She Said, He Said

[Content Note: Sexual assault.]

The New York Times public editor has announced that the paper may publish a rebuttal to Dylan Farrow's piece authored by Woody Allen.
Woody Allen has asked for, and may get, a chance to respond — in an Op-Ed piece in The Times — to a recent column and blog by Nicholas Kristof in which the filmmaker's adopted daughter detailed her memories of his sexually abusing her.

"They asked and we said, 'Yes, send it in,'" Andrew Rosenthal, The Times's editorial page editor, told me today by phone.

It's not certain that The Times will publish the piece. "It comes down to the editing process," he said, something that all Op-Ed pieces are subject to.

Publishing such a piece is unusual for The Times's opinion pages.

"Normally, we don't publish a direct response" as a full Op-Ed article, Mr. Rosenthal said, but as a smaller and less prominent letter to the editor. "In this case, it was so personal, we thought that we should."

...Mr. Rosenthal said he did not know when Mr. Allen's Op-Ed piece might appear, but indicated that it could be within the next few days.
So the decision comes down to the fact that "it was so personal," and not the fact that Woody Allen is a powerful, famous man with lots of privilege. Okay.

I find it interesting, ahem, that the issue was so personal to Woody Allen that it justifies publishing a response by Woody Allen, but not so personal to Dylan Farrow that it justifies not publishing a response by her abuser.

No less giving him, presumably, the last word. Unless the Times is also prepared to let Dylan Farrow respond in a subsequent piece.

I mean, it's so personal. By their own rationale, she should have that chance. Although, somehow, I'm guessing we're just going to draw a line under it once Woody Allen has his say.

Congratulations, New York Times. You're literally turning this story of childhood sex abuse into a "she said, he said." What a terrific way to encourage survivors to share their stories.

[H/T to Slade.]


UPDATE: I said a lot more about this on Twitter, which I've now Storified here.

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