The recent media blitz involving the sexual abuse charges against Woody Allen by his step daughter Dylan Farrow appears to have pretty much run its course. It is instructive to examine the way the press handled it, as it typifies the way such issues are discussed. Allen was as far as I can discern, totally cooperative in discussing the facts in the investigation. In addition, he took and passed a lie detector test. His 1992 CBS Sixty Minutes interview, itself was quite convincing in supporting his innocence of the charges.
Media reports have noted that some performers are now reluctant to be in Allen’s films, relevant since he is still making films and has one coming out this year. But what about Mia Farrow? Where is the suggestion that she should be held accountable for her actions, if in fact if the allegations against Allen are false, as they appear to be? Where is the evidence that she was ever held answerable in the first place?
The “60 Minutes” program said the facts seem to support Allen’s innocence. In addition, they offered Farrow an opportunity to rebut Allen’s charges, an opportunity of which she refused to take advantage. With the information broadcast on what is most likely the world’s most popular news program, where was and is, the public outcry that she be held to be accountable for her apparently false charges? Why was she was not asked or volunteer to take a lie detector test as did Allen?
Certainly, if Allen sexually assaulted his step-daughter, he should be held responsible for his actions. But what about Farrow, if in fact the allegations of sexual abuse against Allen were false? Dylan Farrow said she was significantly damaged by the incident. If Farrow coached or convinced Dylan, Farrow is responsible for the outcome. Shouldn’t Farrow received equal scrutiny under the law, especially since the children were living with her?
Why is there no concern that the children may have been unfairly deprived of their father? Nor that Farrow may have committed an atrocious case of libel charges against Allen, for which he could have been imprisoned for years? One could damn Allen for his relationship and subsequent marriage to Farrow’s older daughter, Soon Yi, but that is a different matter. I reminded of the instructions to juries in rape trials in the past, so abhorred by feminists, that such charges are easily made, but difficult to defend. This certainly applies to Allen in the court of public opinion, even after decades after Farrow accused Allen, but such implication do not follow Farrow.
False allegations of sexual abuse are common and horrifically destructive for their targets and their affected families. Such charges involve falsifying evidence and perjury that clearly is emotional abuse and a reciprocal form of sexual abuse. If false accusers are not scrutinized and held accountable, as applicable, there is no stop gap or disincentive .
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