I’m going to apologize in advance, because I don’t think I can get this quite right, not in tone or tenor. This not a critique of #metoo or an attempt to ascertain the verity of Dylan Farrow’s contention that she was abused by her father, Woody Allen, in the summer of 1992. I have neither the qualification nor inclination to provide either. Still, I’ve been troubled ever since Farrow insinuated herself in the ranks of #metoo in order to rekindle public outcry over the accusation, which Allen has steadfastly denied, that he fondled and penetrated her when she was seven years old. And now, in light of the Hachette imprint walk-out and refusal to publish Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, it seems a word or two might be in order.
As a social movement and legal phenomenon #metoo draws its impact from corroboration, transmitted largely through the use of social media.
He said; she said became he said; they said.
At the risk of sounding flippant in light of a tragically serious allegation, Dylan Farrow’s charge, in spite of her persistance and eloquence, is me without too.
It’s understandable that Farrow would seek to add her voice to the #metoo outcry, given that her brother, Ronan Farrow, helped to create the movement with his investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein. But, does her allegation against Allen really belong in the same category as the multitude of clear, consistent accounts that put Weinstein and Cosby behind bars, or drew confessions from personalities as disparate as Charlie Rose and Louis C.K.? Ronan Farrow obviously believes it does: “This was a serial fixator on underage girls,” Farrow said during a 2018 Guardian interview.
Underage, yes. But not children.
Allen, as has been noted, has never been accused of transgressing with other children. In the same interview, Farrow suggested that any who doubt Allen’s guilt haven’t studied the voluminous investigative reporting, particularly stories by Maureen Orth and Andy Thibault. It’s true. Both have made points that seemed damning at the time, but have also since been refuted by Allen supporters.