In the November issue of Vanity Fair, writer Maureen Orth talks to Mia Farrow and her children, 20 years after her first story on the sexual-abuse allegations involving Woody Allen and his and Farrow’s adopted daughter, Dylan. If you’ve never read the 1992 piece, please do. It is completely heart-wrenching and sickening.
And it makes you wonder why Allen has largely avoided the wrath seen against Roman Polanski.
Don’t get me wrong. Polanski has seen almost zero punishment for his horrific, violent assault against a 13-year-old child. Hollywood continues to embrace him with open, loving, forgiving, “it’s cool, bro!” arms. But, we, the internet strong, the movie lovers, our views are tainted, even those who are more skilled at separating man from artist. Polanski’s career is forever colored, however lightly, in “child rapist.”
But, Allen’s isn’t. Aside from scattered Soon-Yi jokes, largely delivered by those still making Monica Lewinsky references and Austin Powers impressions, no one talks about the darkness behind those stale Soon-Yi late night zingers. No one talks about Dylan Farrow.
And, today, after the story went public, no one’s talking about Dylan Farrow. Instead, they’re talking about how Ronan Farrow might be the biological son of Frank Sinatra.
That’s what they took from that interview. Not Dylan’s still “crippling” fears, or the “blood on [Allen’s] hands” in the death of Lark Previn, Soon-Yi’s sister, who died of heart failure at 35. Just the fun, barely-scandalous “ooooh! Mia had a different baby daddy, y’all! Call Maury!”
If you read the 1992 article, the backlash against Farrow was one of blaming the woman scorned, blaming jealousy for these allegations. Allen and his supporters sprinkled rumored sins and failings of Farrow and her children to any news medium that would listen to tarnish her, this woman who adopted all these kids, many with special needs, and gave them good lives. And we don’t even think about it. His movies continue to come out to acclaim, with little to no mention of his personal past, and, today, blogs, tabloids and magazines taut the much more exciting story of questionable parentage over the meat of the piece. (In fairness, it lead to this amazing tweet from Ronan Farrow himself, who is by all accounts hilarious and awesome.)
Maybe everyone has finely honed those skills only some have with Polanski, the ability to separate man from artist. But, when the crimes are this severe, should they?