Did Woody Allen abuse his children? The doc exploring allegations
Woody Allen has had a tumultuous career. While he’s the star & director of such films as Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Midnight in Paris, his legacy is marred by sexual abuse allegations from his daughter Dylan Farrow. It’s an ongoing saga as old as time.
HBO has put together a new docuseries exploring the allegations about the famed director. The four-part docuseries will premiere on HBO on Feb. 21st and released on HBO Max.
Okay, maybe not as old, but Woody Allen is synonymous with the sexual abuse allegations. It’s honestly shocking he continues to get films made. Most recently being A Rainy Day in New York in 2019, starring Timothée Chalamet and Elle Fanning.
Allen and his former wife Mia Farrow started dating in 1980 and dated until 1992. The two never married but shared a biological son, Satchel, later known as Ronan, and two adopted children, Dylan and Moses. Despite early concerns about Allen’s behavior with Dylan, Farrow changed her will for Allen to become Dylan’s full guardian and signed an affidavit promoting Allen during the custody hearing during the adoption.
Following the adoption, Allen began a relationship with Farrow’s daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Previn is one of Farrow’s adopted children from her marriage to composer André Previn. Allen alleged the relationship began in December of 1991, while Farrow alleged the relationship began while Previn was in her senior year of high school. The court ultimately sided with Allen.
The court also didn’t find the relationship to be illegal because Allen was never a legal guardian or adopted father of Previn. The two dated for seven years before marrying on Dec. 27th, 1997. The sexual abuse accusation from Dylan didn’t come until 1992. She alleged Allen took her into a crawl space and touched her.
Farrow was advised to take her daughter to a doctor, and Dylan didn’t say where Woody Allen touched her in the first visit. On the second visit, Dylan told the doctor where she was touched. Allen used the change in the story to say Farrow coached Dylan into the story.
Beyond sexual abuse
Allen v Farrow is going further than an examination of Woody Allen’s relationships and sexual abuse allegations. The docuseries is also tackling the reconsideration of his films. Allen has continuously denied the sexual abuse accusations, yet he’s gone unscathed in the #MeToo area.
Hollywood did try to start pushing back. In 2019, Amazon terminated its $68 million deal with Woody Allen over controversial comments about Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement. Also, according to The Guardian, several Hollywood figures, including Greta Gerwig and Colin Firth, have vowed never to work with Allen.
It’s a brave step but a relevant discussion. Two of Allen’s more beloved films Annie Hall and Manhattan, are inching closer and closer to their fiftieth anniversary. Many fans struggle to celebrate the award-winning director and his contributions to the medium while also acknowledging the allegations. His off-screen drama has made him a polarizing figure.
Who is in the docuseries?
According to The Guardian, “Allen v Farrow will draw on home movies, police evidence, court documents, and never-before-heard audiotapes.” The docuseries also has exclusive interviews with Mia, Dylan, and Ronan Farrow, Carly Simon, prosecutor Frank Maco, relatives, investigators, experts, and other eyewitnesses. The Hollywood Reporter points out many of them are speaking publicly for the first time.
Who is behind Allen v Farrow?
HBO is the studio behind Allen v Farrow, and it isn’t their first time covering sensitive topics of sexual abuse. The series’s announcement is in comparison to their 2019 documentary Leaving Neverland. Both documentaries were filmed under the radar and dropped trailers shortly before their premieres.
Documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, and Amy Herdy put the docuseries together for HBO. The trio was also behind other sexual assault documentaries like The Hunting Ground about sexual assault on college campuses and On the Record about sexual assault accusations against Russell Simmons. Dick and Ziering also made the documentary The Invisible War about rape in the U.S. Military.