Allen V. Farrow - Will The Documentary Ruin The Directors Life?!
For a long time, people had seen Woody Allen as an incerdible filmmaker, who had directed some incredible movies over the course of his career. But others had also seen a different side of him, which has been plagued with allegations of abuse that had only been amplified by the #MeToo movement. Even before that, the accusations that Dylan Farrow had made in 1992 against her adopted father had been hanging around Allen for a long time. And now Dylan’s story is being told again in a four-part documentary series on HBO titled Farrow vs Allen. What exactly were the accusations? How has the documentary been received? Has Woody himself responded to these accusations? Have any of Farrow’s other children spoken about this? Make sure you read until the very end to find out all the information!
Previous Men In Her Life.
It was in 1979 that actress Mia Farrow had met Woody Allen and later developed a relationship with him. Prior to Allen, she was married to Frank Sinatra and Andre Previn. With her second husband, she had three biological sons, while still together, the couple also adopted three children, one of which was Soon-Yi, whom Woody would later go on to marry, which in itself was considered controversial but we will touch upon that in a moment.
Following her divorce from Andre, Mia would adopt two more children son Moses in 1980 and daughter Dylan in 1985. By that point, she was already in a relationship with Allen and by 1991 the New York City Court allowed the director to co-adopt the two children. With Woody, the actress had one biological child, son Satchel Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow who would later simply be known as Ronan Farrow. And once she had split with Allen, between 1992 and 1995 she adopted five more children. The reason for their split in ‘92 was the fact that he had started an intimate relationship with Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi who was 21-years-old at the time. And while the two of them would later end up getting married and they are still together to this day, you can imagine while it raised so much controversy at the time.
It was in 1992 that Dylan Farrow had first accused her adopted father of intimately abusing her. Some things that the course of the years he had strongly denied. The following year, a report from a child abuse clinic had concluded that the director had not abused Dylan, though following a court trial for custody of Dylan, Moses, and Ronan, the judge awarded full custody to Mia and determined that the filmmaker’s behavior was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect the child”. However, taking these allegations seriously a criminal investigation was carried out but Woddy was never charged. However, the custody ruling was held up on appeal.
Career Didn't Suffer.
While over the years, these allegations had made some people skeptical about Allen, his career didn’t suffer all that much. Since the initial accusations, he had directed around 26 movies, all of which had been packed with Hollywood’s major stars, winning several awards for his work which included an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2012. And then in 2014, he was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the 2014 Golden Globes. It was a few weeks after that award show that an op-Ed by Dylan was published in the New York Times. In that piece, she described the account of the allegations against Woody from when she was 7-years-old and questioned why his career continued to thrive almost entirely unaffected by her claims, while her life had been derailed.
In response to that Woody wrote his own op-ed in the same publication in which he denied ever harming Dylan and put the blame of the whole situation on Mia, claiming that she had fabricated everything and turned Dylan against him as revenge for his relationship with Soon-Yi. Then came 2017, with the #MeToo movement, which was actually triggered in part by the investigative work of Mia and Woody’s son Ronan who is a journalist and who looked into Weinstein’s treatment of women and thus shining a light onto the problems within the entertainment industry.
Soon-Yi Speaks Out!
And as that happened, Soon-Yi who usually refrained from doing interviews and when she did she didn’t speak much about her private life, had decided to speak exclusively with New York Magazine and to defend her husband. She claimed that Dylan Farrow was only taking advantage of the movement and all the force that she had gained to make unfair statements and she even went as far as to accuse her adoptive mother, Mia, of being abusive!
But now in 2021, the new, four-part HBO documentary series titled Allen v. Farrow has been released. It is directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and produced by Amy Herdy, which is the team behind the oscar-nominated documentary The Hunting Ground. It set out to show, with Dylan’s participation, that the rest of the world doesn’t even know half of what she had allegedly been through.
Ready To Talk Again.
One of the things talked about in the documentary was why she wanted to do it now after all those years. Dylan had simply stated that now as an adult she has a different outlook on things and has had much time to think about and understand her feelings better than she did as a child. She also added that in a way she needed to prove to herself that she is strong enough to face it which is why she is coming out with this story now. While publically she appears as Dylan Farrow, in day-to-day life she goes by a different name.
She Love Him Yet Was Scared.
There had been many childhood photos, some of which had been carefully cropped, as well as home videos from her childhood. One of them showed Allen in a swimming pool, hugging and playing with Dylan. The 35-year-old had recalled that this man was somebody that she loved, more than anything, and added that it had taken her a long time to understand and come to terms with the fact that you can love somebody yet still be afraid of them.
Kids Speak Out.
But starting from the beginning, Mia had commented on how when she first started seeing Allen, he had no interest in having children, though she decided she would somehow balance her family life with her personal life, in the end, things turned out to work out. Fletcher, who was Mia’s youngest biological son she had with Andre, said that over time Woody was more of a ‘day-to-day’ dad to them than his own father was at the time. While Farrow’s children talked about their memories, the makers of the documentary had used Woody-read audio clips from his 2020 memoir Apropos of Nothing to fill in his perspective, since he was not a part of the documentary one of the extracts said that when Mia expressed she wanted to adopt another child, Dylan, we supported hair but was surprised to find that he would be a hands-on-dad. In one of the extract’s used he said: “I found myself more and more holding her, playing with her and completely falling in love with her, delighted to be her father.” Mia herself added that Allen was enchanted by Dylan and that she was absolutely thrilled.
Wanted A Girl.
From the book extract’s as well as being backed up by Mia and her family and friends in the documentary, the one thing highlighted was that Woody would often dote on Dylan. One of the stories told by Fletcher was one time he had his adopted sister’s teddy bear flown first class from one city to another when she left it behind on a vacation so that she wouldn’t have to spend one night without it. Mia had revealed that when she was pregnant with their son, that Woody had no problems openly hoping the child would be a girl, and when they found out it would be a boy, he was disappointed. Another thing that Farrow had added to that was that when Ronan was born, Woody took Dylan away so that she could be alone with the newborn, despite the fact that she wanted both of her children there. Speaking of the time after her brother was born Dylan added that she was a Daddy’s girl and that she was told her mother didn’t want her around, that she was busy or didn’t have time for her.
The documentary then went on to reveal that their relationship was soon started getting too much to the point where Dylan would hide from him. At one moment she candidly said: “I worshipped him. He was so funny and he made me feel so special. That's where things get really, really complicated because threaded throughout all of those good times, there was a lot more going on." Family friends and Mia’s high school friends also made an appearance and had all recalled the bond between Woody and his adopted daughter, which they had described as intense. One of Mia’s friends Priscilla Gilman added that he would follow Dylan everywhere she went, which she herself would reflect on saying that she thought it was normal until she would visit a friend and noticing that her dad wasn’t around all the time, she got confused. Farrow commented that she was always in his clutch and it was as if he was always hunting her.
She Had To Go To Therapy.
Dylan also spoke about dark memories that she had which included getting into bed with her father, both of them in their underwear and the two of them just “cuddling”. Speaking more about it she said that he would wrap his body around her very intimately’. Mia’s friend once said that she once spied Woody getting out of bed, wearing only his underwear but that she just turned around and walked away. Mia said that she saw them in bed too but never said anything because if she felt weird about it then it was on her. It was also revealed that when she was 5, Dylan started going to therapy and that she told the therapist of a secret but it was a revelation that the therapist never shared with Mia.
Farrow would talk about other moments where she saw her partner and daughter in rather uncomfortable situations. One of them was when Woody slapped Dylan’s hand away from him and when she had asked what happened, he simply told her that she had reached out to touch his intimate area. Another incident was one that Dylan talked about herself and said that one day the two of them were sitting on the porch and he was directing her on how to suck his thumb and telling her what she should do with her tongue. Priscilla had said that when she confronted him, Allen simply said that it was comforting for a child.
How Mia Felt.
In the documentary, Mia had revelaed that she often felt hopeless that she did not know what to do until a psychiatrist who lived in their building had said that she saw something odd in the way Woody greeted Dylan. In the end, it resulted in Allen going to therapy which concluded that while his behavior was inappropriate it was not intended to be so and it was all due to the fact that the director did not know how to act around children.
Mia Found Out About Soon-Yi.
After that, they thought things would be better and for a while they were. Until January 13th, 1992 when Farrow said after letting herself into Woody’s apartment she found nude photos of her adopted daughter Soon-Yi which she described as being out of the Hustler magazine. Mia replied that at the time it was such a shock that she was struggling to breathe. Speaking about that day Dylan said she didn’t know what was going on but that after Mia had told her that Woody had taken nude photos of Soon-Yi, she thought to herself: “Oh’s it’s not just me.”
But how did people react to the documentary? Dylan’s brother Ronan voiced his support for her amid the debut of the first episode of the documentary by sharing a photo of the two of them on his Instagram with the caption. “Proud of my sister”. As for Mia, during the documentary, she revealed that she blames herself for all that had happened that as she was the one who brought him into their lives. She also revealed that she understood why people didn’t believe that what Dylan was saying was the truth because she herself couldn’t believe it at first.
Soon-Yi and Woody React!
Since the episode premiered Allen himself had spoken out against this documentary, condemning it. Both he and Soon-Yi had released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter stating that the documentary makers had no interest in the truth and that they were: ‘collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods.’ It went on to add that: “As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false. Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place.”
Tell us, have you seen the documentary? What are your thoughts on it? What do you think about the allegations that had been made about Woody Allen?