Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dylan Farrow Accuses Woody Allen of Child Molestation

Today’s shock and awe story has nothing to do with the Super Bowl.

This morning in the New York Times Nicholas Kristof communicates a young woman’s allegations: when she was 7 years old her adoptive father sexually molested her. The woman is named Dylan Farrow. The man she is accusing: Woody Allen.

Here is the Kristof column and the full version of the letter, as published on his blog. Here is the Daily Mail story.

I will spare you the details, which do not need to be repeated here.

I am posting about it because there is one aspect of the story that has been overlooked. Not because of anyone’s malicious intent, not because anyone is trying to cover things up, but because, one imagines, it no longer feels very relevant.

In 1992, when the story of Woody Allen’s molestation of Dylan Farrow and Soon-yi Previn broke, the great filmmaker stood out in New York as the city's leading psychotherapy patient.

By all accounts at the time, he had undergone three decades on the couch. One imagined that he had had access to the best that New York could offer.

Not only did Allen’s movies make psychotherapy seem glamorous and necessary, but Allen himself was commonly seen as a neurotic who had transformed his neuroses into art-- wasn't that one of the goals of psychoanalysis. Besides Woody Allen was not sexually repressed. He had become the most important living advertisement for long-term psychoanalysis or psychoanalytically-oriented therapy.

Obviously, there are many reasons why psychoanalysis has declined in the two-plus decades since Woody Allen was first accused of having sexually molested a 7 year old and since he declared that he had fallen in love with his son’s adoptive step-sister. Yet, the revelations about Woody Allen surely discredited New York psychoanalysis.


Anonymous said...

I've admired and enjoyed Woody's work from the start. As a standup, he was equal to Jackie Mason. As a film maker, I can't summon a comparison.

He's suffered from Thanatophobia since childhood. I'm sure it's v v miserable.

I take a back seat to no one in revulsion to child abuse. I was abused myself as a child (naked beatings at 2 am, for one).

But I remember the Salem Witch Trials of bogus child abuse cases in the 90s. Children were Coached by social workers, other professionals, and parents. Many lives were ruined.

The timing of this new bombshell is v v suspicious to me. It's obvious that Mia is extravagantly Spiteful.

The exact manner of the abuse is not explained, far as I know. Or the number of instances. At this late point, I don't think we will ever know for sure.

It will remain a mystery. I suspect keeping this scandal burning is not healthy for Dylan.

That's my 2 cents. I'm saddened by the whole thing. -- Rich Lara

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I was also thinking about the witch hunts of the 80s and 90s. While I accept that many young children were coached into believing that abuse happened when it could not have happened, Dylan is an adult, so I grant her word more credibility.

I could be wrong, and I would prefer that she were wrong, but I suspect that she is telling the truth. As you say, it's not healthy for her, so what reason could she have for making it up?

Apparently, it was provoked by the award that he just received at the Golden Globes.

Anonymous said...

As we know, memories are malleable and fallible, and can be manufactured. Esp in 7 y/o children, who are anxious to please their adult caretakers and authorities.

As a child, my mentally ill Mother told me things that were patently False. I often came dangerously close to believing them.

That's anecdotal, but it happens, probably more often than we know. In America, Mothers are Madonnas.

Mia married Sinatra, 51, when she was 20. She collects adoptees. I'm suspicious of her stability.

There is Nothing, far as I know, remotely similar in Woody's past or present (Soon Yee doesn't count for me). Child Molesters start early and Never Stop. Another 2 cents.

BTW - I'm v v impressed by your eclectic, wise, & penetrating posts. I'm grateful for them. Best -- Rich Lara

Anonymous said...

Do you remember Mia and Maharishi? And what if Dylan has her own psychoanalysis too?