Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s Daughter, Wrote A Powerful Open Letter About Her Father’s Alleged Sexual Abuse


After Woody Allen received the Lifetime Achievement Award and subsequent (albeit warbled) tribute at last month’s Golden Globes, it seemed like just about everyone had an opinion on an accused child molester being honored for his “life’s work” during a nationally televised broadcast.  Especially Ronan Farrow, Allen’s son with Mia Farrow, who delivered a scathing (and, in the opinion of this author, totally valid) tweet expressing his disgust over Hollywood’s seemingly blasé attitude about Allen’s allegedly abusive past because art/money/fame/power/etc.

Bloggers, journalists, media icons, and pretty much every Twitter user ever had something to say about it.  And, until yesterday, Woody Allen’s daughter and alleged victim of his sexual abuse, had remained silent on the matter.  I guess enough was enough, because Dylan Farrow penned a courageous and powerful open letter to the New York Times which detailed her story and her feelings toward Hollywood’s praise of the man who nearly ruined her life:

“Last week, Woody Allen was nominated for his latest Oscar. But this time, I refuse to fall apart. For so long, Woody Allen’s acceptance silenced me. It felt like a personal rebuke, like the awards and accolades were a way to tell me to shut up and go away. But the survivors of sexual abuse who have reached out to me – to support me and to share their fears of coming forward, of being called a liar, of being told their memories aren’t their memories – have given me a reason to not be silent, if only so others know that they don’t have to be silent either.”

It’s more than slightly disturbing. You can read her letter in its entirety, and I absolutely recommend that you do so in order to gain perspective from her point of view. I mean, think about it: she has to hear his name, see his movie posters, and witness celebration of Allen’s work all the time.  She can’t escape it.  I can’t imagine the kind of torture this must feel like for her on a regular basis; much less how she survived through two decades of this kind of PTSD.

She ended her letter by calling out specific members of Hollywood–namely those who have starred in Allen’s films, like Alec Baldwin, Cate Blanchett, and Diane Keaton–for contributing to the way society fails survivors of sexual assault and abuse by turning a blind eye and remaining neutral to the issue, because sexual abuse makes people uncomfortable. I call total bullshit on the “innocent until proven guilty” and “separate the art from the artist” defenses. It’s easier for those who have worked with Allen to pretend to have no opinion at all. Well, Dylan Farrow is having none of that:

“So imagine your seven-year-old daughter being led into an attic by Woody Allen. Imagine she spends a lifetime stricken with nausea at the mention of his name. Imagine a world that celebrates her tormenter.

Are you imagining that? Now, what’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?”

Naturally, Twitter is abuzz over this letter and a few celebrities have shared their opinions:



I know it’s like, such an inconvenience to bring up serious issues when it’s much more fun to quote Annie Hall, but I can only hope that one day in my lifetime, the morals and actions of a person (okay, specifically “white men”) will not be defined only by their success and wealth.

(Photo: WENN)

You can reach this post's author, Cassandra Hough, on twitter.
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    • Rachel

      Read the letter Saturday and i just got so upset. Amazing that people can still say things like “didn’t you read the facts of the case, there was no evidence against him”, “she’s just dragging this up to gain relevancy” or “mia farrow is a manipulative bitch who planted those things in her daughter’s head”. SERIOUSLY!? 1st why would any survivor of abuse this traumatic bring this up for “relevancy”?! 2nd this isn’t about Mia/woody’s bitter ass relationship, it’s about the inhumane treatment of a child (now woman) who’s had to struggle with the repercussions all her life, and this garbage human being who’s viewed as a cinematic god get’s to walk around free! And to be honest, even if he admitted it, there would STILL be people who would say “oh but he makes great films”. But i guess in a world and industry where people still support individuals such as Roman Polanski I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised x__x p.s. sorry for my rant, it’s not your fault but this has just been upsetting me all weekend. Thanks for posting this article : )

    • Kelly17

      If you read different articles in the cause, you’ll find some that are completely polarized. It’s a very complicated case it seems. I don’t think someone should be condemned for working or enjoying his movies. It’s a personal matter in which she can go to the police still, according to CT law but she’s choosing to publicly humiliate him.

      • Rachel

        I understand that but I also understand the pedestal culture in hollywood and the power that Allen holds. I say all that to point out that ive been seeing quite a few comments calling her a lying, attention seeking bitch and many people simply refuse to believe that he could even possibly do something like this because of their love for his films. p.s. if he is guilty, he deserves to be called out. If you were her and you had to watch while he was continually praised wouldn’t you be enraged?

      • Kelly17

        I think people are hesitant to believe it due to a long list of facts. One that is most damning is Moses Farrow himself claiming brainwash and distancing himself from Mia. But I do think that someone’s personal and professional life should be separate so I can’t say how I would feel about his awards, had he abused me.

      • Alyssa

        When is comes to someone who could harm a child, you cannot make a distinction between his personal and professional life. He never paid for what he did, and who knows if he did this to other girls he met along the way in his “professional life”. I think she is more upset that anyone could ever work with him KNOWING he is the type of person who could inflict that sort of pain and suffering on a child, let alone his own child.

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    • Kathy

      This is a very sad and depressing story. I believe that Mia Farrow knows a lot more about this than she’s saying right now. Maybe Woody Allen has some way to keep her quiet, like withholding income or something. But she’ll probably out live him and once he goes, we’ll hear the truth from her. Don’t forget that Mia herself married a much older man (Frank Sinatra) when she was barely 18 herself. You have to wonder.