known.

    The whole situation is very unfortunate, but accusing those of us trying to evaluate the situation as best we can of necessarily believing Dylan to be a “liar” and thereby part of “rape culture” if we fail to lend credence to Dylan’s account is scurrilous and reprehensible. You should be ashamed of yourself if your implication was intentional, and you should read the dictionary and some recent history if it wasn’t.

  22. John Smith says:

    The presumption of innocence of those accused of crime is in the constitution of the United States of America, and it has nothing to do with rape culture. The burden of proof always rests with the state.

    • Federico Montini says:

      John, I think you got the main problem of the article. Presumption of innocence has NOTHING to do with rape culture.

  23. Awesome post . Thank you for, writing on this blog page dude. Ill email you soon. I didnt know that!

  24. Bob Westal says:

    Actually, it’s not THAT okay to assume Woody Allen is a child molester (far from proven) as well as something of a gigantic creep when it comes to his personal life. (Pretty much proven.) if the writer is wrong because there is also a third possibility which this writer fails to entertain.

    It’s entirely possible — indeed, it’s probably the most likely scenario — that every single person involved in this case (Woody, Mia, Dylan, etc.) is telling the exact truth as they know it to be. This writer lacks either the knowledge or the imagination to realize just how slippery a thing reality really can be.

    If this all seems too weird, just try reading about the McMartin Pre-school, watching “Rashomon” or reading “A Passage to India.” It is not rape culture to suggest that memories of sexual crimes can’t be induced, it’s just reality that we all need to live with.

    Also, since we’re talking about rape culture, what are we to make of Mia’s continued defense of Roman Polanski, who very definitely did drug and molest a 14 year old girl?

    • Joyce says:

      Yes, this case followed right on the heels of McMartin, and Farrow did not use proper questioning techniques, the guidelines that were created as a result of this witch hunt. I’ve always thought this. Younger adults may not realize that in fact there wad an epidemic of false accusations right around this time in American history, a child sex abuse hysteria. Its why I always reserved my judgment of Allen in this case.

  25. Bob Westal says:

    Actually, it’s not THAT okay to assume Woody Allen is a child molester (far from proven) as well as something of a gigantic creep when it comes to his personal life. (Pretty much proven.) if the writer is wrong. That’s because there is also a third possibility which this writer fails to entertain.

    It’s entirely possible — indeed, it’s probably the most likely scenario — that every single person involved in this case (Woody, Mia, Dylan, etc.) is telling the exact truth as they know it to be. This writer lacks either the knowledge or the imagination to realize just how slippery a thing reality really can be.

    If this all seems too weird, just try reading about the McMartin Pre-school, watching “Rashomon” or reading “A Passage to India.” It is not rape culture to suggest that memories of sexual crimes can be induced, it’s just reality that we all need to live with. They can be induced, by the way, without anyone actually realizing that they inducing them. It happens

    Also, since we’re talking about rape culture, what are we to make of Mia’s continued defense of Roman Polanski, who very definitely did drug and molest a 14 year old girl?

    • c.s. says:

      I agree with this 100%. You have to look at all the possibilities. Rape culture is far too common in our society, but wanting to look at this from all perspectives is NOT supporting said culture.

      Also, the Polanski thing is a disgrace. True, Farrow’s friendship with Polanski has nothing to do with who is being honest and who is not, but it definitely shows her hypocrisy and suggests to me that she has a strange view of the world.

    • SMH says:

      Good grief. Mia Farrow is not friends with Roman Polanski, nor did she support him. She testified at his trial in 2005 regarding a dinner party they both attended. She was asked if she -personally- had seen him act in a manner that was inappropriate that evening. She answered the question – no she hadn’t. End of story. That’s her “support”? And she is not friends with Polanski now. She was asked this specifically on twitter last week and she said she isn’t.
      Also, that petition in support of Polanski? It was presented to both Mia Farrow and Woody Allen. Only one of them signed it, and it wasn’t Mia Farrow.

      People have to stop using the Daily Beast article, written by Allen’s good friend by the way, as fact or evidence.

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  27. Ben says:

    Mr. Bady woke up one cold winter morning and thought, “today, today I’ll say something to the world.” But he hasn’t yet had his coffee and he’s still in that half-awake kind of consciousness where last night’s dreams still feel real. So he writes things like, “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong” and “It’s a good thing that juries… can’t take account of Occam’s Razor” without minding that they’re such departures from reason that they don’t mean anything – that in a few hours, he’ll return to the article and think, “why the hell did I write that?” Because Mr. Bady is a doctoral blogger, that special kind of liminal professional for whom accountability only really matters when one feels like it. Because this morning, he woke up and thought, “today, today I’ll say something to the world.”

  28. Seeker64 says:

    ” If you want to vigorously claim ignorance–to assert that we can never know what happened, in that attic–then you must ground that lack of knowledge in the presumption that what she has said doesn’t count, and we cannot believe her story.” This is a false premise. You are conveniently validating your own prejudice by making it a black only or white only alternative. The question is: which of the two is the most reliable witness? My mom has Alzheimer’s and is utterly convinced that my 80-year old dad cheats on her while we all know that it is factual impossibility. It is absolutely true in her head. Based on the available facts, either Woody, Mia or Dylan do not appear to be the most balanced of people. Intellectual honesty then leaves no choice than to invoke ignorance or at least to hold judgment and to defer to the judicial system, for lack of a better solution. This is not a star-struck hypocrite way to choose sides at one of the parties’ expense.

  29. Anon says:

    Who would read this nonsense?

  30. Jane says:

    wow. that’s heavy. thank you. Finally someone making sense.

  31. Mark says:

    Woody Allen passed a polygraph. Mia Farrow refused to take one.

    This isn’t a problem for the lynch mob?

  32. Joe says:

    Your piece is so poorly written, and your argument so haphazardly presented, that I hardly know where to begin. Nonetheless, I will try to respond to some of your points:

    “This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.”

    Nice twist of phrase here, making Ms. Farrow, rather than Mr. Allen, the defendent in this scenario. Also, you are building a straw man by suggesting that those who don’t believe her version of events think she’s lying. Speaking just for myself, I don’t think she’s lying; I *suspect* (just as you suspect that Mr. Allen is guilty, for whatever reason) that she is the victim of a spiteful, manipulative adoptive mother who has exploited her, brainwashing her in order to gain revenge on Mr. Allen. I think it’s likely that Dylan Farrow believes what she is saying.

    “If you are saying things like ‘We can’t really know what happened’ and extra-specially pleading on behalf of the extra-special Woody Allen…”

    Whoa; wait a minute! You’re equating these two points of view, again building a straw man. I personally do say things like (*exactly* like, in fact) “We can’t really know what happened,” but I don’t think Woody Allen or anyone else should be “extra-special” in the eyes of the law.

    “…then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers.”

    Again, wrong. I believe that in a hypothetical court of law, her claim absolutely deserves to be taken seriously, as does Mr. Allen’s presumed innocence. Privately, as I previously stated, I have my opinion of what happened here, as do you, but that has no relevance to what should be assumed in a trial situation

    “You are saying that he is on trial, not her”

    Well, yeah; if this particular case were brought to trial, Mr. Allen would be the defendent, of course.

    “…he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.”

    So which is it – “judicial safeguards” or “freedom not to be judged in the court of public opinion”? Last I checked, this was at least nominally a free country, where those who happen to disagree with your viewpoint should be just as free to express their own.

    “…if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.”

    Oh come on. That false premise isn’t even worth attacking. The particulars of this case are exceptional, with two wealthy, famous, and, from all appearances, entitled people involved. (I use “entitled” in the modern sense of someone who feels that their fame and wealth exempts them from conventional standards of behavior.)

    “…Woody Allen cannot be presumed to be innocent of molesting a child unless she is presumed to be lying to us.”

    Again, wrong. See above.

    “To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it.”

    Obviously you do, yes.

    “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong.”

    What?! I can’t make sense out of that statement.

    “…sexual violence is incredibly, horrifically common, much more common than it is for women to make up stories about sexual violence in pursuit of their own petty, vindictive need to destroy a great man’s reputation. We are in the midst of an ongoing, quiet epidemic of sexual violence, now as always.”

    No argument here. But the fact that sexual violence is all too common has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on whether Mr. Allen is guilty or innocent. Your argument is like saying that if I were to accuse you of walking into a school with a gun and opening fire on the students, just my accusation alone means you’re probably guilty, because gun violence and school shootings are incredibly, horrifically common in our society.

    “All things being equal, it’s more likely that the man who has spent a lifetime and a cinematic career walking the line of pedophilia (to put it mildly)…”

    Mr. Allen has hinted in his work at an attraction to young WOMEN. Not prepubescent girls. If you can’t see the difference…I really don’t know what to tell you.

    “…all things being equal, the explanation that doesn’t require you to imagine a conspiracy of angry women telling lies for no reason is probably the right one.”

    I don’t imagine a conspiracy of angry women. I imagine one angry, perhaps somewhat unbalanced woman, exerting power over her offspring to gain revenge on her former lover.

    “…people who have directed documentaries about you will write lengthy essays in the Daily Beast tearing down the testimony of your accusers.”

    This part of your piece particularly irritated me. It’s not *essays* written by *people* who have directed *documentaries* about Woody Allen; *one* essay in the Daily Beast was written by *one person* (who has a name, Robert B. Weide) who has directed *one documentary* about Woody Allen. You casually suggest that there is some sort of vast media conspiracy to exonerate Mr. Allen, which is sloppy journalism.

    “…if you are a woman who has accused a great film director of molesting you when you were seven, the starting point is the presumption that, without real evidence, you are not telling the truth.”

    Once again, my own opinion a) is irrelevant to what would be determined in a court of law, and b) has nothing to do with Mr. Allen’s occupation. It has to do with my impression (based on evidence perhaps every bit as flimsy as your own, admittedly) that Mia Farrow is a little bit unhinged.

    “And when she is silent, the Daily Beast does not rise to her defense.”

    Again, his name is Robert B. Weide. His name is not “the Daily Beast.”

    “In a rape culture…”

    Get over yourself. Rape culture, shmape culture. Yes, too many women – and men – are being raped. Even one person being raped is too many. However, it’s also worth keeping in mind that accusations of sexual abuse, particularly when children are involved, are so fraught that even an accusation itself, however unfounded, can ruin an accused person’s life. The Allen/Farrow incident cannot be viewed under the umbrella of a hackneyed phrase like “rape culture”; the circumstances are just too exceptional.

    “It is important that we presume he is innocent. It is not important that we presume she is not making it all up out of female malice.”

    Again, straw man.

    “In a rape culture, you can say things like ‘We can’t really know what really happened, so let’s all act as if Woody Allen is innocent (and she is lying)’…”

    Your piece really starts to become repetitious, tedious, and irritating well before this point, so I’ll stop here.

    Incidentally, you didn’t actually read Robert B. Weide’s piece in the Daily Beast, did you? I think you might want to do that. It presents an argument that I find much more cogent and compelling than yours – not because I was predisposed to presume that Mr. Allen is innocent or anything of the sort, but simply because Weide actually recounts *facts* about the case, unlike yourself, and sounds far less emotionally invested in his opinion to boot.

    • Gail says:

      That article onDailyBeast that you claimed is so credible is written by a Allen friend and biographer. So of course he would have no reason be biased in favor of Mr. Allen, would he?

      • Mag says:

        Gail, the Daily Beast article points directly to the public record on every point its author makes, thus backing up his assertions with facts. When he expresses an opinion, he says he is expressing an opinion. I’d wager that you haven’t read the article.

      • SMH says:

        Funny how that was left out of his list of credits at the end of the piece.

    • c.s. says:

      I agree with absolutely every point you’ve made. Thank you, ‘Joe’.

  33. Andy says:

    “This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her… you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers. You are saying that he is on trial, not her: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but she does not.”

    What the writer fails to acknowledge though is that her statement, her accusation, that was positing a claim. Examining it, and questioning it, is NO way putting his presumption of innocence above hers, and to say so is rhetorically flawed.

    “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right. Because I am not on Woody Allen’s jury, I can be swayed by the fact that sexual violence is incredibly, horrifically common, much more common than it is for women to make up stories about sexual violence in pursuit of their own petty, vindictive need to destroy a great man’s reputation.”

    So because this (violence against women) happens, he’s probably guilty, because, like statistics, and stuff – the establishment of mens rea, actus reas, and attendant circumstances be damned, according to this writer. Yes, men are more likely to commit these crimes, but statistical likelihood doesn’t provide us the evidence that HE did THIS crime. Statistical likelihood is NOT evidence, no matter how you spin it.

    “What is the burden of proof for assuming that a person is lying? If you are a famous film director, it turns out to be quite high. You don’t have to say a word in your defense, in fact, and people who have directed documentaries about you will write lengthy essays in the Daily Beast tearing down the testimony of your accusers.”

    So, people can’t write anything in his support? Why not?And NO, he doesn’t have to say a word in his defense – no one does, BY LAW, because the burden of proof is on the accuser.

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  35. Andy says:

    I understand why this is a heated subject. Victims of abuse should be encouraged to come forward. But, in a sane, rational society, one where conviction contains great consequences, we must (with sensitivity and empathy) carefully examine claims, again, to discover truth. Investigating Dylan’s claims is correct, whether we like it or not.

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  38. Wow says:

    Thanks now we’re all stupider.

  39. Stonebits says:

    The Soon-Yi Preven thing was creepy enough in and of itself that I haven’t been able to watch any of his movies since–despite the fact that many of them were important touchstones in my early adulthood. It all feels part of a single (icky) fabric.

  40. Minona says:

    Thing is, the behaviour of Mia Farrow has been so utterly bizarre, and you have to remember that Hollywood lifestyles are so f***ed up in ways ordinary folk simply can’t begin to comprehend… that normal rules simple don’t apply no matter how ardently you attempt to apply them. The most bizarre thing with Allen is the relationship with his present wife and how it came about, but then you realize how strange that whole scene is and people may well cling to eachother in such unlikely circumstances …for that very reason!

    Other than that, Allen has offered psychological reports of both himself and his adopted daughter and has submitted polygraph tests, and spoken openly about it. There’s also a lot of money to be made out of out-of-court settlements, so you can imagine that perhaps Dylan Farrow’s desired lifestyle is not being adequately funded.

    • Gail says:

      Of course the lying girl with the crazy mother wants money! Because the opposite cannot be true! How can a wonderful director be guilty of something as heinous as child abuse? It’s not as if he had ever done anything similar!

      Except of the part that he did.

  41. Eric says:

    Then what about both nannies? Are they liars too? Are they less credible because they are the help?

    http://articles.latimes.com/1993-02-02/news/mn-952_1_woody-allen

  42. WOW. one of the best pieces I’ve ever read about this. Well done.

  43. autumn says:

    Thank you.

  44. Mieke E says:

    This is absolutely the best, most articulate piece I have read on this debate. It expresses to a T, and far more eloquently, what I have been trying to say every time someone pulls out that Daily Beast article in these debates. Excellent. Just completely spot-on.

  45. Rosemary L'Esprit says:

    Thank you. Two things: If you’ve read very much at all about Dylan, you know that she has been traumatized and has had to fight for her emotional health since this happened. And the D.A. thought he did it; they felt certain he did, but knew they didn’t have enough evidence to make it stick in court (which is often the case with crimes like this.) Thank you for the incisive essay.

  46. M says:

    This is well-reasoned, but there’s a big assumption here — the presumption that Dylan is lying is the only way in which Allen could be innocent. That doesn’t have to be the case, at all. In my opinion, it is very possible that Allen is (mostly) innocent and Dylan is not (intentionally) lying.

    Consider a number of facts about the case: Dylan was 7 years old at the time. Seven year olds have a notoriously fungible memory. At the time she first said that Allen had not touched her vagina, then she said he did, then she said he didn’t. The investigators from the hospital concluded that her testimony changed radically and that there had not been sexual molestation. Who was closer to the evidence than them? Certainly they were much closer to it than any of us out here reading articles and open letters online.

    But I don’t think Dylan/Malone is lying. I’m sure she was traumatized by what happened and believes what she says. That does not mean her memory is necessarily accurate, and it isn’t even completely clear what she claims Allen did.

  47. Robin McDuff says:

    You are assuming that Dylan must be lying to believe that Woody did this if he is innocent (and visa versa). The history of child abuse accusations shows that this assumption is not true and their is a third possibility: that she has a false memory of this act. Their is a mountain of evidence that both children and adults can develop false memories of past events. A number of false child abuse accusations – Kern county, McMartin, et. al. – brought this reality home. For a review of some of the evidence (now corroborated in multiple scientific reviews) see Bruck and Ceci: http://www.arts.uwaterloo.ca/~doneill/cogsci600/Kenyon.pdf

  48. David B says:

    Great, Aaron. I think you are a rapist child molester. I don’t have any proof, but your argument is I don’t need any to make any reckless comment I choose.

  49. Sharon Ellis says:

    I have to believe you are correct; Woody Allen is likely guilty. I suppose the horror of all this is twofold. He is married to another family member, years and years younger than he, whom he married, at least in part, to distract from the allegations of child abuse. And, of course, he has two adopted girl children….and do we believe that he is not abusing those girls, too? I don’t know if that is the case, and I don’t trust that he isn’t.

    His actions have left a lovely young woman hurting, disrupted the relationships of another young woman, and has access to other little girls who aren’t his biological children. It’s nauseating to think about. His body of work doesn’t make up for the damage.

    YMMV……of course.

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    • Velvinette says:

      Soon-Yi was not a minor when she got involved with Woody, nor was she his step-daughter. I’m not taking sides but keeping facts facts.

  51. Jo Staff says:

    The fact that Woody Allen molested and took naked photos of his teenaged step daughter and admitted it is proof enough for me. Everyone in Hollywood who wants to laud him seems to think the fact that he later married her made what he did Okay. I don’t see how anyone would take his word over the word of a possible other victim.

    • Mike B. (@epenthesis) says:

      Um, she was 19. That’s not molestation.

      She was also not his stepdaughter.

      The situation with Soon-Yi was indubitably sketchy but there’s no need to overstate it. It was not in any way comparable to child molestation.

      • Kevin says:

        don’t you think the Soon-Yi thing raises questions about boundaries, i.e. Woody doesn’t really respect them? for someone who has such incredible insight into the dynamics of families, romantic relationships and betrayal (see Jasmine, Blue) how can he pretend, as he apparently does, that he doesn’t understand why or how the Soon-Yi relationship devastated Mia and her children? the Soon-Yi relationship and Woody’s undisputed ability to understand its profound implications on the human beings around him…makes hims a very scarey guy

  52. m26-7 says:

    There is a scenario in which they could both be innocent. The one suggested by the investigators, i.e. that she was coached by Mia Farrow until it became her ‘truth’. That can happen with little kids.

  53. Nica says:

    Thank you.

  54. J.D. Hildebrand says:

    Brilliant. Thank you for this.

  55. James Sherman says:

    You say, “you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time.” Yes, you can. Woody Allen can be innocent and Dylan Farrow can be telling the truth at the same time IF Dylan Farrow, as a 7 year old, was led to believe that she was abused by the manipulations of her mother and counselors. It’s called False Memory Syndrome.
    Woody Allen was not charged with molesting Dylan because he was a famous director but because there was no physical evidence found to substantiate the claim brought by Mia Farrow. Yes, you are entitled to your opinion, but Woody Allen was subjected to “judicial apparatus” and he was found innocent.
    I think it is very likely that Mia Farrow was a bitter female twenty years ago and is still bitter. This story has come back into the news because of the bitter comments she made on Twitter.
    My opinion is that both Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow are unfortunate victims.

    • Lynn says:

      He was NOT found innocent as the trial did not proceed. The prosecutor felt that it would be too hard on Dylan, but publicly said he had grounds to prosecute.

      Two other key facts:
      1) He was already in therapy for “inappropriate” behavior with Dylan. Apparently this involved staring at her, following her around, refusing to allow anyone else to talk to her, etc.
      2) He LOST custody of all 3 of his children, including his biological son. The judge ruled that he was completely unequipped to parent. Given that, it is appalling that he was later allowed to adopt.

      I will never know what happened. I understand that they could both be telling their own truths. But, what has bothered me the most is his response through his attorney and publicist. Would you call your own child’s letter “disgusting”? Or would you be more likely to say something like “It is tragic that Dylan has suffered so much because of my breakup with her mother. I never harmed her and I can’t explain why she thinks I did. I know it never happened. All I can say is that I miss her every day and reading her open letter broke my heart.” Isn’t that more of what you’d expect from a father? He could deny it without trashing his daughter.

      • Mag says:

        He didn’t call her letter disgusting. He called it disgraceful, which has an entirely different meaning and connotation. He has already said that both he AND Dylan are victims in this drama.

  56. deeble says:

    “If you are saying things like “We can’t really know what happened” [...] then you are saying that his innocence is more presumptive than hers.”

    Nope. You’re saying that, due to a distinct lack of evidence, the whole thing is currently impossible for a third party to rule on. Which it is.

    “His presumption of innocence can only be built on the presumption that her words have no credibility, ”

    The same could be said of any pair of accusers and defendants. So no defendant can be innocent in your eyes, as this would necessarily mean the accuser is lying?

    Your argument has zero basis in law, and has collapsed.

    “To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it, though, of course, I could be wrong. But it’s okay if I’m wrong.”

    No. It isn’t. That’s why there are defamation laws.

  57. tenenbaum says:

    Wouldn’t the burden of proof be very low, not very high, if you’re a famous director, like if you’re a famous politician? Or are film directors part of the corrupt aesthetic cult, while other people take to serious matters, like political narratives and promoting misogynistic- err, I mean misandric- handbags?

    No chance of Mia’s fury and bipolarity spanning throughout 1992 at finding herself without an acting career, no chance of some of the children ganging up on each side of the combat lines in pursuit of their own financial support, then. Is there also a space for the supernatural in your thought, then, do you think someone goes to a high voltage place like Frog Hollow to perpetuate the ultimate risky and self-destructive act? Or is this typical behavior of the male gender, when 50 year old men like 20 year olds, they obviously also like 7 year olds? Did Moses speak of brainwashing, is he a liar? Are the nannies also part of the rape culture?

    As for a rape culture, not so sure about that. I’d say we mostly live in a reproductive culture. See, what happens in a reproductive culture is families/parents farm out children so that those children go fight children of other parents in foreign lands. The reason why the birth rate fell, and only in the western world, is because only in the western world did the idea of pensions come up– so it’s a pretty much established fact that children are a substitute for pension funds.

  58. Beth Jukuri says:

    Thanks so much for showing how we are seen as liars IF he is to be seen as innocent. And, how foolish it is to assume she is simply out there making false reports.

    The rape culture isn’t something I had heard before expressed like this before. And, it needs to be said…to support the victims of abuse.

    Thanks for supporting us. This is what is needed for more to break the silence. Sadly, when we break the silence, we open ourselves up to being trashed, instead of the abuser.

    Beth Jukuri

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  60. Croa Toan says:

    “But “he said, she said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assume she’s lying,” except in a rape culture”

    That’s just the logic of accusations. When somebody, male or female, makes an accusation the burden of proof is on the accuser.

    The rest of your article, about how we’re “empowered” to say whatever we want about somebody’s guilt or innocence without any evidence, is irresponsible nonsense. Public opinion most certainly has consequences for its subjects. This is obvious to most people who aren’t rushing out linkbait under the guise of feminism. I’m curious if you’d motivate us to practice our empowered opinions when it came to something like slut shaming or gossip about a woman’s sexual history.

  61. Gervayse Hastings says:

    This situation is not a Western shoot-out between Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen. There is a way to respect Dylan Farrow’s right to tell her story in public while, at the same time, suspending judgment. To turn this into a war between good and evil, rape culture and oppressed women, is to create a melodrama in which you are either the hero or the villain. That is profoundly irresponsible.

    There is a reason why “libel” is an offense. It is a serious matter to simply assume someone’s guilt based upon a single source of evidence. To suggest that someone who suspends their judgement – by not succumbing to the temptation to play God and condemn a seventy eight year old man who has not been convicted of anything – is somehow siding with “rape culture” is to turn the problem of moral responsibility upside down. The burden is on the “accuser” to prove their case – not upon the person who suspends their judgment to explain why they have not joined the lynch mob.

    Of course, everyone respects the fact that it requires courage to stand up to someone who has really raped a person. However, Dylan Farrow is in no danger of having her livelihood and reputation destroyed – because her accusations can never be dis-proven. That means that her burden is necessarily greater than that of the accused. That is not “rape culture”. That is an acknowledgement of the nature of public accusations.

    If you really want to present a case that Woody Allen did it, it is your burden to sift through the evidence available from the police investigation – and really ‘put a case together’ that he did it. It is not enough to simply say, “if you don’t join me in condemning a man who hasn’t been convicted of anything, you are a rape apologist.” It is your moral responsibility to do more work than that if you are going to indulge in the smug self-satisfaction that condemning other people affords.

  62. Chris says:

    Lying isn’t as serious of a crime as sexually abusing a child.
    This is why we presume Allen is innocent before we treat him as a sex offender. While this implicitly means assuming Farrow isn’t telling the truth(not necessarily lying by the way), but that is how it works with all crimes.

  63. Kash says:

    Aaron,
    I agree with so much of what you say. I have believed the people who have come forward to say they were sexually assaulted by notable celebrities in the past – at the very least, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I am not a big Woody Allen fan. I thought the whole situation between Allen and his girlfriend’s daughter (SoonYi) reeked of a trashy Maury Povich episode. But, it was none of my business and I didn’t really care about it. After Dylan Farrow’s letter was published many many people responded to it on a very visceral level. Why would she make it up? It must be true. One of them must be lying because they cannot both be innocent. For those of us who believe there are shades of grey, actually there is a third possibility – that they ARE both innocent victims.
    I don’t think Dylan Farrow is knowingly lying but I do believe it is POSSIBLE that she is telling a story that was fabricated by another person. I would ask everyone to look objectively at the facts. And it is a fact that, in high conflict custody cases, angry wounded parents have been known to make up outrageous lies about the other parent.
    It is quite easy to plant a false memory in a child’s mind and then constantly reinforce that memory until it becomes real. You can do your own research – unless you are one of those people who just knee jerk make up your mind based on a feeling. Child rape is real. Parental Alienation is also real. I think it is possible that Dylan is a victim of parental alienation. I don’t know one way or another. I do know that her mother is a manipulative liar who perjured herself when she swore under oath that Ronan Farrow was Woody Allen’s child and demanded child support. We now find out that, in fact, Woody is probably not his father. This is an important and seemingly overlooked fact since it was Mia who made sure that the molestation allegations were made public. My heart goes out to Dylan – she has obviously and genuinely suffered and there is no doubt that she has been victimized. We just don’t know by whom.

  64. Deb Siverson says:

    Well said. I had not thought about a rape culture.

  65. Arseleo Selear says:

    What is it? “… if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.”

    In other words, the presumption of innocence is not working any more?

  66. No says:

    1. You set up a false dichotomy. Choosing not to presume is an option, nor does believing one thing negate the possibility of another. For example, I believe D. Farrow is not lying. A) This does not mean I’m right. B) It is not evidence of anything. C) The possibility that Allen is innocent is not negated by my belief.

    2. You are implicating “us” through guilt by association. That has nothing to do with knowledge, and nothing to do with truth. You cannot bully your way into being right, no matter how justifiable it seems to you. Ends do not justify means.

    3. As a journalist engaging in reporting a matter in the public sphere, you A) Do possess very real power to harm people, B) Do have a responsibility to report things accurately and ethically. C) Are liable for libel/slander.

    3. That the law–and more abstractly justice or presumption of innocence (even of social pariah) only applies in court is an absurd, dangerous, and anarchistic argument. You could not be more wrong there.

    4. Dylan is not on trial. Presumption of innocence applies to the accused, not to the accuser. If you don’t understand why this must be, you have bigger problems than a lack of understanding of journalistic principles or a potentially harmful and undeniably responsible use of your medium.

    5. Allen is on trial. You say so yourself. You are appointing yourself counsel, denying him defense, appointing yourself jury, and appointing yourself judge. That’s a lot of power for someone with no grasp of logic or due process. Wield it with care.

    6. Two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how much you twist the truth or employ fallacicious reasoning to try to make it happen. So despite what I state I believe, you can tear down my character all you want, accuse me of rape culturing, or murdering all the children of the world if it pleases you (I know I’ve done none of those things); it still won’t make your reasoning any more or less sound.

    7. We do not know. Period. Suspecting is not knowing, and there is a reason our laws execute punishment/injury based on knowledge, and not suspicion.

    8. This is a petty and unethical line of reasoning. Despite your motives and despite what happened in that attic, you should be ashamed.

    • Gervayse Hastings says:

      This is a brilliant and concise response to the article.

    • Gervayse Hastings says:

      This really is an outstanding response. I’ve read through all the comments. Some of them are quite articulate – but, this is, by far, the most systematic explanation of why the article is a terrible piece of journalism.

      I have re-read this several times – because it really gets at something fundamental about why the kind of Manichean thinking in the article is so insidious . . . The use of “rape culture” is another form of McCarthyism. It is a catch-all to taint anyone who evokes our right to the presumption of innocence and due process. It is becoming distressingly more prevalent – and it must be stamped out by those (such as the poster above) who are articulate enough to do so decisively.

      Thank you very much, again, for your contribution. If we could just recall the principles articulated in it, we would be a more just society.

  67. Bob says:

    What a load of crap.

  68. Ann says:

    Excuse me for any lack of eloquence in my repose, I’m not a professional at this.

    It seems to me there could be reasons why Dylan Farrow truly believes she was molested (planted memories), and therefore, while she’s being honest, she’s also not telling the truth. We simple can’t know for sure. It doesn’t have to be either or: either she’s lying or Allen’s lying. It could be both and it could also be neither.

    It’s also not about misogyny or misandry. The situation is split and to sit on the sidelines and say he was very probably guilty of this very serious charge is dangerous and does truth a great injustice.

    For the record, I’m an abuse and rape survivor myself. One of my perpetrators was a well known and well loved public figure and when I tried to speak out about the abuse people quite literally turned their backs on me and I was shunned. Some even knew he was guilty, yet they were more emotionally invested in him, which must have made me more disposable. It was unsurprising, but painful.

    Your words are intelligently stated, yet drenched in emotion. Look again from a distance and you’ll see how complex the situation is and how you can’t possible know for sure what happened, even though the statistical odds are on your side.

    As for me, I’ll always have my doubts about Allen, and I my heart is with Dylan. She’s in a terrible position. I wish for her healing and her peace.

  69. Mr. D says:

    Wonderfully said, and a perfect response to that terrible piece that appeared on Daily Beast.

    My father was a well-respected teacher. He charmed everyone he met with his killer smile and eccentric ways. He was surrounded by legions of people who would do anything for him, and saw him as a champion and a man among men.

    He’s been dead for two years now, and this will be the first time I have written this in a public forum; he was also a pedophile, and I was one of his many victims.

    Like you, I don’t know what happened between Woody Allen and Dylan Farrow, and probably never will. But reading the piece on the Daily Beast brought back some memories, to be sure. As I read it, I saw the faces of my father’s friends…the intellectuals who laughed and shook their heads when accusations were made. I see the high school football players who idolized him getting angry at anyone who dared disparage his name. Those people could have written that article.

    Then I see the faces of the angry parents and siblings of the students he molested. We have a unique last name and lived in a relatively small city. There were many times that people would hear my last name and I would see a wave of recognition cross their face. It was always followed by one of two things; high praise of what an amazing man my father was, or spitting fury.

    And now I see Dylan’s face. My face. It’s very confusing to be so violated by someone you are meant to trust, like a parent. “Is this wrong? Do I somehow deserve this?”

    “I should definitely stay quiet about this.”

    People wonder why any child would stay quiet about such a crime. Read the article at Daily Beast again and read it through the eyes of Dylan. Then you may understand.

  70. Juan says:

    “The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time.”

    You can, actually. His claim seems to be that Mia put the ideas in Dylan’s head back then, and it is possible that she did, and that Dylan came to believe that it really happened. Suggestion can be powerful and memory can be false.

    • lilymaid says:

      the Mia planting argument is what the public finds palpable and so it flies It supplants any need to make a decision

  71. William Baker says:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/27/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast.html

    So the answer to we cannot say both are innocent *we actually can If its Mia Farrow that is the source of her saying this things about Woody Allen and infact it was years of brain washing at the Farrow household that made her believe it* is that we automatically believe the girl because…..

    1.Shes a woman.
    2.Shes young and was young at the time of the allegations first appearance
    3.Woody Allen is man.

    that is at least what I came away with from this blog post.

    • lilymaid says:

      your comments are incredible. How can you say..she is a woman and Woody is a man….incredible. How many cases have appeared where a female teacher has abused a student.
      Your rationale comes right out of Victorian times. Shame on you.

  72. P Lam says:

    What a stupid article. I’m still trying to figure out if it is satirical. What adult would subscribe to such idiotic lines of thought?

  73. Katerina says:

    That article is very much to the point. However, I think that it grossly misrepresents the public’s response to Dylan Farrow’s accusations, which has been overwhelmingly sympathetic (she even went on record to Kristof about how “heartened” she is by the response.) I would argue that Allen’s fame – which most people seem to believe protected him the first time around – is a double-edged sword; maybe if he was a nobody he wouldn’t have gotten away with his presumed crime – or maybe he would; lots of nobodies have. (Also, let it be said that Mia Farrow was not some poor unknown when the matter went to court, so money and influence were definitely on both sides.) But if he had been an unknown, there is no way in hell the NYT would be interested in running an open letter penned by the (supposed) victim twenty years later, because no one would care. Therefore, she is lucky he’s famous – this is why she is able to get back at him twenty years on; a well-publicized attack in the media can achieve what the legal system no longer can. She clearly means to inflict damage, and it’s obvious she has – and not only on him, but also on his wife and their children, one of whom is definitely old enough to understand what’s going on. Wanting to inflict damage, twenty years later, on the person who damaged you in the first place is perfectly understandable. But let’s call a spade a spade – this is revenge, not catharsis.

    But aside from that, my problem with the open letter is that it essentially blackmails everyone who has ever worked with Allen in a professional capacity (these people are not his friends!) into some sort of public statement on what is a sordid private tragedy, and that statement better be one of condemnation; she is essentially saying it’s time for every actor, every famous person who has professionally associated themselves with Allen to stand up and say he is a bad person and they won’t work with him again – or else they are as bad as he is; she is publicly labeling them a coward and hypocrite or, in a brilliant new insult, a “rape culturist” right there. It’s asking the media and the film industry not to recognize the quality of his recent film, because the art and the man are one – to her at least.

    And all of this bugs me. I think Cate Blanchett said the only thing she possibly could in this context. Not participating in this PR game does not equal condoning crime.

  74. Teo Deen says:

    First of all, this is an excellent piece. However, I find it strange that the author points to the freedom we have as public spectators not directly involved in adjudicating the case to empower us to rush to judgment (one way or another) when it is equally true that such freedom gives us the luxury to remain 100% faithful to both commitments–to the victims of sexual assault, on the one hand, and to the presumption of innocence for the accused, on the other. We need neither condemn the victim as liar nor her accused as rapist. It’s an admittedly difficult equipoise to maintain, but I think, in the end, it is really the only morally appropriate response.

  75. anon says:

    “The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time. One of them must be saying something that is not true. ”

    It’s actually easy to do, since Dylan Farrow, age 7, in the middle of her parents terribly nasty divorce was innocent, and too young to be a reliable recorder then, or a reliable reporter now.

    Bob Weide’s account makes clear what was going on: parental alienation as well as coaching of Dylan by Mia Farrow.

    My kids aren’t responsible for the statements they made in court. They were coached by their mother and placed in an environment where I was hated and they were encouraged to believe the worst things about me.

    It is not privileging Woody to disbelieve Dylan. It is merely acknowledging that children are not reliable recorders or reporters, that custody battles bring out the worst, and that false memory syndrome is very real.

  76. Rita says:

    Why are we the judge and jury? Especially decades later, after she has been asked to repeat this story so many times from age 7, and it was so well published at the time. This was investigated for a long time by a number of professionals, why we now feel prepared to have anything to say in reference to people you we nothing about?

    Also, there is continually an implication of “blaming the victim.” That phrase is entirely misapplied. Blaming the victim is when a woman is raped, and they say ‘well it was her fault for wearing those clothes, drinking those drinks, being out late, etc.’ In this case the child who made the accusations was and continues to be believed and well supported by her mother, close family and countless professionals. And no one, even those who think this story has changed a lot over the years, and could be attributed to the nature of the way memories rewrite themselves over time, is saying that if it happened at all, it was her fault. So I urge everyone to just take that phrase out of their vocabulary as regards this case.

  77. I Baral says:

    Mr. Bady,
    I am writing to inform you that you owe me $1,000. I have no proof, but fortunately, we will presume me innocent of lying until I can be proven guilty. I’ll assume you can’t prove me guilty of lying, so please email me so we can set up payment options.

  78. Ian says:

    Presumption of innocence is extended to the accused, not the accuser. Whether Dylan is deluded as a result of emotional abuse by his mother or just outright lying because of bad feelings towards Woody Allen isn’t important, it’s Woody Allen who enjoys the presumption of innocence.

    Once that is established, the stupidity of the rest of this article is evident.

  79. jimstoic says:

    There is a way to presume both are innocent at the same time. If Allen is literally innocent and Dylan Farrow is honestly describing events that could be interpreted in innocently or otherwise, but because of what Allen did to her mother and sister, she has unconsciously reinterpreted as vile. I’m not saying that’s the situation or that this is the perspective everyone should adopt; it’s just an interpretation that permits presumptions of innocence for both parties.

  80. Graham Sanders says:

    Thank you for posting a well-reasoned response–based on legal principles and the realities of sexual abuse–to that Daily Beast hatchet job.

  81. Presumption of innocence says:

    Aaron Bady rapes me every time he talks about this. Evidences? He is bald, wears a beard and looks creepy.

    Let’s necklace (metaphorically, come on, we’re not on a trial) him

  82. Sullivan says:

    Disgusting makes me so sick. Horrible when I was a Teenager I loved Woody Allen Films I did notice a change in him and his movies. His Son who was adopted, stated the same thing. I think in 1989 I saw the Film Crimes & Misdemeanors there is a scene in which he has the Camera on his very young adopted daughter DYLAN for a brief second and says” The last Time I was inside a woman was the statue of Liberty” I remember Telling my husband how that comment along with the sudden closeup of his daughter Dylan, was disturbing. I was not surprised when YEARS LATER allegations of Child Abuse surfaced. I was alarmed at the the fact that some people didn’t care or it did not bother them. The Man is an obvious Pedophile and has received a FREE PASS from the MEDIA. I have not watched Woody Allen Films in a very Long time. and he has not made a good film in decades. Which is very telling! How can anyone not believe Dylan I mean really The Degenerate behavior of Allen with his Adopted Daughter is very revealing. BUT I REMEMBER when the story broke. He had a sexual relationship with is adopted daughter. and then Married her to cover up being a pedophile.WOODY ALLEN IS A CLASSIC PEDOPHILE his emotionally arrested development is crystal clear perhaps his ME ME ME ME ME persona is the cause of his degenerate behavior because when MAN focuses on himself he becomes a SMALL package. Most decent people with native intelligence are aware thatALLEN is a pedophile

  83. James Tugend says:

    It is possible no one is lying, especially regarding child sexual memories. It is possible she belives she was raped, being influenced by, perhaps Mia. These memories can be induced and are as real to the person as what actually happened. To me this seems more in character for both Mia and Woody.
    Just as it was in character for another acclaimed director to drug and rape 13 year olds.

  84. Josefina says:

    This is backwards. Are you suggesting that every crime should begin with a presumption of guilt if there’s an accuser? Or is that only if the accuser is a woman? Sexual abuse is a very serious crime, so the accused must have the protections our system and the innocence presumption affords. Fact is there was an investigation that turned up nothing. The doctors and investigators even stated they believed Mia had coached this story out of Dylan and that it was not true. Dylan’s story changed a lot, even at times she was telling investigators that nothing had happened. But now she has grown up with her mother and siblings drilling it into her head that this happened to her and, if it didn’t, I would call that child abuse. I believe Dylan feels she’s telling the truth.. She doesn’t have to be lying for Woody Allen to be innocent. Also, in this case, only Woody Allen has actually taken and passed a polygraph test. Would be interesting to see Mia take one.

  85. Charles Roos says:

    What about the case when she believes it is true and even has memories of it being true, but it never actually happened and he is innocent?

  86. Michael B says:

    The author writes, “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right. Because I am not on Woody Allen’s jury, I can be swayed by the fact that sexual violence is incredibly, horrifically common, much more common than it is for women to make up stories about sexual violence in pursuit of their own petty, vindictive need to destroy a great man’s reputation” If the author can be swayed by such fallacious thinking then it is a very good thing indeed he is not on a jury. The fact or opinion that a crime is common should have absolutely no bearing whatsoever in determining the guilt or innocence of someone accused of such a crime. That is not a defense of Woody Allen but of simple fairness. One can justifiably dislike Allen and believe his accusers without resorting to the perverse logic a Salem witch trial judge.

  87. Joannie Nicolich says:

    I too thought Woody was guilty, that is until I read an article that had facts from the actual investigation. Mothers have been known to claim sexual abuse of their children to win custody battles when in fact the fathers are innocent. According to her letter, Dylan/Malone says this happened over and over again BUT, the first allegation was after they had broken up and were in a fierce custody battle. From the facts of the investigation it was the only allegation. The brother stated boldly about brain washing being done by mom. Poor Dylan could be having memories of things that never even happened. Please check the many court documents that exist on this type of mental abuse. If you read the actual facts and findings of this case, I am sure a doubt will soon be cast as it has done for me.

  88. erh says:

    wonderful, as a rape survivor, thank you so much for this

  89. Jen says:

    thank you. I believe her.

  90. A mother of abused children says:

    Thanks so much for this. You just put your finger on one of the most painful things all child abuse victims face. I left my husband years ago because he was violently abusing our son. I left an upper class life for the battered woman’s shelter and impoverished single motherhood. And yet most of our friends found it easier to believe that my son was lying (presumably coached by me) than that his successful and charming father could be violent in private. The most damaging thing my son went through for the years before his father finally admitted to the abuse were all those people who branded him a liar in the name of respecting his abuser’s good name. He would literally sit with tears steaming down his face screaming “WHY don’t they believe me?” None of these people saw how biased their behavior was – or how effectively it played into the message abusers always send when they want to keep the power to terrify and control their victims: “Nothing’s happening here folks, just move right along and let us keep our family issues private!” And yet statistical studies of false criminal allegations indicates that rape, child abuse, and sexual abuse claims have among the lowest rates of false accusations. So it is ideology not evidence that drives this widespread stereotype. We will never stop violence against children as long as society keeps assuming that child victims are coached and lying until proven otherwise. That old saying about the Devil also applies to child abusers: the smartest thing he ever did was convince people he didn’t exist.

  91. Kbilly says:

    Would be very interested to know why, beyond your observation that most who claim to have been sexually assaulted do not lie, you are so certain that Woody is guilty. You talk about how anyone who assumes innocence on Woody is a support of “rape culture” and makes sexist generalizations about women, when you proceed to base your ENTIRE argument on generalizations.

    Here are the facts about Dylan Farrow’s claim.
    -She claims that she was sexually assaulted by Allen as a young child a single time. A claim she still stands by to this day.
    -Allen has always maintained his innocence.
    -She made the claim right in the midst of a very messy divorce and custody battle between Allen and Mia Farrow.
    -A psychiatrist that interviewed her testified under oath that in his expert opinion Dylan had either made the story up because of stress over the divorce or the story had been planted in her head by Mia Farrow.
    -An investigation into the allegation did not yield enough evidence to prosecute Allen and he was cleared of any wrong doing.
    -The judge presiding over the case was skeptical of the results of the investigation and voiced suspicions of Allen’s innocence.

    Those are the facts, a bit more complex than your rampant generalizations. I can understand you leaving them out, however, since they mess up your neat little narrative you’ve been using as a soapbox.

    • Jaydee says:

      “-A psychiatrist that interviewed her testified under oath that in his expert opinion Dylan had either made the story up because of stress over the divorce or the story had been planted in her head by Mia Farrow.”

      Nope. The Yale psychiatrist, Leventhal, who was the ONLY actual M.D. involved in that part of the investigation NEVER interviewed the child. He relied on Woody’s own paid shrinks for most of his “evidence”. He gave the report to Woody before he gave it to the police. He then destroyed all notes and records.

      You’re right. It’s a lot more complex than most think. Including you.

  92. Mike says:

    Way to not publish comments, you wieners!

  93. A mother of abused children says:

    Hi, I actually was trying to write to you privately and would prefer you not post my original message. I assume it won’t post since it said a name was required, but just in case… Really I just wanted to thank you for writing so sensitively about something I watched impact my child for so long. Most people don’t think hard enough to realize what they are saying when they dismiss child victims in this way…..

    • lilymaid says:

      why do commenters here keep referring to implanted memories. The players in this scenario are not the Pope and Lilith. Mia Farrow was upset when she discovered Woody was in a relationship with her adopted developmentally challenged daughter. What mother here would not be unhinged by this eventuality. Cleverly a new rationale is put forward. She is bitter and vindictive. Tell me that anyone would not be. The use of that rationale has been the bail out in this whole situation. It is the fog that clouds the issues. Woody is still repeating the mantra. I think that Mia has a side that is childlike herself. This may be the reason Woody was attracted to her originally. I don’t think she has the presence of mind to groom Dylan and implant memories. The trauma of discovering one’s partner of so many years is engaged in a relationship with your child for whom you have spent energy and resources over much time, in an effort to bring her up to speed emotionally, and see him selfishly corrupting your efforts, is a wrenching experience. I wonder that she didn’t push the little twerp out the window.

  94. K-TEX says:

    This entire article is based on a false dichotomy. Woody may be telling the truth, but that does not mean Dylan is lying. She may be mistaken. Implanted memories happen. No one writing on this — informed or otherwise — suggests that Dylan is acting maliciously or criminally. This adds nothing of value to the conversation.

  95. sarah says:

    the primary problem here is that woody allen dated, slept with, and eventually married his own adopted daughter (and started this relationship when she was not an adult). he is ALREADY guilty of sexual abuse against a minor, and this is not something many of us are willing to discuss. your piece was very well-written, but i almost couldn’t read all of it because of how much anger i have for what he has done to his own children (and God only knows who else). thanks for this.

  96. Bob says:

    if you’re going to lock a person in a cage for a long time, you need to be really sure.

    But if you’re only looking to shame people into shunning someone you think might be guilty–ruining their reputation, their livelihood, their lives–all you need is an accusation. Which is how we so easily get from “beyond reasonable doubt” to a “preponderance of the evidence” where the evidence is the mere assertion of an accusation. Such is the environment on most college and university campuses these days: accusations are usually enough to for the fairly due-process-free process to expel a man. Great, he’s not locked up, but his tuition is gone and the expulsion will follow him forever as he tries to complete his education.

    Saying “you can’t really know what happened” is not “rape culture,” it’s fact. And the issue is not as black-and-white as you would have us believe. Are either of them telling the complete truth? Maybe, maybe not. Are either of them telling partial truths? Maybe, maybe not. Are either of them lying through their teeth? Maybe, maybe not. The fact is that you or I don’t and can’t know.

    Now, I couldn’t care less about Woody Allen. I have never liked his movies or his “comedy” and haven’t seen one in decades. If he stopped making films tomorrow, I wouldn’t even notice.

    But Woody Allen isn’t the point. While it’s odious to say there’s no way to know, so she must be lying, it’s equally odious to default to the idea that just because an accusation is made, it must always be true, and if not, it really doesn’t matter, because we’re not locking someone up, just destroying their lives, so it’s okay.

    This could lead to the day when someone makes just an accusation, say, that Aaron Bady embezzled money. No other proof needed, since we’re not going to formally charge him with a crime and go through the legal process. But we should probably labor to shame people into shunning him, for his employer to fire him, and to ruin his chances for future employment. You know, just to be safe.

  97. Tom says:

    Your argument which I take to be a rebuttal to Robert Weide’s article is filled with logical flaws, most notably that either Woody or Malone must be lying. In fact, the predominant theory of those who support Allen is not that Malone is lying, it’s that there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that a young child was coached by an aggrieved parent in the midst of a bitter custody dispute. This is hardly unprecedented and ample literature suggests that such children genuinely believe their accounts of the events. Further, the specific circumstances of the alleged assault are all the more suspicious given the timing, the people present in the house, the lack of physical evidence, and the inconsistent testimony.

    You ignore all of this and implicitly argue simply that almost all allegations of rape are probably true, but are ignored in our “rape culture” because people with money and fame have more power.

    A lot of people who aren’t willing to pass judgement on the situation aren’t merely applying a criminal standard on the burden of proof, rather they are carefully assessing the incident based on the entirety of evidence in this specific allegation.

    Unless you stop using straw-man arguments and address this specific allegation with all of it’s specific facts, you do little more than announce that you are predisposed to believe all accusers and disbelieve all who are accused.

    I think your heart is in the right place here, your head perhaps less so.

  98. Harlan says:

    He didn’t have to say a word in his defense and he could go about making movies??? Nice premise. But the reality is that Allen did and always has denied and denounced the accusations. Did you conveniently forget that he withstood a long, credible, intrusive investigation and that no evidence, in particular NO MEDICAL evidence suggested Dylan was abused. No charges were brought. So Mr. Allen continued on with his life. Sorry for you that he did so and that you think it’s cavalier or “rape culture” that allowed it.

  99. Mary Cantwell says:

    Thought provoking. That abuse victims like Dylan are “disappeared” in our haste to prop up the accused is an aspect of abuse I did not get before.

  100. James Trent says:

    “This is a basic principle: until it is proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, it’s important to extend the presumption of innocence to Dylan Farrow, and presume that she is not guilty of the crime of lying about what Woody Allen did to her.” What a flagrant piece of casuistry this is. Presumption of innocence does not apply to Dylan Farrow as she is not being accused of a crime (say, perjury). Bady contorts the meaning of “innocence” here such that Dylan Farrow’s “innocence” of lying about Allen’s actions amounts to the same thing as a presumption of Allen’s guilt (If we presume that Farrow is telling the truth, we must also presume that Allen is guilty) thereby undermining a principle of law (as opposed to Bady’s own ad-hoc “principle”). Where are this magazine’s editors? Shame on you for allowing such a fatuous article to be published. And isn’t it about time all of us stopped acting as members of the jury in what has unfortunately become a very public family dispute?

    • Mag says:

      It only became a public dispute because Mia Farrow and her son decided it should be via Twitter. You have to wonder why they would do this.

  101. Johannes Climacus says:

    You seem to ignore the fact that she is purportedly recounting an event from when she was seven years old. It has been shown over and over again that people create memories, especially when they were suggested to them.

    Further, this is an absolutely absurd statement: “But ‘he said, she said’ doesn’t resolve to ‘let’s start by assume she’s lying,’ except in a rape culture, and if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.”

    No, you’re not. She certainly thinks she isn’t lying, without a doubt. That doesn’t mean what she is saying is true. There is plenty to doubt about her story, from the fact that it only happened once to the fact that she claims to remember exactly what was said to her.

  102. bleake says:

    Presumption of innocence is always afforded to defendants. That doesn’t mean we presume the complainant to be guilty of lying.

    Such black and white thinking is the product of a simple-mind, evidenced here.

  103. MWard says:

    Forget the ‘good name of Woody Allen’. Jimmy Saville was ‘iconic’ and iconically protected for decades, along with many other noteable figures in the UK here.

    No matter how anyone intellectualises, the allegation is serious. A 7 year old girl was allegedly raped by an adult man. At 7 you are afraid to speak up (who would believe you?) At any age the victim is villified as a liar and made to be so by the defendent’s lawyer – the perpetrator is never on trial…the victim is always on trial and there are many rape victims that do not come forward because of ‘respected’ people in the community that won’t have an accusation against the most iconic or respected. The victim never wins really – they live with the rape for the rest of their lives; they can only try to make sense of it.

  104. Cal Engime says:

    This article misses the point. “Saying something that is not true” isn’t the same thing as “lying,” especially when that thing is something your mother told you for years happened when you were 7. Human memory is notably unreliable. Look this up on Wikipedia: “day care sex abuse hysteria”. Children of that age can be coached into not only making but believing all kinds of absurd accusations (e.g., we were taken into a secret room where we were molested with a bottle by a clown).

    Sexual violence is horrifically common. So are false accusations in custody proceedings. Proof of wrongdoing is not found in the mere statements of a 7-year-old, much less the “memories” of an adult decades later, very much less feminist platitudes about rape culture. The criminal investigation turned up a distinct lack of proof. What would it take to conclude that Allen is probably innocent?

    • MWard says:

      It would take proof of innocence; simple as that. The burden of proof lies in the prosecution, not in the defense – and that rule of law is a universal law.

      We’re sitting discussing it in here, but we’re not aware of all the facts in the case …. and that’s what we’ve all got to be mindful of.

      It’s a sad time when children are abused and actually NOT listened to by parents and carers, only to find out many years later that they were telling the truth after all.

      More rape cases are thrown out than convicted and that’s a fact; because the victim is on trial and not the rapist. The false accusations by comparison are rare and, unfortunately, the real victims in rape and abuse don’t go forward with prosecutions because they believe they won’t be believed and that is an alarming fact of our societies.

  105. Judy Jones says:

    Dylan Farrow is extremely brave for sharing her painful story of abuse. She is to be commended for her courage in speaking up…

    Something to keep in mind-
    Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how
    to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and
    sometimes even their family members. They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse

    Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if
    those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance
    would somehow set off alarm bells and give us the willies or the creeps. They
    rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of
    sexually violating others. While they are grooming the child and even family members, they devote lots of time and energy building trust with them by giving them money and gifts. They tend to make the child feel that they are special and loved.

    Also, we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he’s automatically safe. It’s just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is harmless simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.

    It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action about being sexually abused. This is not an easy thing to do, but it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many. Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever
    So let’s hope that anyone who may have knowledge about this situation or may have been harmed by Woody Allen, will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement, no matter how long ago it happened.

    Your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.
    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com
    SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

    • MWard says:

      My sentiments exactly….can’t agree with anything you’ve said.

      here in the UK there are multiple high profile figures on trial for the abuse and rape of young children only coming to light twenty plus years on.

      One guy, Stewart Hall, stood in front of TV and Media, made statement after statement of how the ‘lies’ had hurt him and his family and that he was on medication because of ‘all the lies’.

      The evidence of abuse was overwhelming; after nearly a 12 month of denial he then pleaded guilty and his solicitor made a statement of apology, but not after he put the victims of his abuse through another 12 month of torture of believing they had to face their abuser in a court of law to prove his guilt.

      He’s now in jail where he should be and more cases of his abuse have come forward.

      ‘Old’ now doesn’t mean innocence automatically. Abuse many years ago doesn’t give automatic safety.

      I also believe this young woman deserves to be patted on the back for standing up and saying ‘he raped me’ if he did. Silence is giving them the green light of fear against iconic figures…which is criminal in itself.

  106. Tommydagun says:

    Assuming that one or the other of them is lying is a false dilemma. There is in fact one additional possibility: that Dylan Farrow is a victim of false memory syndrome and probably coaching and deliberate parental alienation at the hands of her mother, Mia Farrow. That these allegations arose in the middle of a vicious custody dispute, and were comprehensively investigated by law enforcement at the time without charges being filed, certainly makes this third possibility one worth considering.

  107. Karen McHale says:

    I wrote this piece as a rebuttal against the Robert Weide piece in The Daily Beast and for all the Woody Allen Sycophants. I am tired of abusers being protected. It’s downright nauseating.

    http://aviewfromsuburbia.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-rebuttal-to-robert-weides-daily-beast.html

  108. Ian Boothby says:

    Of course you can think both Dylan and Woody are innocent. You just have to believe Mia was willing to coach her daughter into telling the story (which the court appointed doctors found to be the case) or brainwashed (as her brother Moses says). I have no doubt Dylan thinks this happened. Mia has no problem with her friend Polanski, who’s a proven child rapist or has ever spoke against her brother, a convicted pedophile who also had access to the children.
    Mia and Ronan brought this back into the spotlight with their tweets and Dylan really had no choice but to speak up again. The reason they did was the Golden Globes award for Woody, something Mia allowed footage of her to be used for. If your child’s rapist was getting an award would you ever let yourself be part of the celebration? Does that make any sense? After she filed charges of molestation of her daughter she was still going to be in Woody’s next film until he fired her. She was fine with working with someone she said molested her child. Again, does that make any sense?

  109. Adam says:

    Sorry but this article is absolute trash.

    1. You don’t need to assume she’s lying to suspend your judgment. You can do just that – suspend your judgment.

    2. It is not “okay if you’re wrong” just because you are not sending him to jail. There are many other problems with being wrong on this. For example, he could be ostracized from the film community, or even from society. It’s painfully obvious that there are ways to be punished in society that don’t actually involve jail time.

    3. It is not “more likely that you’re right” just because sexual assault is more prevalent than false accusations of sexual assault. That is a terrible abuse of statistics. That is a conclusion that the science of statistics does not support, and furthermore you use an argument that can be used to wrongly draw some pretty morally reprehensible conclusions. For example, if a black man and a white man are mutually exclusively accused of some crime so that exactly one of them did it, should we assume the black man did it just because more crimes are committed by black people than white people? Of course not – that’s absolutely absurd. And it matters even if we are not on the jury sending one of them to the electric chair.

  110. A Biddle says:

    Yes, all of this. Thank you. I was incredibly disappointed when I saw The Daily Beast publish that article.

  111. Glen says:

    There are several excellent point made in this article reagarding the horrible “rape culture” that exists today.
    That said, there are also several falaciaous assertions, regarding the specifics of this particular case. To wit- the possibility not only exists, but is supported by a prodigious amount of evidence, that Woody Allen is telling the truth and did not molest Dylan, AND that Dylan believes she is telling the truth, and thinks she is telling the truth when she says she was molested by Woody Allen. These are not two adults, in a “he said, she said” situation. This situation happened 20 years ago, during a tumultuous break-up between Woody and Mia Farrow. Their child Moses has stated that the children were being “brainwashed” by Mia to hate Woody. This very well might be a case of Mia implanting the memory in Dylan.

    The truth of the matter is that there really is no way to tell what happened, and that Dylan may believe she is telling the truth, while Woody is telling the truth. Your analysis of the situation makes it out to be an “either/or” situation, and it is not accurate at all. The world is not black and white, truth and lying, yes and no. The world is grey, and this situation is shrouded in grey mist, and cannot be parsed accurately at this late date.

  112. Kate says:

    Hi,

    I loved this piece. You beautifully articulated some things that I had only very vaguely thought before, so it was a really inspiring/satisfying read.

    I wanted to tell you that a funky clause seems out of place in your otherwise conventionally-grammared writing:

    “All things being equal, it’s more likely that the man who has spent a lifetime and a cinematic career walking the line of pedophilia (to put it mildly);” <—- I think "the man" needs a verb, or I want him to have a verb

    the intent of that line is crystal clear, but I thought I'd point it out.

  113. Tammy Blue says:

    But it was proven in a court of law, where ALL the evidence was weighed — in 1992.

    I think there is a third option and — based on absolutely no personal knowledge of the situation, which makes my opinion just as legitimate as yours — I believe that Dylan, a vulnerable 7 year old, became a pawn in her mother’s efforts to avenge the wrong she felt when Woody began his relationship with his wife. It is quite possible to implant thoughts into a young child’s mind. How else can so many children grow up thinking they are bad or stupid when the truth is otherwise? And what is this about floating the idea that Frank Sinatra is Ronan’s father? Wouldn’t that make Mia something of a hypocrite?

    I think that Michael Wolff nailed it. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/03/woody-allen-dylan-farrow-abuse-allegations

  114. Cinesnatch says:

    If you are going to suggest that Woody Allen treads a thin line with his movies when it comes to pedophilia, you probably mean ephebophilia. Minor nuance, but you might want to check into it.

  115. Stobie Piel says:

    That was wonderful. Thank you.

  116. Scott Rose says:

    You don’t understand the most basic things about the criminal justice system. You are fatuous.

  117. Ashley says:

    This is amazing, and you are awesome. That is all.

  118. Nancy says:

    Eloquent and insightful – kudos.

  119. joann says:

    thank you. that was exactly what has been missing from this whole conversation. and i agree with you–i believe he did it and i am giving her the presumption of innocence.

  120. Stanley21 says:

    This is a remarkably irresponsible article. While it may be less common, false accusations can and do happen.We live in a society of a law. As systems of law on this planet go, one of the more progressive ideas is the presumption of innocence – which was created to protect people from the more vengeful aspects of human nature – witch hunts. If the only narrative you follow is the political rhetoric of “rape culture” then lets make Woody the poster guy for creepy old perverts and throw away the key. But if you have the ability to reason and look at a situation objectively, without prejudice, then shut up, put down your torch and honor the presumption of innocence. And don’t think it couldn’t happen to you.

  121. kurt metzger says:

    So let me get this straight. An accused rapist should have LESS rights than an accused murderer???? And it’s “rape culture” to say you should have some kind of evidence to assume someone is guilty of a serious crime?
    Of course I do get your point that no one in human history has ever lied about being raped or molested. ESPECIALLY not a woman. Remember the duke lacrosse team and Twana Brawley? It’s not like they lied out of spite or anything just to destroy someone. No woman has ever been bitter enough to do that and certainly not during a custody battle. That’s reasonable. Everything you said is reasonable. We can’t afford NOT to presume Woody Allen is guilty. Women NEVER lie. Except sometimes when they fuck Frank Sinatra behind your back and tell you it’s your kid. But about rape? No. Doesn’t happen.
    By the way you raped me. Remember? When I was 7? How could you do that to me? I don’t have any proof or anything but I would like you ostracized and boycotted. We can’t afford not to believe you raped me just because I said so.

  122. Alex Reynard says:

    Good to know that you base your opinions on pure probability. More likely = must be true. That certainly makes more sense than looking at the case and considering the actual details of it.

  123. Jon says:

    A rape culture? I can’t imagine a more biased phrase. Have you read Manufacturing Consent? Your terminology manufactures consent that Allen is guilty, regardless of any facts, history, or anything. Just right here in this post you convict him with two words. Genius. You could have had a great career with Hitler or G.W. Bush. Or did you Mr. Texan? Oh gee did I make an unfair assumption there?

    There is a huge fallacy in your logic. You allow no gray areas. For you it’s either black or white, even though you admit you can’t possibly know for sure, nor can anyone.

    What does it matter? Why must we decide what happened, who is guilty, or who is innocent? We are not a court of law. The justice system is obviously flawed. But it is all we have. Without it we are a lynch mob. Do you have a white pointy hat?

    If Farrow has a case she can write a book, make a film, get rich, show Woody as she wants show him to the world. Ruin his career. Oh wait. She already has. Incarceration is barbarous and not necessarily the worst punishment.

    Does she have an agent? Are the film rights available?

    By convicting Woody Allen in the court of public lynch mob opinion, you say our troops fight and die in vain for a way of life not worth fighting for. You are truly the epitome of being un-American. Not that it’s a bad thing. But do you admit to that? Because that’s what and who you are. You’re an anarchist. You believe in handling things outside of government with no law and no rule to refer to. You are above the law. In your world due process is ignored and media profit driven emotion rules our lives. If your ideals prevail, we are no longer civilized. Not that we are civilized anyway, considering the pandering media circus every other month.

    I don’t say he is innocent, she is innocent, he is guilty or she is guilty. I don’t know. I don’t care. Not that I don’t care about rape. I do. But I don’t care about things I can never know. It is an exercise in futility. Would I care if it were my daughter. Yes. So what? My daughter is not part of this. This is someone else’s daughter. It’s up to her and her family and friends to take care of her. Not me, and especially not 30 times removed through the consent manufactured media.

    Your problem is not with Woody Allen. It’s not with any Farrow. It’s not even with the media or people who side one way or another. You never met them have you? You never sat down with either one and looked into their eyes to see if you felt they were lying or not. Your problem is with the United States of America.

    Move to France. Call TMZ. Get a fucking life.

  124. Bob says:

    “Because I am not on Woody Allen’s jury, I can be swayed by the fact that sexual violence is incredibly, horrifically common, much more common than it is for women to make up stories about sexual violence in pursuit of their own petty, vindictive need to destroy a great man’s reputation.”

    Well, we cant really ever know that, can we?

  125. You are absolutely correct in that we must grant Dylan Farrow the benefit of the doubt before branding her a liar.

    She can still, however, be wrong. Professional investigators examined the evidence and testimony of those at the scene when these allegations were made. They found the charges to be without merit. If the investigators who had access to the facts in the case didn’t believe these allegations why should I, with nothing to go on but the bare accusation, disagree?

    You say that you don’t have to abide by the standards a jury would be held to. That’s true in the sense that no one is going to kick down your door and drag you away for rushing to judgement. It is not true in the sense that if you expect people to respect your opinions you must show those opinions are the product of valid reasoning. Contrary to popular belief you don’t get to believe whatever you like just by slapping the word “opinion” on it like a USDA inspection label. Nor is it true that because you don’t have the ability to convict Woody Allen that your judgement is without consequence. To impugn him publicly with this charges is to strike him a blow. A tiny one, to be sure, but a blow nonetheless.

    Dylan Farrow would be far from the first child to have been convinced by adults with an agenda that she had been molested. The way that we tell the difference between a valid accusation, a false memory or a lie is by examining the facts. This was done. Absent compelling new evidence, which would not include a repetition of the original accusation, the results of that investigation must settle the matter. To say otherwise is to advocate for a world where there is no justice for anyone because no inquest, no verdict is ever allowed to serve as a final answer.

  126. Popbomb says:

    Here is the major fallacy of your argument- it is not just in “rape culture” but in any criminal investigation that we assume the accuser is not telling the truth (or at least the while truth). Rape is unfortunately no different, and until a new system is shown to work we have to operate on that assumption.

  127. Janice Rick says:

    What I’m most outraged about is some people’s unapologetic hostility toward the child. I have to ask these people: Have you considered the (strong) possibility that you, yourself, are a survivor of child sexual abuse and that you’re still caught up in idealizing your perpetrator? When you’re feeling a little less defensive, I’d look into the issue, if I were you.

  128. Carlos Gândara says:

    Aaron Bady could have said “we only that we nothing know” . It would have been simpler. Some people like to write…

  129. Carlos Gândara says:

    “WE ONLY KNOW THAT WE NOTHING KNOW”

  130. moe says:

    >you can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time
    > if you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured

    What the fuck man.

  131. Tarzie says:

    Aaron, in your zeal to be the intellectual light of morally indignant Twitter mobs, I think you have once again overlooked something obvious: Precisely because this is not a trial, we are not obliged to presume anything about anyone.

    While it’s true that sexual abusers are vastly more common than women bringing false accusations, both actually exist. In this particular case, there is a very strong basis for thinking Allen sexually assaulted Dylan Farrow. But there are also grounds — though fewer, I believe — for wondering if perhaps Dylan Farrow’s account is untrue. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for a single intelligent person to answer the question, Did Woody Allen sexually assault Dylan Farrow in that attic? and the question, Is Dylan Farrow’s account true? in the exact same way: I don’t really know.

    I agree that since this isn’t a trial, people are perfectly at liberty to speculate and to openly conclude that Allen is guilty. I don’t think it necessarily follows, however, that they are equally justified in calling people who remain agnostic on the attic incident, apart from everything else, rape apologists. If they are going to make those kinds of accusations, one hopes they do it with something weightier than “We are in the midst of an ongoing, quiet epidemic of sexual violence…not in the midst of an epidemic of false rape charges” which is simply an attempt to turn odds into evidence.

    For me, the ’92 Vanity Fair article has enough credible, source-corroborated information to conclude that Allen did, in fact, repeatedly sexually abuse Dylan Farrow, whether the incident in the attic happened or not. My bar for sexual abuse is lower than outright assault and I think Allen exceeded the bar in many ways. So I don’t really understand why people like you and Jessica Valenti are leaving the question open, with The Truth contingent entirely on what happened in that attic, except to make an awe-inspiring show of taking the survivor at her word — and taking a cudgel to those that won’t — while more or less ignoring all the awful things that there is almost no question Allen did.

  132. Tarzie says:

    Moderator: in first paragraph, should be ‘Is Dylan Farrow’s account untrue.’ Would be grateful if you fixed it before publishing. Thanks.

  133. Tarzie says:

    Doh, it’s in the second paragraph. Right at the end. Really sorry. It’s this phrase here, which I have corrected:

    Is Dylan Farrow’s account untrue? in the exact same way: I don’t really know.

  134. sunny says:

    Very insightful article.

  135. Amy says:

    This is some dumb shit.

  136. Dan says:

    A) the presumption of innocence should probably go to the more serious crime. Sexual abuse is a very serious charge. Lying not so much.

    The consequences to Allen of these allegations could be serious, even in the simple court of public opinion: he would be branded a monster, his body of artistic work would be reconsidered and cheapened. False accusations of this sort can absolutely ruin ones life, and one does not have to believe sexual abuse is a trivial subject to believe false accusations are a terrible, terrible thing (indeed, isn’t working to discern the truth a way of taking the crime more seriously, rather than less?)

    B) I’m not sure that Allen defenders are accusing her of lying, or that they can’t both be innocent. Dylan was a very young child when the allegations began, and the Allen defenders claim That she was wrongly lead to say that these things happened. It’s entirely conceivable that her mother, angry over the understandably upsetting nature of what happened, had a myopic pair of lenses on, assuming that Allen was a monster and had committed monstrous acts. Trying to please her mother and being unconsciously coached by her, Dylan concocted this tale.

    Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable and it’s fully plausible that a young child could be lead to believe something happened, asked to repeat that thing over and over, growing up in a household where that thing was fact, could indeed come over the course of twenty years to believe it. I’m sure there are things each of us remember about our childhoods that absolutely aren’t true. Dylan’s are more serious, but the principal is the same.

    Unfortunately, rape and sexual abuse are frequently he said-she said affairs. And depending on how we determine guilt, in court or in public, we will have to make choices either favoring the victim or the accused. Our tradition in the United States has traditionally been to favor the accused. Our values dictate that it is preferable that some number of guilty persons go free than that innocent persons go to jail. Those times when we’ve forgotten that have frequently become moral panics and witch hunts. I’m not just talking HUAC here…look at the treatment of black in the 1950s Deep South, where they were assumed to be animals just waiting to rape a white woman. Or look at the much smaller but no less pernicious cases of people going to jail for satanic rituals in the 1980s. Just a generation ago, people were legitimately afraid of satanists.

    If your definition of “rape culture” assumes that anyone who takes seriously enough an accusation as serious as rape or sexual abuse to apply the principle of innocent until proven guilty…or that doing so means blaming the victim…I don’t know what to say, except that you scare me.

    • Jon says:

      If this is a rape culture, you’re an anarchist to believe the government ignores or condones it, or that it is up to people outside of government and outside of first hand information to persecute Allen based on profit motivated media stories.

      Not that there is anything wrong with anarchy. I actually agree that there is some element of rape acceptance in our culture, especially in the military who we revere for dying for our way of life, the rape way.

      But just so its clear that you know who you are. Anarchist. One you believes in no government. One who asserts that our troops die in vain.

  137. Melissa Parson says:

    Thank you Aaron for putting into words what I could not.
    This “debate” has hooked me, shaken me, disturbed me and caused arguments
    in my family. I keep getting so mad when people I love say things like “Dylan
    may have false memories” –that Mia coached her and planted these memories into her brain. Why is that the default? You answered why. Rape culture, thats why.
    You nailed it. Your brilliant essay is a breath of fresh air. It’s much bigger than Woody Allen it’s a whole culture that doesn’t allow women voices that doesn’t believe women. It’s my mom who was gang raped and how it affected her and my sister and me. It’s gigantic … Half the sky. When my love says I’m acting “crazy” about this story when he disagrees with me, and I end up raising my voice and honestly being hurt that he doesn’t know what I mean, I think my anger is that of millions of women who were shut up or shutdown.. Somehow this case and your piece brings that all to me right now.
    Thank you for helping me see I’m not crazy or that if I am, well I have good reason to be. I am deeply appreciative of your writing. Melissa

  138. BarleySinger says:

    One small set of issues.

    1) yes I do think he probably did it. Look at his movies (especially Blue Jasmine).

    2) most people try and say this all occurred in the middle of a “nasty divorce” and it didn’t. They were not married – not ever.

    It occurred in a custody battle in which the older sister (barely of consenting age) was in a sexual relationship with a man she grew up calling “dad”. That alone ought to have Allen in prison given how long Farrow admitting having tried to defend Allen and pretend nothing was happening. There is no doubt that Allen started his advances on the older daughter when she was legally a minor in HIS care.

    Given this environment, it is no great wonder that a 7 year old younger sister (who had no other life to compare hers to) then ASKED her mother (Farrow) directly if mommies dad had done the same things that were being done to HER (by Allen – her dad).

    3) Contrary to popular opinion there was no court “investigation” that found that there was no substance to the accusations (I have read this repeatedly by people with odd opinions). IN fact the state D.A.’s office found that there *WAS* PROBABLE CAUSE to go after Allen for molesting his daughter. …in the environment of THAT massive press circus, during a custody battle. The evidence would have had to be pretty compelling, because District Attorneys hate those kids of cases. It was FARROW who chose not to pursue thing – and she chose that in order to protect her kid from what would happen to that 7 year old girl in court – from what the defense lawyers would say to that child and accuse her of on the stand. Th fact that this is EVER a consideration in ANY case shows how badly constructed the US court system is. Facts can be found, and accusations investigated, without the lawyers acting like a bunch of unethical and cruel asses to a little girl.

    4) Next, US courts never find people innocent (only on TV and in movies does this happen) . They find them *NOT GUILTY* and NOT GUILTY is not the same as INNOCENT

    5) Being found “Innocent by a court” does not mean you did not do it.

    It can easily mean that it was hard to get good evidence. It can easily mean that the accused got a very good legal team. It can also mean that there was a failure to convict because the judge (on the request of the defense team) that nobody in the trial process could use the words RAPE or SEXUAL ASSAULT or anything else that might seem “inflammatory”… and judges HAVE done this in rape trials in the USA (no wonder that the man was not found guilty despite the evidence)

    court..words like RAPE and this has been done) , only that the court could not manage to do their job well. guilty”. Unfortunately the system is also broken in the other direction.

    6) being found GUILTY in a US court of law also does not mean you did the thing you were accused of. The system is broken in both directions. This is becoming more and more apparent given the racial variances in police accusations, conviction rates and sentencing.

    The real world of police “investigation” 9and I use the term lightly) is nothing like what we see on TV (although it could be a great deal more like that). Science is rarely used. Fear is the biggest tool in the police and D.A. trade manual. The EXTREME majority of criminal convictions in the USA are now done by “copping a plea”. The thing is, no sane D.A. or investigating police officer EVER tries to get a suspect to “cop a plea” if they have solid evidence (which is supposed to be there before they arrest a person. Careers are made on the sorts of convictions with REAL evidence. However these days, the police don’t rely on actual evidence and then use it to find suspects. Not usually. They do it the other way around. They select a single suspect and then try and find evidence to implicate them. A brief read of the adverts from ANY criminal case lawyer can give you a pretty good idea of the reality of the situation. Do a web search.

    The vast majority of convictions in the USA are now essentially extorted from people who are LIED TO about what evidence the police have against them, and how much time in jail they will get if they do not “COP A PLEA” and state that they did it. Many are told they have no chance in court. The police normally claim they have DNA evidence, fingerprints, video footage, statements of friends and relatives (etc) – none of which they have – all to try and scare the suspect into a confession.

    Most suspects cave in out of a combination of the terror of being in jail for a very long time, and sheer emotional exhaustion. They then wind up signing a confession they did not write. It is generally typed up for them by the police (because they cannot manage to state what is desired on that confession). It is then present to them and then they sign it.

    IF you don’t buy into the bologna being spewed at you, and know that you have rights, and refuse to talk without seeing council and having them present…the fact that you did that WILL be used against you in your trial. It will be maintained to the jury that NO innocent person has no need of council, or would insist on having it…even if they held you for 3 or more days without any sleep, food, water or even a chair to sit in (I know a person this was done to).

    They are allowed to do this, even if in the course of what they do, they violate the suspects civil rights. This is no longer grounds for dismissal.

    You see – my wife’s cousin is married to a man (a pacifist) who was convicted of committing the murder of a man he has never even met.

    He (and 2 otehr men) are each in prison for this crime – each one having been convicted of committing that crime ALONE. Only one of them knew the murdered man, and during his time in jail he has repeatedly boasted of commuting the murder.

    Aside from the impossibility of three men each committing the same crime all alone..

    All the solid evidence was mysteriously “not brought in and cataloged) and this included :

    * the the mass of DIY child porn that the murdered man had (it was claimed he was an upstanding member of the gay community – making that evidence a nightmare for the local police who were in the middle of a number of law suits that were brought by abused gay members of the local community)

    * The bloody knife WITH FINGERPRINTS was also never cataloged (the man was stabbed to death).

    * The hand print on the truck was not analyzed either.

    And to make things worse for the local cops these two officers were also :

    * barely off of suspension for several gay bashing hate crimes that they had committed

    * under investigation for a complete lack of professionalism in a number of other murders in the local “gay ghetto”, where they screwed up every step of the process and made any conviction impossible

    * the city was being sued over this (it was big in the papers)

    * and this is why those two cops were also FORBIDDEN by their superiors to have anything to do with any murders in that part of town

    YET they were the first responders

    As a result, although MANY OTHER officers did see all that evidence, it could not be admitted because it was not and BROUGHT IN & CATALOGED by these two idiots. Due to this mess (and the popular opinion that this was just another HATE CRIME – mind you the accused was a pacifist who had a bisexual wife and many gay friends) – for some odd reason the judge rules that NOBODY could mention any of that uncatalogued evidence.

    As a result the case was sewn up neatly. The real evidence was gone.

    * The public wanted to call it a hate crime.
    * The local cops were bad enough it was believable
    * The police & local politicians (given the bad police track record) were scared to death to claim that the entire world, that the murdered man was REALLY a pedophile who had been using the local gay community as a place to HIDE his pedophilia (because gay men are not considered suspects anymore)

    After the trial, many of the otehr junior officers who had seen the evidence and KNEW that he was very probably innocent, were all mysteriously transferred. More than one of them has since gone to see him in prison to apologize and offer to be a witness if he can ever manage an appeal (which is also nearly impossible to get once you are convicted)

    and the utter GALL of the local D.A. in joking about how at least the KNOW that they have the guilty guy in jail since they have all three of their main suspects in prison

  139. What’s with the part of society that turns a blind eye? Despite many unhealed wounds, a portion of society sees clearly. My favorite Allen film is the one he could make in which he fesses up, begs forgiveness, and expresses extreme remorse for his lack of self control having hurt numerous good people who loved and trusted him. Causing pain to a loved one may be one of the biggest mistakes a healthy person can make, but Allen is sick. Without picketing, many of us have been quietly boycotting his films since learning that he betrayed Mia’s family by making porn photos of, and then marrying, his longterm lover’s 19 or 20 year old daughter.

    Dylan specified in a recent Vanity Fair interview how he painfully violated her at age 7. What he did would not have left physical evidence and would only take a few minutes, but with lifelong emotional effects. Now that she published a letter in the NY Times, a larger swath of society will be too disgusted to indulge in his “art.” More importantly, more people may have a better understanding of this prob.

    Unless proven guilty, we presume that Dylan is innocent of the charge of lying. He has ample incentive to lie, but why would she lie? Mia would not have lied because doing so would hurt her kids, whereas her truth-telling protected them. Dylan’s incentive for truth-telling is to give courage to other victims. Fearing they will not be believed, some never tell. An attorney who is experienced in these matters finds Dylan highly credible: http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/crime/six-reasons-dylan-farrow-highly-credible.html#ixzz2sM26ceSH

    It is important that there are male authors who “get it” too. Thank you for publishing this, Aaron.

    Was Allen victimized as a child? Many perpetrators were. I pray for him, his wife and their adopted daughters, as well as for all those he has hurt, for all those who need healing, and for that portion of society that does not face and challenge injustice.

  140. markb says:

    It’s not necessary to assume that one or the other must be lying. Dylan might genuinely, but mistakenly, believe that she was molested. Human memory is malleable and not very reliable. So far, I have not seen anyone accuse Dylan of consciously and intentionally lying. Several people have, however, brought up instances where memories were manufactured, sometimes by well-meaning therapists who genuinely thought they were helping patients to recover memories of real abuse.

  141. Ron Wild says:

    That is a very well written and balanced piece. The one thing you err on is that you don’t hold his future in your hands. I don’t know enough about the allegations or the refutation to those to make any kind of informed decision either way. I am however, bright enough to realise that you saying, ‘To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it, though, of course, I could be wrong.’ is just your opinion, there are many more that will think ‘I read it on the internet so it must be true.’ Which is why I feel juries should have a minimum IQ requirement.

  142. Ron Wild says:

    That is a very well written and balanced piece. The one thing you err on is that you don’t hold his future in your hands. I don’t know enough about the allegations or the refutation to those to make any kind of informed decision either way. I am however, bright enough to realise that you saying, ‘To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it, though, of course, I could be wrong.’ is just your opinion, there are many more that will think ‘I read it on the internet so it must be true.’ Which is why I feel juries should have a minimum IQ requirement.

  143. Velvinette says:

    There is a very strong culture that we live in to tear down people who are famous, accomplished, achiever sand creative. You do not have to pick sides at all, because as you said, it is one person’s word against another. To really go through this would require discussion of more details, which would be painful if not traumatizing to Dylan if true, or even if not, or even someone vouching she has given them. She has to have some concrete memory of something, however distorted, and that would hold a lot of weight in my mind. Anyhow both of them know what happened and that is what is important in the long run. That won’t change. Time can help, and I hope Dylan has had lots of therapy. Ultimately, you are you, and no one can take that away. Each moment is a new moment, each new day a new day.

  144. Robin says:

    Beautifully written and persuasive.

    I would take issue with one of the points, however. I do NOT think it is necessary to say that one or the other of them is lying.

  145. Tom Sawyer says:

    “Always” in an “epidemic” of sexual violence?
    What is epidemic about something always happening?

  146. Daniel C. Thompson says:

    Your argument is ridiculous. SHE is the one making the accusations.

    Saying that he’s innocent until proven guilty is not the same as accusing her of lying. It is simply the way our justice system works.

    Now I personally believe her, and I know that the system fails victims A LOT.

    But your logics in this piece are seriously off.

  147. nick says:

    The principle is that we presume you are innocent of accusations until you are proven otherwise. So the starting point is that we don’t know if the allegations are true or false.

  148. Bernie Latham says:

    Aaron

    I take issue with this formulation:

    ” Especially in situations like this one, the overwhelmingly more likely thing is that he did it. The overwhelmingly less likely thing is that a pair of bitter females—driven by jealousy or by the sheer malignity of the gender—have been lying about him for decades.”

    I do not see what grounds you have for the strength of your supposition in sentence one. And I do not believe that the second sentence properly allows for other ways to think about the range of possibilities which might be in play.

    Let me first of all relate a personal incident. During the final week of my education practicum at an elementary school in British Columbia, I was called down to the administration office and informed that I had to leave the school premises immediately and that I could not talk to anyone, particularly children. No information on the reasons for this could be related to me other than that the Department of Human Resources (provincial agency) and the RCMP were involved. Once home, I phoned my brothers (educator administrators) and the conclusion was that I had been accused either of abuse or sexual molestation. Neither were true but I understood how the accusation could have great consequence.

    Much later in the day, I was phoned and told that the investigation had found “insufficient evidence” of wrongful behavior but that I must not return to the school for any reason until called in. When I finally was called in, I was told by my practicum supervisor that some children in another class had made three prank phone calls to students pretending to be me. But I’d touched a child on the head and another on the shoulder. When he had asked what now might be done to “clear this teacher’s name”, the response was, “We are not in the business of clearing teachers’ names”. Easy enough to understand this weighting, but…

    I completed my practicum and degree and did not go on to teach. The emotional (and financial – it was a five year program) consequences of this incident were not insignificant. I found myself breaking down while playing with nieces and nephews. Do my brothers and sisters in law harbor doubts now about the safety of their children? I had no way of knowing.

    The trauma of this stuff is not uni-directional.

    And that brings me to the ‘recovered memory’ movement, a deeply influential fad in the nineties inspired by a popular book, The Courage to Heal, that posited previously unknown levels of child molestation along with psychological mechanisms that drove the victims memories deep into the unconscious. It was not a paradigm of good social science (ie one ‘evidence’ or indicator that you might have been molested as a child but buried the memories was if you had ever found yourself having driven some distance but not able to remember what you’d driven past).

    This is a large and important piece of history and I can refer you and others to the reviews and essays and letter responses by Frederick Crewes in The New York Review of Books dating between 1994 and 1995.

    Those who take the time to review this history, if they don’t know it, will understand how it relates to a broader range of potential motivations than what is suggested in your second sentence I noted up top.

  149. Fhtagn says:

    I guess that Woody Allen taking and passing a lie detector test, when Mia Farrow refused to do the same, doesn’t figure into your agenda about rape culture though…so why mention it, right?

    • Steeevyo says:

      I am still searching the web for a response to what is one of the key arguments in Allen’s defense. There is a 10% false positive and only a 3% false negative proven statistically.

      So anybody like the author assuming Allen’s guilt would have to conclude that he falls under the three out of a hundred.
      I read somewhere else that he passed three tests but I can’t confirm this by link so it should be taken with a grain of salt. If it were true that Woody Allen passed three tests he would belong to a tiny number of psychopathic geniuses that can trick a lie detector. 1 out of 35.000 roughly.

  150. Bernie Latham says:

    Addendum
    I ought to note the historical context of my region. Not long prior to my incident, a Vancouver area teacher had been discovered as a serial molester. His name was Robert Noyes. What made this case so important was that he had been totally unsuspected, well like and something of a pillar of the community and of his profession.

    A deep consequence of his case was that it screwed up everyone’s prior epistemologies. How do we know who to trust? How can we trust anyone at all? Maybe the men who seem least likely to be doing this are the ones whom we ought to be suspecting.

    It was a very bad and very paranoid period. And with it came profound changes in how teachers, males particularly, understood they would have to behave. A lot of these changes were not positive as regards relating to children.

    And, I will add that writing all of this up here was a hell of a lot more difficult than I’d expected.

  151. sanjuro says:

    That’s some serious bollocks. What you’re saying is that it’s ok for people to accuse a man, to defame him even if he may be innocent because, hey, you’re just a regular guy, not a court of justice! It’s regular joes like you who used to hang people of their own accord or turn into a lynch mob. The worst people are the so-called ordinary people, who think highly of themselves and their good judgement, never questioning it.

    “If you are presuming his innocence by presuming her mendacity, you are rape cultured.”

    This statement is outrageous. Many people are presuming his innocence because he hasn’t been proven guilty, it’s as simple as that. Benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t mean they don’t realize he may be guilty. And presumption of innocence applies to him not to her because it’s HER allegations that are targeted at HIM. For Pete’s sake! Presumption of innocence is not a ball that is thrown between people like a tennis match.

    On top of that, no conclusive evidence was found by the court experts. She was examined by doctors and they determined that she had not been raped. So bringing up rape culture in this really is out of place!

    “On the stand, Allen’s attorney asked Mia about the second doctor’s findings: “There was no evidence of injury to the anal or vaginal area, is that correct?” Farrow answered, “Yes.”"

    She claims to have been “sexually assaulted”. Following the doctors’ findings, it seems the worst he could have done is to touch her inappropriately. It’s a serious accusation too, but there’s a major distinction between this and rape and likening Woody Allen to a monster, which you good, honest-to-god folks like to do a lot.

    And her name is Dylan Farrow, she’s the daughter of a famous actress (Mia Farrow), a famous director (Woody Allen), the grandaughter of another film director (John Farrow), the brother of an Obama-employed/future show host (Ronan Farrow) who may be the son of a famous singer (Frank Sinatra). If you want to play the celebrity card, be fair and play it both ways.

    Did Allen get special treatment in court because he is famous? I don’t know. I wouldn’t think so, because a child was involved. But what I know is that this case is definitely receiving special attention now because of his fame.

  152. Steeevyo says:

    I have to yet find any place on the internet where Dylan Farrow is accused as a liar. But I am disturbed at the abuse, violent fantasies, antisemitic slurs that are leveled against Woody Allen. I would feel more comfortable that those like you arguing on Dylan’s behalf would distance themselves from the dirt and the lynch mentality that is on display everywhere this issue is being discussed.

    Apart from that:

    I believe Dylan is a victim and deserves compassion.

    I don’t necessarily believe she is a victim of Woody Allen.

    • Nancy says:

      So you have evidence that Dylan is the victim of someone other than Woody Allen? Or does only Woody Allen get the presumption of innocence?

  153. Frank says:

    Her words are not and CANNOT be “evidence.” The mere fact that we’ve lived through the reality if many people being put in jail only to have been found innocent because it is so easy to plant false memories should make us cautious about rushing to judgement. Doesn’t the fact that there was NO evidence found when she was examined by physicians trained to recognize the physical sexual trauma that would be expected have more weight than her words.

    This doesn’t mean she is “lying” which is not the only alternative! People with false memories believe what they are saying and thus are not lying.

  154. Sharon Winter Schorr says:

    I was Woody Allen’s wife’s teacher. She was his step daughter and he married her. She was a very disturbed child who destroyed rooms of equipment at Columbia Grammer in NYC. The school kept it quiet and when I wanted it reported, the principal said the parents give too much money to the school. She was being abused as a young child and no one helped her. He married her at 19. I think that says it all.

    • Steeevyo says:

      No it doesn’t.
      And the fact that you think it does says a lot about you.
      Especially about your ethics as a teacher.

      But please sell your story to the press they will lap it up willingly.

  155. Justin H. says:

    There’s a good deal of big-picture stuff here that I’m sympathetic to. I agree that we live in a culture that too often excuses sexual violence, often by discounting the testimony of victims. And certainly it’s true that men in positions of power are often given the benefit of the doubt at the expense of less powerful women. There are big society-level problems that the author is getting at here that go way beyond the Woody Allen case.

    At the same time, I think there are some serious problems with this analysis. Here are two:

    1) The author assumes throughout that there are exactly two possibilities: either Woody Allen molested Dylan Farrow, or Farrow is maliciously lying in order to tear down Woody Allen out of spite. But there is another possibility: it’s possible that Farrow genuinely believes the accusations that she is leveling, but they are nonetheless false. Human memory is much more fallible than we’d like to admit, and when it comes to events that happened over twenty years ago, we tend to remember not the events themselves so much as the stories we’ve told ourselves about them over the intervening years. Add to this the fact that the initial events happened to a seven year old child, during an extremely emotional time of family distress, and we might further suspect a less-than-perfect recollection of the events in question. That’s not to say that we should all conclude that Farrow is falsely remembering the events she describes, but it is certainly a possibility worth considering, something the author fails to do here.

    2) It’s just mistaken to hold that to claim “we can’t know what happened” necessarily amounts to saying that “his innocence is more presumptive than hers.” Quite the opposite. It’s possible, and perhaps advisable for all those who haven’t studied the case closely, to simply suspend judgment about whether Allen really assaulted Farrow. It’s possible for us to neither assume that Allen is guilty nor assume that he is innocent, but simply admit that we really, truly don’t know. If he did assault her, then he’s guilty of a terrible crime. If he didn’t, then it’s really pretty tragic that so many people are claiming that he did. (Sexual assault is a pretty horrific thing to be falsely accused of.) It’s an uncomfortable thing to admit that we really, truly don’t know something when the stakes are so high, but sometimes it’s the most intellectually honest thing to do.

  156. Tiffany says:

    I think maybe you shouldn’t have been so hasty to publish this piece. Maybe you should have asked someone who cares about your own good name to give some feedback first. If I were your trusted friend, I’d have said something like, “unwrap your tongue and try to make some damned sense.” That’s it. This makes no sense, but you already knew that, and you were hoping to mask your pile of nonsequiters with repetition and bad poetry(?).

    All I take away from your sloppy manifesto is “I think he’s guilty and if you won’t join me in judging this guy, well then you’re guilty too.”

    Seriously, go work this out with yourself in private. Go on. We’ll wait.

  157. david johnson says:

    without having been through all that’s published about this; I notice this: the original lawsuit was Allen against Farrow, trying to remove custody of their son, and adopted children–that said
    Farrow was an unfit mother—-and should be given to Allen. This was the first action, and it seems to be ignored. Seems strange this item, which was the first public bombshell, and still exploding one, was instigated by Allen. Don’t know what to make of it.

  158. Michael Drew says:

    I absolutely agree with this:

    We are also empowered to say “We think Woody Allen probably molested a seven year old.” [As Aaron did: "To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it."] And because we are not in a court of law, we don’t even need to say the second part. The fact that we will not convict him doesn’t even need to be implied. He is not, after all, on trial.

    The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong.

    But recall: what you’re not wrong about – what you’ve said, because you’re empowered to – is that Allen *probably* did it. We’re not concluding, or at least you didn’t say we’re empowered to conclude, that Allen *did it*.

    What’s necessary is to do the work of thinking about how the way we now regard and treat Allen is different given that we think he *probably* did it, instead of thinking that he definitely or near-definitely did it.

    Because if it’s not pretty significantly different, why go through all this rationalizing? You might as well just do the honest thing, and rush to judgement straight-up.

  159. Gail says:

    Thank you for this beautiful article. I too believe that Dylan is telling the truth.

    I tried to go through the comments but was disheartened by how many people are willing to call a child a liar and her mother a vindictive crazy person to prop up a man they presumably admire.

    • Steeevyo says:

      I don’t admire Woody Allen.
      I believ in the presumption of innocence which is one of the most important cornerstones of our legal systems.
      Woody Allen is the accused.
      Presuming his innocence until proven guilty does not equal calling Dylan Farrow a liar.
      The majority of comments highlights precisely this flaw in the auhor’s argument. Most of them do very respectfully.
      You should honour the other commenters by taking their words and not interpreting what they say into what you think they are saying.
      This is not about who is getting the majority behind them and who belongs to the bigger club.
      I have read about the issue since it resurfaced in November with the Vanity Fair article about Mia Farrow. I can assure you that the vast majority of commenters want Woody Allen’s head on a plate. So you belong to the majority already. This doesn’t prove anything beyond the fact but if it makes you feel better enjoy.

  160. Most comments on blogs – particularly well-read blogs on controversial topics – are not part of a conversation, nor do they add anything beyond a sort of “me too” vote to one side or the other. Hardly anyone actually reads previous comments before posting – I’ve skimmed through, reading more closely what caught my eye – because that’s not the point. The point is to express ourselves, vigorously and publicly: like doing cartwheels in a grocery store, to get noticed briefly and acknowledged, but not really to engage.

    So I’m often loathe to comment on well-commented pieces, on the grounds that nobody cares, that what I’d say has probably been said, etc. But Aaron, if you’re still reading comments (Sorry, really), here’s something that hasn’t really been touched on directly here (though I do seem to remember it coming up on twitter).

    Sources lie. But they’re all we have.

    This is what I tell my history students (http://www.slideshare.net/jdresner/two-things-about-history-and-history-teaching) and it’s one of the most fundamental things about doing history: Sources lie deliberately, sometimes. Sometimes by omission. Sometimes accidentally. Sometimes because of their particular perspective, or because they made a mistake. Sometimes they lie because they are lost to us; a kind of 5th amendment right of history, to destroy materials.

    In spite of that, we *have* to *use* our biased, incomplete, poorly written, fragmentary sources to come to some conclusions about the world. Absolute certainty about anything other than big events is rare; absolute certainty about causality or human experiences is damn near impossible. Sometimes even “preponderance of evidence” (The American civil court standard) is just not reasonable.

    We have to be careful about filling in gaps in our knowledge with “likely,” or “logical,” or “reasonable,” suppositions. Human beings are many things, but they often aren’t logical or reasonable, and they often do unlikely things. That doesn’t mean that we can’t come to conclusions, but it means that we have to learn to be comfortable with uncertainty, epistemological humility. We acknowledge that we have built our arguments on possibly shifting ground. And we move on. We build other arguments on those arguments, and so on. Unless some new source or new perspective comes along and changes them. Then we go back and revise.

    Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with uncertainty, as long as we acknowledge it. And nothing wrong with living our lives by the fruit of our uncertain conclusions, as long as we’re satisified with the evidence and arguments that we have.

    Certainty is nice, but rare. In its absence, resolve to work towards a better world keeps us moving in the right directions, more or less.

    • anon says:

      Another way of lying is to do as Bady and the New Inquiry did here which was to publish this on the 2nd, but not publish any comments and thus any dissent about it until the 4th.

      So they let this piece free to gather compliments and tweets and reblogs etc. for two days without acknowledging the disagreeing pieces that point to logical holes in it.

      That sort of obfuscation and intellectual dishonest should not be the shape of “new inquiry”.

      • Personally, I don’t think any of the negative comments here did more register displeasure. They certainly didn’t identify any serious epistemological or ethical errors. So I don’t see how the delay was a disservice to public discourse.

      • Well says:

        Based on Bady’s twitter, it seems that the comment box was left but without comments automatically posting was an oversight and unintentional

    • Gervayse Hastings says:

      An excellent post, Jonathan Dresner! And at least one other person reads all the other posts too!

  161. Liz says:

    Just as another note – a grown man having sexual interest in MUCH younger women, say a 19 year old, or hell, even a 17 year old – while still creepy – is VERY different than having sexual interest in a 7 year old. In addition, I agree with the people that have mentioned that Dylan most likely truly does believe that this happened to her – whether it DID or not is another matter. While I certainly remember certain things from when I was 7, those memories are hardly crystal clear and if someone had been telling me over and over again that these things had happened to me – whether they did, or didn’t, or whether they happened in way which was similar but not exactly how I was told, I would likely still be inclined to believe my mother. I even think that even if it didn’t happen, or didn’t happen the way she thinks it did, Mia has convinced herself as well that it did. This is not to say it DIDN’T happen, but it’s certainly a possibility where no one would actually be “lying” per se, even if the truth was different. The mind can be a powerful thing.

  162. Liz says:

    Given her brother, does anyone think that MAYBE it happened to Mia herself and part of her belief is her projecting? Or, might there be anyway that if indeed this did happen to Dylan that is was at the hands of someone else and that the memories have gotten confused – especially given that supposedly Woody was particularly fond on Dylan and may have – while perhaps not actually molesting her – behaved in minor ways that could be construed as inappropriate? At any rate, there are SO many “if’s” and poor Dylan certainly believes it did happen to her and has been/will be struggling with it for a long time and for that I wish her all the best to heal.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478439/John-Villers-Farrow-Mia-Farrows-brother-jailed-sexually-abusing-2-boys.html

  163. Grego says:

    I know others have mentioned this, but what Aaron Bady doesn’t take into account is that Dylan Farrow may believe she is telling the truth whether it happened or not. So it’s not that a pair of bitter females are “lying for decades,” it could be as simple as Mia Farrow believed that her daughter was molested, pursued the inquiry with such force that her daughter then believed she was molested as well, which then reinforced Mia’s opinion that Dylan was indeed molested. That seems like a far more likely option than the simple smear campaign Aaron Bady is so unwilling to believe in.

  164. pauline says:

    Dylan lives with this everyday, whether we believe her or not. My heart aches for her because she IS a victim, whatever angle you wish to look at it.It is clear that she believes it and that it has affected her life in so many ways. Sure, the whole thing was investigated, the prosecutor dropped the charges to consider the child’s fragility and yale said it didn’t happen. Fact:he still diddled with mia’s adopted child and who knows when that all started? What age was soon yi? If you’re with someone for a long time, isn’t it natural to think of their kids as your own? Isn’t the fact that you don’t see yourself as their parent absurd? Isn’t looking at them as your possible new lover morally reprehensible? The fact that he had a sexual relationship with his partner’s adopted daughter should have raised red flags for the social worker who approved his 2 new adoptions with soon yi. So let me ask you this, would you let your own 7 year old child have a sleepover at woody’s? Would you let him take care of your baby? I certainly wouldn’t. Whether i believe in his innocence or not, isn’t important. I just would never risk it. Not with my child. Not with anyone else’s child.

  165. Jason Marcel says:

    This is such a poor article.

    Just because I don’t jump up and down and do what Mia and Dylan Farrow tell me to do doesn’t make me a defender of Woody Allen.

    I’m tired of this stupid attack that goes, “Woody gets preferential treatment because he’s a major Hollywood talent”. Hello! McFly! Mia Farrow is a major Hollywood talent, too!

    When you boldly accuse someone of something really awful and you do it in the public sphere, you yourself are putting that person on trial.

    I remember there was no trial 22 years ago because I remember that psychologists said that Dylan’s story was invented and sounded rehearsed.

    Now, if they were wrong and there is more evidence today to convict, than I think there should be no statute of limitations on such a thing. As of right now, there is.

    Being an adult means being able to hold two opposing thoughts in one’s mind at the same time. On one hand Dylan Farrow seems to be telling the truth. On the other hand, so too does Woody Allen.

    What I’m trying to understand is why Mia Farrow didn’t press charges all those years ago.

  166. Kumar says:

    This column has so many logical fallacies. Before I address some of those, I should point out I sincerely feel sorry for Dylan. No matter what truly happened, she has to be a traumatized individual. If Woody Allen is guilty, then she has to live with not only the horror of what happened, but the knowledge that he got away with it and has the resources to manipulate public opinion so fiercely for so long. If he did not do it, she has been horrifically manipulated by someone to make up those accusations so much that she believes them sincerely now. Just imagine having to live with that memory, true or not. And worse, in either scenario, the people to blame are her parents!
    But setting aside the actual fact of what might’ve happened, it is incredibly slippery slope to say that we must believe the victim of any rape accusation or be part of ‘rape culture’. Further, it is false equivalency to say that just because we are not sure if Woody is guilty means we are accusing Dylan of lying. As others have pointed out, there is the very real possibility that her memories could be influenced. Accounts of childrens’ memories being used to condemn innocent people are not that uncommon (example : http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/innocent-and-damned?fullpage=1). This does not make the children ‘evil’ or ‘bad’ necessarily – we just need to be congnizant of the malleability of their memories and convictions under adult pressure.
    And then the author compounds that with the conclusion: His name is Woody Allen, and in a rape culture, that good name must be shielded and protected. But shouldn’t anyone’s good name be protected until proven guilty, not just Woody Allen’s? By this logic, just by accusing someone, you can destroy their public opinion and thus their career. It is true that Dylan has no good reason to destroy her father’s reputation by making these allegations; but it is arguable that Mia did. However much I despise Woody (and I do – I can’t imagine rationalizing his marriage to his wife’s daughter and worse, how he went about it), I can’t really conclude that he is guilty because he probably was. If predilection for creepy things must be used as proof that a person might commit a related crime, we should all be very afraid of what would come after that.
    In short, Dylan has been traumatized.But this article basically says we should all treat him as guilty because how can we possibly not trust Dylan? How can we find it in our hearts to subject her to our distrust when she has already gone through this much? And Woody should not be believed because he is, what, a creep? So, basically we condemn Woody to make her feel better even if he might not be guilty? That is just plain wrong.

  167. Peter says:

    I feel badly for every single person close to this story. It’s awful. A lot of pain has gone on for a long time over this and a family was torn apart.
    I’d also like to add that although I appreciate you writing constructively and intelligently about this to keep the conversation happening, your understanding of the laws that affect this is fundamentally flawed.

  168. Jeff Franklin says:

    Aaron Bady, the author of this article, raped me. It’s now up to him to prove his innocence.

    • Nancy says:

      Interesting charge. Do you and Aaron know each other? Has Aaron been seeing a therapist about his compulsion to stick his thumb in your mouth? Does Aaron behave obsessively around you in front of many witnesses? Did a judge in Aaron’s custody case over you decline to give Aaron custody because of his inappropriate behavior towards you? Are you a child and Aaron is an adult?

      If you can answer yes to all those questions, I might believe you.

      • CustooFintel says:

        This is exactly Jeff Franklin’s point. According to logic used in the article, the burden of proof is now on Aaron Bady, and to believe otherwise shows that you are “rape cultured”.

  169. Fhtagn says:

    Mia Farrow refused to take a lie detector test. Woody took one and passed. The “confession” that Mia taped of her daughter took place over several days, not due to it being traumatic, but due to the need for coaching, according to the house staff.

    …but by all means, utilize this for ratings and publicity and furthering a “rape culture” agenda.

  170. Nina says:

    Really appreciated this piece. Thoughtful, and useful as we try to figure out how to feel about this case and the issues it raises.

    Incidentally, how on EARTH do you deal with all these vile commenters?! Couldn’t read through all the self-righteous drivel in the comments, but I did enjoy the suggestion that there’s something called a “rape culture agenda.” Ha! That dude needs a TNI Misandry Tote stat.

  171. Farlando says:

    Outrageous!

    Actually there IS an epidemic of false rape and molestation charges. And when do these charges often come up? During bitter custody battles.

    Dylan’s accusations HAVE in fact been taken seriously. Woody Allen’s reputation HAS in fact been damaged greatly. Dylan’s accusations launched a huge investigation, which concluded that her accusations were false, and likely coached by her mother. Those investigators were not a jury, and they were not operating with a reasonable doubt standard. They tried to determine what happened, and their conclusion was that Woody Allen didn’t do it.

    You’re right, you have the right to ignore the investigation and jump to conclusions based on superficial media consumption and knee-jerk, “rape-culture” male-bashing. But you probably shouldn’t be so self-righteous about it.

    This isn’t just he said/she said. The authorities and investigators who looked into this weighed in as well. And they concluded that the accusations were false.

  172. Ben Jay says:

    This is based on so many falsehoods, flimsy assumptions, and theoretical academic drivel, which you’re using to promote a witch hunt.

    Survivors of rape deserve to be heard, but you’re doing absolutely nothing to help them.

  173. Farlando says:

    P.S. I accuse you of using your status as a feminist apologist to pick up women.

    Men who use the term “rape-culture” are almost always trying to impress women with their feminist credentials.

    Am I lying?

  174. Trevor Campbell says:

    As a person who has been falsely accused of rape (she said I must have given her a date rape drug to cause her to have sex with me, thank fully there are tests for that) I have been “rape cultured” to believe that females will lie about things like this!

  175. Ken says:

    I object to the binary thinking displayed in this piece–that proclaiming that Woody Allen is (at the very least) innocent until proven guilty necessarily means you’re calling Dylan Farrow a liar. I believe both things can be true at the same time–he is innocent, and she is not lying. She is telling the world something she knows to be true, yet something that may not actually BE true. She may be completely believable to anyone willing to listen to her…yet the acts in question may still never have happened. Now, how do we as a society respond to this? Because we desperately want to bring solace to the millions of abuse victims whose stories have either not been heard or have not been believed, do we move forward as if Allen were guilty? Do we engage law enforcement to move upon him as if he were a suspect? Do we indict him, and then make him undergo a trial on little or no tangible evidence, because we feel it is better to err on the side of a victim? Is justice a process to be manipulated in order to make aggrieved people feel better, or is it based on facts? Does the system grind away objectively and dispassionately, or is it a bully pulpit for the advocacy of completely legitimate causes, i.e., listening to abuse victims?

    It’s not a question of liking Woody more than Dylan, it’s a question of upholding the principle of people being prosecuted only when there is sufficient evidence to do so–the bedrock of our judicial system and a crucial difference between us and other parts of the world where the “guilty” are determined by religious epiphany on the part of the theocratic establishment, or by the demands of a howling mob calling for blood. In those places, people are doing the right thing, too. They are correcting wrongs, they are standing on the right side of issues, as they see them. It just so happens that this process often leaves a lot of souls rotting away behind prison walls, and a lot of corpses moldering in graves, for no real reason.

    Now, has Woody acted princely all his life where relationships are concerned? No, of course not. Many of his actions have been weird and downright creepy–at the very least, they reflect a completely self-centered individual. But to look at that reality and say, “Well if these things are true, then this other thing must be as well,” is a dangerous place to go, no matter how noble the cause we are espousing. Not for Woody’s sake, but for ours, should we ever be accused of something this horrific. We would all hope the villagers wouldn’t jump to pick up the pitchforks and torches, regardless of how passionate they feel.

  176. Chris F says:

    As rational argument, this piece fails in every conceivable way. It is brilliant, however, in how precisely it embodies the political reduction involved in opinions on the matter and the brute force employed in the presentation thereof. Facts, evidence, analysis – all are irrelevant; one simply chooses his or her side. And to even to stop to ask about facts is already to have
    chosen sides, namely the anti- woman side, the rape culture side. Question the veracity of Dylan Farrow’s memory and the conditions during which the alleged abuse took place? Well, then, you must be a rapist sympathizer. You don’t want to be one of those, now do you? Good. Now keep quiet.

  177. Molly says:

    You’re a dick. This is ANOTHER example of a WHITE MAN writing about rape culture and telling everyone else what they should think. Hey Aaron, go fuck yourself.

  178. Tom Stalnaker says:

    Of course the writer of this article has a right to assume, arrogantly, that he “is probably right,” based on his general knowledge of rape statistics. But if he were accused of a sex crime, would he want to be judged by that standard by every person out there? By his logic, everyone ever accused of any crime “probably” did it. But someone should only use that logic if he has already tossed his brain in the garbage can. The other option is to withhold judgment, or, if one must judge, use some actual evidence from this case. Like the panel of experts who found that Mia Farrow probably coached her daughter. The kind of arrogant and baseless judgments proposed by this writer are not going to help change the “rape culture,” if that is his goal.

    • Jin says:

      And what if the evidence is not only not overwhelming but completely non existent?

      In refuting the presumption of innocence, all accusations become instantaneous truth?

      What a wonderful alternative.

      There is no evidence of abuse. The ONLY thing we have to go on are two contradictory accounts.

      What do you suggest in that case?

      The correct answer is to affirm neither position. To claim neither is definitive. Cuz how do you know?

      The only sane solution in such a case is to withhold judgment. To say, I don’t know who is telling the truth here because you do not.

      And if it is evil for a child to be violated and it is, it is evil for an innocent man to be accused falsely of such a vile act and have his life and name unjustly sullied.

  179. Steve Smith says:

    Regardless of whether you believe Woody Allen or Dylan Farrow, the author makes a very good point here, which is that the presumption of innocence is a concept which does not (and should not) extend outside the courtroom. A jury must grant that presumption to an Osama bin-Laden, Adolf Eichmann, or Anwar al-Awlaki; but the rest of society doesn’t have to give that presumption when the evidence is overwhelming.

  180. Trickyrodricky says:

    This was actually a breath of fresh air among all the debate. I expected a different angle based on the title (I suspect that’s why there’s so much Woody-Love in the room) – but I decided to read it because Amanda Palmer posted the link up. I was surprised to find a genuine sense of understanding of the kind of insane leaps of ‘logic’ people make in these situations.

    I think he did it too, based on the things he has done in his life, even without Dylan Farrow’s letter, I would still think he was a pedophile.

    But I could be wrong…

    The thing is that sex abuse pervades every aspect of community, not just the poor, not just the unknown, but also the rich and famous. And I defy anyone to find me a 7 year old that hasn’t been exposed to sexually inappropriate relationships to stand in front of their mother, police, lawyers, teachers, doctors (and who knows how many other authority figures) and say he did to her what she said he did.

    I think that because Woody Allen has made movies that people admire, their admiration turns to him. Good people don’t want to admire bad things so they attribute the thing they admire to the ‘fact’ he is a good person. When the idea that he is not a good person is introduced, they can’t reconcile that with their admiration and just refuse to accept it as a possibility
    Wise up guys… Talent isn’t a personality trait.

    And to the person who suggested rape culture and ‘male-bashing’ are akin… inform yourself fool you sound ignorant.

  181. JKS says:

    Thanks, Aaron. Ignore the rape-cultured trolls. You’re right on.

  182. Plus15 says:

    The head doctor of the police-appointed medical Yale-New Haven team gave sworn testimony that Dylan “either invented the story under the stress of living in a volatile and unhealthy home or that it was planted in her mind by her mother”

  183. Brandon says:

    What horrible backwards logic throughout this entire article. Emotion trumping reasoning– try using a little critical thinking especially if you’re teaching others which your bio states. Right off the bat– both can’t be telling the truth– unless if a third possibility were to exist– which– oh wow, it does. Gee whiz. Look up any number of cases on false memory syndrome. Truly an awful argument and article…

  184. Carl Craven says:

    This article makes no sense. It’s turned the argument in on itself that we have to be more aggressive about presuming Allen’s guilty so as not presume Farrow was lying.

    Can anyone actually tell me what Allen did? Please don’t say sexually abused he because that means nothing in terms of making a decision about anyone’s guilt. Please be specific and tell me what he did because I haven’t seen it written anywhere what he actually did other than sexually abuse her.

    I’m under the impression that at the time of the supposed assault Farrow showed no signs of anal or vaginal molestation so can someone be more specific because if you can’t then you don’t know what the F@ck you are talking about do you!

  185. Jessica B says:

    Thank you for writing this. The responses of those who don’t understand you just prove how deeply ingrained the rape culture is. I’m happy to be part of the generation that will be on the right side of history about this issue and so many others. Finally, we are giving credence to victims who have had to remain silent for too long.

  186. Mark Mardon says:

    Wow. This is some serious stupidity. Dylan Farrow is not the accused. The benefit of the doubt (and there are serious doubts about the veracity of her story) goes to the accused, Woody Allen. There is so little evidence against him, and so much that indicates that Dylan is not credible, that this is simply laughable. Thank goodness that your opinion is not attached to any juridical apparatus.

  187. NaJacobs says:

    Brilliantly articulated piece, Aaron. Excellent point about the double standard of presumed innocence. Particularly maddening are those who repeatedly seek to shut down the conversation with the “innocent until proven guilty” argument, as if parroting that phrase decides the matter outside the criminal courts. Presumption of innocence is designed to protect innocent people from prison, not to prevent you or I or anyone else from coming to our own armchair conclusions. Presumed innocence under the law doesn’t mean that the public can’t weigh the statements of Dylan Farrow and her mother — plus, according to the recent Vanity Fair piece, additional witnesses — against the protestations of one very powerful man, and decide who is most likely full of shit. What we then do with our conclusions (Tweet our outrage? stop supporting Woody Allen movies?) is up to us. Thank you for writing this.

  188. Tadeu says:

    I want to say there are two people in this world who know the truth. I can’t even honestly say that. Debates about who is telling the truth and to what degree have limited utility. We all routinely misremember or misperceive the past, lie to ourselves, and believe what we want to believe.

    What I do know for sure is that everyone who is a family member or friend of the family is in pain. Dylan is in pain. Woody is in pain. Any person who is in pain, due to actual or perceived injury, should work through the pain and move on. Period.

  189. Bella Lee says:

    “Rape Culture”…give me a break.

    I’m a middle aged woman who understands what rape is and refuses to condemn the entire male sex for some kind of imaginary violent war against all womankind. Women get raped. It’s horrific. But here’s a bulletin for you: Women also LIE about being raped.

    As for Mia Farrow, you’re talking about a woman scorned. Yea, Woody left her with her adopted-of age-daughter. That’s a despicable act, but it’s not a crime. She’s pissed. Without him she had no career. Here we are 15 years later and she’s found a perfect opportunity for her to dredge up the almost two-decades old allegations against him. Timing is everything. Isn’t it curious that he was just given a Golden Globe and is about to open his first Broadway musical?

    Yep. Seemingly happily married for 15 years and with his career at an apex, even at his advanced age, Farrow and her daughter saw the opportunity to lash out and took it.

    We have NO idea what did or didn’t happen. I for one will not take the word of an opportunistic woman and her “too fragile” daughter who use their obvious anger to manipulate the press and the public.

    This is the conversation we should have been having about Michael Jackson, not Woody Allen.

  190. Nancy says:

    So there are only three possibilities? Dylan is either lying .. telling the truth .. or thinks she’s telling the truth. But Woody is only either lying or telling the truth. What happened to ‘thinks’ he’s telling the truth? Or is Dylan the only one who could have memory problems?

  191. Jin says:

    This is dumb and hypocritical.

    You know what you do when you don’t want to presume guilt on anyone in absence of evidence and it’s a he said, she said situation?

    You WITHHOLD JUDGMENT. “I DON’T KNOW” IS A THING.

    by presuming Allen to be the liar (even though he subjected himself to a lie detector test, which Mia farrow refused, AND PASSED), you are as irrational and arbitrary as you accuse the rape culture of being.

    Same shit, just going in the misandry side.

    You are being part of the problem.

    Bravo.

  192. LG says:

    best thing written on the subject. how shocked were you guys by the comments? are you even still reading them? fuck. maybe you knew yr audience better than i did, but i’d assumed new inquiry readers were way fucking better in their gender politics and subtler in their thinking than what’s represented in the comments here. what a let down. if this is a representative sample of what new inquiry readers think, i can’t even bear to consider what’s going on in the population at large.

  193. So…

    Because he’s Woody Allen and he’s famous, we should automatically assume he’s a child rapist?

    Or should be wait to hear the facts, which said NO EVIDENCE?

    Oh wait – we should be mad at the DAILY BEAST for using the accuser’s name, even though her own MOTHER tweeted her real name?

    You are very confused.

  194. terry says:

    I have never been one to think that Woody Allen was particularly good, much less great, at anything. he is married to his adopted daughter. he is supposed to be her father not her husband. that fact tells you he is not the most moral of men walking this earth. it is not a far stretch to think that he might have molested another one of his adopted daughters.

  195. JDoe says:

    There shouldn’t be a statute of limitations on molestation charges. A child, once legal age, should be allowed to seek prosecution on their own behalf for harms done years earlier. Without that as an option, all you really have is opinion and conjecture. I noticed in comments here that certain individuals are calling this libel. I disagree. This is an opinion piece on a recent revelation about a public figure. People are allowed to express their opinion on that. It is called Free Speech. The price of wealth & fame for public figures is that they have to tolerate variable opinions.
    Personally, I thought it was creepy back when he married his step-daughter…that he was violating a position of trust. So, for me, it is more believable than not that he is likely to violate that type of trust further. However, unless there is a conviction in a court of law, he is free to continue living his life, regardless of anyone’s opinion.

  196. Ann Shannon says:

    I find it incomprehensible that so many people are willing to dismiss Dylan Farrow’s account of being raped by Allen, when most of Allen’s films include very direct themes of ridiculously older men obsessed with underage girls. As if an affair with his lover’s 18 year old daughter was not any indicator of his lack of boundaries and was irrelevant? For God’s sake, the man was quoted in a 70s interview saying something to the effect to not be surprised if anyone wrote about him having sex with any number of underage girls, and that he was capable of anything. Given that, why would anyone with a brain or a shred of sensibility or discernment dismiss Dylan Farrow’s account, which screams with authenticity and undeniable pain? Weide, Alec Baldwin, and Cate Blanchet and Stephen King, and all the Allen apologists like them are sickening. I be boycotting their films as well as Allen’s.

    • BrooklynWoman says:

      Woody Allen’s history suggests his sexuality is organized around young but sexually mature women — late adolescents. This is not the same thing as sexual attraction to pre-pubescents.

      There has never been another allegation of sexual molestation made against Woody Allen, before or since. Contrast this to Michael Jackson, a clear pedophile.

      Pedophilia is a specific disorder and pedophiles have an extremely difficult time modifying their behavior. They tend to be repeat offenders.

      Of course, I don’t know whether Woody Allen molested Dylan Farrow or not. But there’s enough murkiness in this case that it’s unreasonable to accuse someone who doesn’t pledge their “support” to Dylan Farrow of being morally impaired or blinded by celebrity or what have you.

  197. mackbrad says:

    This article starts off on the wrong foot then continues to stumble its way to irrelevance. First off, let’s agree to retire first-year university jargon like “rape culture” or even better, “rape cultured.” Assuming that we all live in a world where men see all women as objects to be raped, is horribly offensive and tremendously dull.

    If you choose (like I do) to support the innocence of Mr. Allen based on the convincing evidence gathered by investigators, law enforcement and prosecutors when these allegations were born back in 1992, that does not make you a charter member of our “rape culture.” That makes you somebody who examined the facts of the case and used logic and reason to come to a conclusion.

    It also doesn’t mean that I think Dylan Farrow is a liar. It’s entirely possible that a) she was assaulted, but by somebody else other than Allen and/or b) Mia Farrow manipulated/coached her to say the things she said. (This latter situation was one that the original investigative team supported in their final report.)

    And then there’s this bit of intellectual skullduggery: “The second reason it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right.” Just because you say you want a pony for Christmas, doesn’t mean you’re getting a pony for Christmas. I can only assume that the author of this flimsy straw horse of an article has not read Robert Wiede’s lengthy article that dissembles the half-truths and historical inaccuracies contained in the now infamous Mia Farrow Vanity Fair piece from 1992. It’s a house of cards friend: the facts are clearly and solidly on Allen’s side. They were then, and in the absence of any new evidence, they still are today.

    Is Woody Allen a creep for dating and marrying his GF’s adopted daughter? Yes. Is Mia Farrow justified in holding a grudge these many years later? Of course. Can she resurrect old, dis-proven allegations and publicly accuse her of being a pedophile? Apparently yes — but I hope she’s taken to task for this horrendous public flaying.

  198. Joelen Mulvaney says:

    Good piece, liked the about-face logic and your bravery. In a rape culture, rapists have a special place in the pantheon of heroes and is a widely used tool of repression globally. Brave because lots of folks will not like reading this or will be confused by constantly having to jump from one side to the other. BRAVA!

  199. redshoesballet says:

    Thank you for writing this article. Unfortunately, there are too many amongst us who benefit from rape culture and like to pretend it does not exist. It is like our own collective gaslighting and until we all wake up, I don’t see how we will ever progress on this issue. We survivors have learned to keep silent and carry our cross because the cost of speaking out is what is happening to Dylan Farrow and countless others: backlash, hatred, repeated violation and trauma. I believe you, Dylan. And I thank you, Aaron.

  200. Ya Totally a guy says:

    I totally disagree, saying you don’t know doesn’t mean your accusing one party of lying it means that you are unsure whether either party is lying. It is exactly refusing to take a side.

    This illogical thinking is just one of the many problems with feminism. I would say it is the primary with it. They have become to much the mirror image of the conservatives, leading them to the idealogical irrationality of towing the party line rather than thinking for themselves. This is why many men and women no longer support them as a group.

  201. Oswald McPherson says:

    If she’s telling the truth and he isn’t, he’s a rapist.

    If he’s telling the truth and she isn’t, she’s a liar.

    You clearly think that it is worse to presume someone to be a liar than to presume someone to be a rapist.

    You therefore clearly think that it is lying is worse than raping.

    Culture doesn’t get much more rapey than that.

  202. cs lewis says:

    “Mr. Bady is an idiot.”

    I “know” after this accusation of Mr. Bady’s idiocy that you are saying that his mental ability or lack thereof is on trial, not mine: he deserves judicial safeguards in the court of public opinion, but I do not.

    The damnably difficult thing about all of this, of course, is that you can’t presume that both I am right or that Mr. Bady is not an idiot at the same time. One of us must be claiming something that is not true. But “he said, or I said” doesn’t resolve to “let’s start by assuming the the poster of this comment is lying,” except in a “insert_buzzword_here” culture (a culture in which pretty much anyone, regardless of knowledge, credibility or personal accountability can stand on a cyber soapbox and spew their idiotic ideologies online). And if you are presuming Mr. Bady is not an idiot by presuming my mendacity, you are “____” cultured.

  203. […] Depressed for  days by the idiotic  commentary on Dylan  Farrow’s account in the  NYT of being  abused by  Woody Allen. I don’t want to believe that the only people able to hear and  understand a  rape survivor are other rape survivors, that the only people who can understand PTSD are sufferers from PTSD, that only those who have  experienced cancer or bereavement or madness are capable of insight and compassion. Surely we are able to stretch to more empathy than that when there is so much information around?  Aaron Bady may be the only person I’ve read who gets the bigger and more damning context […]

  204. Dave says:

    It’s possible that no one is lying, that a justifiably scandalized Mia Farrow, some 20 years ago, noticed that Dylan wasn’t wearing her panties (if her father had molested her, why wouldn’t he have replaced her panties afterward?) and started asking hard questions and, subsequently, coaching Dylan. That was, after all, what the young girl’s psychiatrists’ conclusions at the time. And if her doctors were right, if Dylan had been coached, that may explain her “memories” of the event. Implanting false memories in young children by way of repeated suggestion is actually very easy to do, as they have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality anyway. One need look no further than the McMartin Preschool Trial to confirm that.

  205. Dave says:

    It’s possible that no one is lying, that a justifiably scandalized Mia Farrow, some 20 years ago, noticed that Dylan wasn’t wearing her panties (if her father had molested her, why wouldn’t he have replaced her panties afterward?) and started asking hard questions and, subsequently, coaching Dylan. That was, after all, the young girl’s psychiatrists’ conclusions at the time. And if her doctors were right, if Dylan had been coached, that may explain her “memories” of the event. Implanting false memories in young children by way of repeated suggestion is actually very easy to do, as they have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality anyway. One need look no further than the McMartin Preschool Trial to confirm that.

    As for what *probably* happened, who knows? This isn’t a normal family of average people. By all accounts, they’re all pretty fucked up.

  206. miles says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that we can allow Mr. Allen the presumption of innocence? Because he has been accused of a horrible crime and should be judged for it (apparently online).

    So in this conception of our trial, Mr. Allen stands accused, has the presumption of innocence. Ms. Farrow is a witness against Mr. Allen and her evidence is considered by us, the public jury.

  207. Rasmus says:

    Well argued, but still wrong.

    First disclaimer; I actually believe that Dylan is telling the truth. Seriously.

    HOWEVER:

    In any CIVILISED culture, the presumption is ALWAYS the treat anyone innocent of a crime, until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt.

    Now the burden of proof is always; and this can’t be stressed too much, ALWAYS on the one who makes the claim that a crime has been committed. No matter what the circumstances are.

    Now, how horrible it may sound in this particular case, the reasoning for this is that it is MUCH WORSE to have people sentenced for crimes they did not commit that people getting away with crimes they did.

    I’m appalled by the current international trend to put people in jail without a fair trial, execute people without a trial, and now lynch people’s reputation in public – again without a trial. That is uncivilised and barbaric, and eventually leads to moral collapse of society.

    Again, having said this – I do believe Dylan’s story on a personal level and feel this should be dealt with through the proper process. I’m not accusing her of lying, just saying that – as always, it’s the accusing party who must produce the evidence that a crime has been committed. Nobody should ever be punished for a crime without proper evidence and trial. Not even the people we *know* are guilty. Because we might sometimes believe we know, but actually be wrong. And it’s to protect all those innocent people we might not like from false claims.

  208. SueChen says:

    Thank you. I resonated with every word of this essay as it simultaneously opened my eyes. Brilliantly well done.

  209. Michael Childs says:

    I have, sadly, reached just one firm conclusion in all this, and it is based on an event that undeniably took place: Mia Farrow screwed up. Badly.

    Under no circumstances was it wise or appropriate for Dylan’s mother to conduct a videotaped interview of her daughter about the wrongdoing of her estranged boyfriend. I have no doubt that this affected her daughter’s report in some way. Ms. Farrow succeeded in doing one of two things: (1) she warped her daughter’s recollections in such a way to make a false or exaggerated case against Mr. Allen or (2) she interfered in her daughter’s recollections and created reason to doubt the veracity of a legitimate report of child molestation. Either outcome is a tragedy; there was no possibility of a good outcome after this.

    My child experienced the separation of parents at about the same age that Dylan saw hers pull apart. I can tell you from experience that with all the good faith in the world, neither parent in this situation (especially if they are angry at one another) could possibly expect the child to report what happened accurately without being thoroughly messed up by their relationship with the parent asking the questions. It’s not just unlikely; after much soul-searching on my own part, I can tell you that it is impossible.

    Please, if you are ever in the same situation as Mia, don’t do this to your child, no matter how much you believe you are doing it for them.

  210. Kyle says:

    Go to Afghanistan, and then tell me that the United States is a rape culture.

  211. EEMargolin says:

    Deconstructing the numerous inconsistencies of Mia Farrow’s story, Robert Weide wrote an interesting piece for the Daily Beast that provides a deeper insight into the reasons why a six-month long inquiry concluded Dylan Farrow was not molested.

    Weide provides details that the he prosecutor (who eventually abandoned a criminal investigation of Mr. Allen) was brought censured by a disciplinary committee for his action in the case against Mr. Allen. The panel wrote that the prosecutor’s actions “violated the prosecutor’s obligation to the accused. [His actions were] inappropriate, unsolicited, and potentially prejudicial.”

    There’s great evidence to the theory that Dylan Farrow was pre-programmed at the ages of 6 through 7 to think of Mr. Allen as a potential molester, how video of her statements at the age of 7 was doctored/edited and a number of other disturbing inconsistencies that lend credibility to the idea that Ms. Farrow helped plant false-memories based on her anger of being rejected for Mr. Allen’s eventual wife.

    The general public is quick to rebuke Mr. Allen simply because Ms. Farrow stated that he molested her daughter, despite her terrible inconsistencies and pre-”incident” effort to paint Mr. Allen as a horrible human being.

    It should be noted that Mr. Allen and his current wife have since adopted two daughters. Anyone who has adopted is familiar with the vetting process conducted by social workers and licensed government agencies charged with looking out for the child’s welfare. Suffice it to say, the case of Woody and Soon-Yi was no exception, especially considering the highly-publicized events of 1992-93. Both adoptions, in two different states, were thoroughly reviewed by state court judges who found no reason why Woody and his wife shouldn’t be allowed to adopt.

    While she was granted sole custody, Mia Farrow was unsuccessful in her bid to annul Woody Allen’s mutual adoption of Dylan and Moses Farrow . Legally, Woody Allen remains the adoptive father of both while respecting their estranged relationship boundaries.

    While I want to be careful to say that the events claimed by Ms. Farrow could have happened, they appear to be unlikely based on the evidence and exhaustive investigative procedures conducted.

  212. StanV says:

    First of all the thesis of your article is completely wrong and showes that you utterly don’t understand the situation. When you said “You can’t presume that both are innocent at the same time.” That is completely untrue. Has ever entered your mind that maybe Allen’s silence doesn’t point to him being guilty but intact points to the fact that he’s a loving father who wants to protect his daughter?? Both can be innocent and I believe both are. Because Dylan believes she’s telling the truth doesn’t make it so. If you did work in the judicial system you would know that the least credible evidence there is, is eye witness testimony, especially that of the a young child, even more so regarding something that happened years ago.

    But let’s take a look at the facts we know to be true and try to come up with and see if we can come to a reasonable, logical conclusion at the end without bringing the “rape culture” I clearly live in for having the nerve to imply someone famous isn’t also a criminal. (And if you think to yourself, “that’s not what I said.” Your lying, or don’t understand what you write.)

    Fact 1. Woody Allen had an affair with his adopted daughter.

    Fact 2. She was of the age if consent.

    Fact 3. Mia farrow was terribly hurt and embraced. I know this because i am a human and she filed for divorce and it was a huge public debacle.

    Fact 4. Mia farrow did not press charges on Woody Allen. Every body reading this should ask themselves one question. If I was in Mia’s place and thought that Allen rapes children, would I let him get away with it so he can go on raping other peoples children??? If she did she is at least partially to blame for the many other rape victims of Woody Allen who have come out to…. Oh wait there aren’t any. Which is also fact 5.

    Fact 5. Where are the others?? Are we to assume that Woody Allen learned his lesson? That he saw the error of his ways? The man who could not control himself when the urge to rape his own child consumed his weak mind, but somehow he was able to overcome his sexual deviancy and tame his naught libido. That why he must have made so many medicine movies.

    Fact 6. Farrows own brother recalls how his sister Dylan was never the scared uncomfortable child around her father until after the rape charges surfaced. Does that make sense to you? Yes I just made the point that child hood memories are the least credible evidence there can be however I am making the assertion and taking the stance that the memory of a general attitude your sibling felt towards her father is more reliable then the specific details a seven year old girl can remember at 20 something. Moreover its very possible that those “memories were planted in her head, it’s very unlikely some had the wear with all to plant that idea into the brothers head.

    Now based on this I will tell you what conclusion I came to and you can make your own.

    Mia farrow was deeply hurt by Woody Allen, probably hates him to levels never before recorded in history. Yet when she had the chance she did not attempt to incarcerate the man she supposedly thought was the worst kind of threat to society and the man who scared her family for life?? That is immensely unlikely. Who are the most gullible people in the world? I haven’t run the data yet but I’m pretty sure cute 7 year old girls would be high on the list. I know cause when my sister was that age I could convince her of anything. Anything at all. Like for instance that if she ate a penny she would poop out a quarter and that’s how mommy and daddy make money. That’s a true story, and guess what. She are the penny and made a mess on the floor. Why cause she know nothing about the world cause she is 7. They know what you tell them. This is why I refuse to say the Dylan farrow is guilty of anything other than being a sweet little file who trusted her emotionally wounded mother, who also honestly thought Woody Allen is evil, but not evil enough to go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

    • StanV says:

      I should have edited what wrote. I clearly don’t sound nearly as intelligent as I thought I would… Kids listen to your English teachers, and turn off autocorrect. :)

  213. StanV says:

    I would like to apologize for the many grammatical errors in my previous comment. And would like to add that I commend Woody Allen for showing true class and doing everything in his power to protect his daughter from being vilified in the media. He can easily scream his innocence from the top of the Empire State and effortlessly prove his innocence, yet in doing so he would point our sharp claws at his daughter whom he still obviously loves and still has the honorable duty of protecting. Cheers to you Mr. Allen.

  214. Wally Wolf says:

    It’s not necessarily the accusations in this situation that’s at debate here; it’s the timing of the accusations that is so questionable. This supposedly happened over 20 years ago. It was determined, after being examined by a physician, that Dylan was not raped. It was also highly suspected that Mia had coached 7-year-old Dylan at the time to accuse Woody of sexual molestation right after Woody had left Mia for Mia’s adopted daughter, not Woody’s daughter. When you’re 7 years old and your mother tells you that you have been molested, then you have no choice but to believe her. Bringing this subject to the forefront right now seems like a dedicated attempt to ruin Woody Allen’s chances of winning the Oscar. Mia’s career as an actress is over and it seems as though she is trying to keep in the public eye, which is better than no publicity at all, through this alleged abuse. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. This has been going on too long and she is hurting her family and keeping them from getting on with their lives by involving them in this constant drumbeat of revenge. Dylan’s brother Moses says that this story was cooked up as a revenge vehicle and he has since liberated himself from Mia’s influence. Mia is also hurting herself and taking away from any good works that she’s involved in by having this constantly running along side of it. There is no way Woody can be prosecuted after all this time, so what is the point other than to make a career out of this so-called incident. Whether it’s true or not, there is no concrete proof, so it’s over, and it’s time for everyone concerned to get over it and get on with their lives.

  215. Daniel says:

    Stan, ‘fact’ 1. is not actually a fact. He had an affair with the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and André Previn not his own adopted daughter.

  216. Bob says:

    Aaron Bady sexually molested me when I was 7. Let loose the hounds!

  217. Aaron Ferri says:

    Your thesis is interesting but false. A legal presumption is just that only a presumption, its not meant to state any more or less that what it proffers. The idea that you can’t PRESUME that both are innocent at the same time completely misunderstands how presumptions work. A presumption is more akin to saying “for the purposes of law, we will accept for the moment something to be the case.” but something being the case for the purposes of law does not make it so for the purposes of Truth. One does not effect the other and neither are binding on anything outside of that narrow scope. Even in criminal law the standard is never, “true beyond a shadow of a doubt” its true beyond a reasonable doubt. Law is comfortable with the fact that its not omniscient. If woody allen was to go on trial for molestation he would as a base protection be given a presumption of innocence. If dylan farrow was subsequently put on trial for perjury or something she too would still be given a presumption of innocence. The two are not contrary. It’s more like saying, i don’t have enough information to say either way who or what is true EITHER WAY not just in favor of one party over the other.

    • sam says:

      I think its pretty clear that the “presumption of innocence” is always referring to the alleged perpetrator. No one is saying Dylan Farrow is guilty of a major crime, whereas Woody Allen is being accused of a felony. There is no equivalency between lying/false accusations and sexual assault– the latter is far more damning. It is clear to me, and a court of law, that the presumption of innocence until proven guilty is meant to apply to Woody Allen, not his accuser.

      Not a super well thought out commentary

  218. Mike M says:

    I think the “court of public opinion” is a valid point of view. We accept its judgement all the time. There is very little in life that is TRUE beyond ANY doubt. Even the criminal legal system judges on the basis of guilt beyond ANY REASONABLE (not ALL) doubt. That statement leaves open to debate what is “reasonable”?

    Note that often defendants who escape the criminal yardstick for criminal guilt, with its concomitant formal punishment system (prison) are sometimes found guilty in civil court, with its associated punishment in terms of civil (usually, financial) penalties. This is because, in civil courts, the bar for evidence is lower than in criminal courts. If someone is found guilty in civil court after he is acquitted in criminal court, is he/she guilty of the offense? Are you guilty or are you not guilty? The difference is only how much punishment we can mete out.

    In the case of Woody Allen, I have more reason to believe Dylan Farrow’s story (at this point in time). From what I’ve read, Mr. Allen’s arguments have been of the sort “You can’t prove that”, or what I’d call negative evidence. Dylan and her mother have provided more positive evidence. We’d have to believe they were all lying and have been all these years to believe Woody. The author of this article builds a stronger case than mine.

    Is the court of public opinion VALID? Absolutely. Is it strong enough for criminal conviction? Probably not. But, so what? Do we need to put Woody Allen in jail? or are there ways to publicly ostracize this (crowd-source evidenced) predator? And if we are wrong? Well, the criminal justice system has put people in jail for long periods, and even executed many, unjustifiably.

  219. Acali says:

    It is disturbing to read many of the comments which suggests Dylan may not be lying because of the atrocious assumption she has been manipulated by her mother and this alleged lie has become her reality. Victims of sexual abuse like myself run the all to real risk of being revictimized by a culture that values it’s sexual perversions, insatiable appetites and absence of any moral fiber over childhood innocence. I was 5 when I was made the victim of a relatives sexually inordinate affections and although I didn’t have words to describe the travesty that was my life from ages 5 to 11; the memories stayed in my mental archive and knowledge caught up with the memories at the tender age of 11. At age 11 when I was in school one day we watched a birds and bees movie and in that moment all the small pieces of knowledge coupled with mental pictures/memories collided in one moment which help me to understand what happened to me repeatedly for those 6 years. It was liberating and devestating all at once. I didn’t tell my parent until I left the country at 19 years old. It is a disgrace to protect a grown man, celibrity or not, who has a history of perversion over the experience of a child who is now a women telling her story. I am sickened by the scathing judgements coupled with the attempts to neutralize this criminals behavior. Put yourself in Dylan’s shoes or picture her as your daughter or loved one. Perhaps then you could muster the slightest ion of empathy for Dylan who is the victim I’m this situation. These trifle opinions would perhaps be provided to support a victims journey of healing rather than a perverts lack of conscience, decency and his escape from being held accountable. Sincere and deep thanks to the writer from a victim of sexual abuse who appreciates your boldness as to decline neutrality and political correctness to tell the story of Dylan and millions of sexual abuse victims/victors. We appreciate you being demonstration of humanity enough to go against the grain of useless public opinion to tell our story. God bless the healing journey of survivors of sexual crimes against children worldwide!

    • StanV says:

      So because you were abused that somehow proves Mia farrow didn’t manipulate her daughter??? And are you saying that it is impossible to believe something happened to you that didn’t??? I have, and know many people that suppressed memories and I also have memories of events shared with my parents and siblings which they completely dismiss as fantasy.

      Woody Allen did not abuse you, so don’t lump him in the same basket as the asshole that did, it’s not fair to him and it’s not fair to everyone else who has been falsely accused of such crimes.

      It’s interesting that all day I have been reading comments from other victims of abuse, all of which seem to blame Allen for crimes they aren’t sure he committed, yet almost none of then have anything negative to say about Mia and Dylan farrow for making false accusations which really do much more damage to the credibility of said victims and help dissuade others from coming out and telling their stories

      • Tori says:

        It’s possible that might have been the case. It’s not uncommon for mothers to coach their children to claim sexual abuse during divorce cases, sad to say. Mia Farrow has proven herself to be capable of that kind of behavior (look at her situation with Andre Previn, the possibility of Ronan being Sinatra’s biological child before she suspected Allen was abusing Dylan). Dylan has no reason to lie, but Mia certainly does. I usually do side with the victim, but divorce cases make such cases very murky.

        That being said, I do actually believe that Dylan was molested, based off of the evidence (i.e. the court case, statements by babysitters, the fact that professionals deemed Allen’s relationship with Dylan “grossly inappropriate”). Yet I acknowledge that it is very possible that she hasn’t been.

  220. StanV says:

    I would also like to add a little food for thought on the topic of memories. As I’m sure that like me, at least some other homo’s out there (Homo Sapiens that is) have had the experience of remembering something that turned out to be false. Or not being sure if they remembered an event at all. My point is memory’s don’t have to happen to be remembered. For example if you visualize yourself playing basketball in Madison Square Garden repeatedly, I think it’s very possible that this can be stored as a memory and 10 years later it might be hard to tell the difference from the real memory of having playedin your high school gym.

    Memory is such a fickle thing. How many times have we locked our doors and ran off to work only to run back home 2 min later because we couldn’t remeber for sure?? She was 7 years old, it happened 21 years ago. There have been no other victims before or since that we know of, nor any rumors of repeat offenses.

    It seems to me that anyone who believes that the events in question actually occurred, does so because they want them to be true much more then they want the truth to be known.

  221. Chip Rooney says:

    Both Dylan and Woody could be telling the truth if she believes it actually happened when it didn’t.

  222. Dick M says:

    This article is filled with twisted logic and all manner of biases, even if I agree with some of them. On this case, many are forming opinions based on deeper, often unconscious reasons. I agree that both Dylan and Woody could be speaking their truth. I think we owe it to Woody to read his recent reply to the changes (where is that link?) But remember, if one has formed a decision based on deep emotional unconscious reasoning, it is unlikely to be changed by reading another account of the event. Good luck everyone. The supermarket tabloids will have a blast with this. I still oppose any instance of sexual abuse or rape of women or children, but I am not certain this is a case of that.

  223. Steve says:

    This comes from a guy who cheers himself for “brandishing his ignorance like a crucifix”. I should have stopped reading there.

  224. Jay says:

    “To be blunt: I think Woody Allen probably did it, though, of course, I could be wrong … it’s okay if I’m wrong is that I’m probably not wrong. It’s much more likely that I’m right.”
    Oh really, Mr. Bady? Despite everything, you, sir, are the douche bag of the month for that one sentence alone.

  225. slogoing says:

    For me, this article was not about Dylan or Woody Allen. It was about the culture we have around women men, power and judgement over an individuals actions. Any of you good readers unfortunate enough to have failed to protect a child know what collateral damage can be made by a persons actions, and reliving it can sometimes be more traumatic than the actual events. I didn’t have to live with Woody and Mia to know I didn’t like him, and my not liking him has nothing to do with my presumption of his guilt or innocence. I didn’t like his films because an old girlfriend insisted that whenever one come out we had to see it. And I saw an insecure guy obsessing over sex and to me it always really seemed he was just being himself. When has woody cast himself as anything other than that? Not sure as I slept through most of the movies, and my dreams were more interesting. Plus, having taken my gal to an Allen film pretty much guaranteed my intimacy for the evening so, in fairness I guess I owe him some gratitude. Old men in power tend to abuse it, and we in society like to stick up for our friends. I would like to congratulate both Mia and Woody for getting their names out there and keeping my mind off the war and the economy. If he did it, it’s been done. If she’s lying, that too has been done. This is all history and the article to me was a commentary on how society views women, their bodies, and the power that men want to have over them. Not woody or dylan, or even Obama. My uneducated guess would be that they are all lying, and that is an inherent aspect of celebrity culture. That will have to be another article. peace y’all

  226. Rasha says:

    I have no doubt that Allen did it but it took some time to piece it together on why he did it…

    If he’s a molester why haven’t we seen more children come up pointing the finger towards him? Why only these two girls? Because they’re Mia’s daughters.

    This isn’t an perverted act of sexual assault, it’s a sick act of revenge.

    Mia Farrow may have admitted later on that Ronan, supposedly the only biological son for Allen is actually Sinatra’s son, but, come on! How on earth would Allen not have seen it very early on. Isn’t it possible that this is his sick way of taking revenge? After all, the parallel between Mia marrying Sinatra at the young age of 19 and him seducing her daughter at the exact same age cannot be overlooked.

  227. Jon says:

    Please read Wood y Allen Allegations: Not so Fast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/27/the-woody-allen-allegations-not-so-fast.html

    #1: Soon-Yi was Woody’s daughter. False.

    #2: Soon-Yi was Woody’s step-daughter. False.

    #3: Soon-Yi was Woody and Mia’s adopted daughter. False. Soon-Yi was the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and André Previn. Her full name was Soon-Yi Farrow Previn.

    #4: Woody and Mia were married. False.

    #5: Woody and Mia lived together. False. Woody lived in his apartment on Fifth Ave. Mia and her kids lived on Central Park West. In fact, Woody never once stayed over night at Mia’s apartment in 12 years.

    #6: Woody and Mia had a common-law marriage. False. New York State does not recognize common law marriage. Even in states that do, a couple has to cohabitate for a certain number of years.

    #7: Soon-Yi viewed Woody as a father figure. False. Soon-Yi saw Woody as her mother’s boyfriend. Her father figure was her adoptive father, André Previn.

    #8: Soon-Yi was underage when she and Woody started having relations. False. She was either 19 or 21. (Her year of birth in Korea was undocumented, but believed to be either 1970 or ’72.)

    #9: Soon-Yi was borderline retarded. Ha! She’s smart as a whip, has a degree from Columbia University and speaks more languages than you.

    #10: Woody was grooming Soon-Yi from an early age to be his child bride. Oh, come on! According to court documents and Mia’s own memoir, until 1990 (when Soon-Yi was 18 or 20), Woody “had little to do with any of the Previn children, (but) had the least to do with Soon-Yi” so Mia encouraged him to spend more time with her. Woody started taking her to basketball games, and the rest is tabloid history. So he hardly “had his eye on her” from the time she was a child.

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