New York Times Publishes Woody Allen Rebuttal

[Content Note: Rape apologia; victim-blaming; abuse.]

Late Friday evening, the New York Times published, as the public editor had suggested might happen, an op-ed penned by Woody Allen denying his daughter Dylan Farrow's first-person account of childhood sex abuse.

Virtually everything I have to say about this reprehensible column, and the contemptible decision to publish it, I have already said here.

Allen responded in precisely the way I predicted, because abusers predictably respond with more abuse.

I do want to additionally note, however, note that Woody Allen's piece does not have a complementary into to Dylan Farrow's piece. While Nicholas Krisof felt obliged to note in the intro to Farrow's piece that Allen "deserves the presumption of innocence," there was no similar obligation on the part of the Times' editors to note in an intro to Allen's piece that Farrow "deserves the presumption of integrity."

So, for the record: A woman making the allegation gets a subversive intro. A man defending himself against allegation does not.

I also want to note that Allen's piece is accompanied by a 1988 photo of Woody Allen with Mia, Dylan, and Ronan Farrow, in which Dylan Farrow, then a toddler, is sitting on Allen's lap.

I don't want to speak for Dylan Farrow, and I don't want to presume what her feelings are about that image, but that is the sort of image which would be extremely triggering for lots of survivors—an image where one is pictured in close proximity to one's abuser. There is a real possibility that Dylan Farrow had to navigate past a profoundly triggering image just to access the Allen's apologia. That is an incredibly unfair and indecent thing to do to a survivor whose story they agreed to tell.

All of this—the subversive intro to Dylan's piece, the agreement to publish a rebuttal and give her abuse the last word, the picture at the top of Allen's piece—all of it is a shitty way to treat survivors and shitty journalism.

You can contact the New York Times Public Editor here.


UPDATE: Dylan Farrow responds here: "Distortions and Outright Lies."

Also worth reading: Maureen Orth's "10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation."

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