NEW YORK — Woody Allen faced a growing backlash Wednesday after his daughter revived child molestation allegations against the legendary director, asking the world to finally believe her as a sexual harassment watershed sweeps the United States.
Dylan Farrow’s claim that the director sexually assaulted her as a seven-year-old first surfaced a quarter of a century ago in the wake of her mother’s bitter split from Allen, who ran off in 1992 with his lover’s adoptive daughter from a previous marriage, Soon-Yi Previn, 21 years old at the time.
The famed American director of more than 50 movies, winner of four Oscars, and showered with awards in Europe, has always denied the allegations. The claims were never proven and the 82-year-old director has continued to enjoy a glittering career.
But the sexual harassment firestorm that has brought down Hollywood titans such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey has fueled a growing backlash against Allen.
In the wake of the Time’s Up movement launched by Hollywood women to counter sexual harassment and sexism, Allen’s estranged, adopted daughter said it was time for the world to finally listen.
“Why shouldn’t I want to bring him down? Why shouldn’t I be angry? Why shouldn’t I be hurt?” she told CBS This Morning in her first television interview, excerpts of which were broadcast on Wednesday. The full interview is to air Thursday.
“Why shouldn’t I feel some sort of outrage that after all these years, being ignored and disbelieved and tossed aside?” Farrow added.
Asked why people should believe her now, she replied: “I suppose that’s on them, but all I can do is speak my truth and hope, hope that somebody will believe me instead of just hearing.”
The film director’s agent did not immediately respond to an AFP request to comment.
It was a devastating expose of alleged rape, assault, and harassment published by Farrow’s brother, Ronan, the biological son of Allen and Mia Farrow, in The New Yorker last October that helped end Weinstein’s career.
Since then, a growing number of actresses, including Greta Gerwig, Rebecca Hall, Ellen Page, and Mira Sorvino, have announced they regret working with Allen.
‘MUST BE REEXAMINED’
“I believe Dylan,” Oscar-winner Natalie Portman told Oprah Winfrey in a recent group interview with other actresses who included Reese Witherspoon.
Hall, who appears in his upcoming movie A Rainy Day in New York and starred in his 2008 romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona, announced on Instagram that she had donated her wage from his latest film to the Time’s Up movement.
“I see, not only how complicated this matter is, but that my actions have made another woman feel silenced and dismissed,” she said.
Up-and-coming actor Timothee Chalamet, who also stars in A Rainy Day in New York followed suit and also announced he was donating his entire salary from the film to Time’s Up and other charities.
“We are in a day and age when everything must be reexamined. This kind of abuse cannot be allowed to continue. If this means tearing down all the old gods, so be it,” wrote Sorvino in an open letter to Farrow in HuffPost last week.
Actor Alec Baldwin, who won acclaim for portraying Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, is one of the few to publicly defend Allen in recent days, saying it was possible to support survivors of pedophilia and sexual assault, and also believe he was innocent.
Dylan Farrow detailed the alleged abuse for the first time in her own words in an open letter published on a New York Times blog in 2014.
In a follow-up New York Times op-ed, Allen repeated his denial and launched a furious attack on Mia Farrow, denouncing her as “more interested in her own festering anger than her daughter’s well-being.”
Last December, Dylan Farrow wrote another op-ed in the Los Angeles Times under the headline “Why has the #MeToo revolution spared Woody Allen?”
A New York judge who presided over the 1994 custody battle between Allen and Farrow ruled that the abuse allegations were inconclusive, but at the same time lambasted the director as “self-absorbed, untrustworthy and insensitive.”
A Connecticut police investigation also failed to result in any charges.
Allen remains with Soon-Yi and the couple have two children. — AFP