Daily Archives: February 6, 2014

Searching for answers in the Woody Allen case. A commercial the NFL doesn’t want you to see. And a powerful ad about learning to read


So maybe you’ve heard about this whole recent mess regarding Woody Allen and the molestation charges by Dylan Farrow, Mia’s daughter, once again making news 20 years after they were first investigated.

This has all started up again because Dylan Farrow wrote an op-ed piece with Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times on Feb.1, describing in excruciating detail her recollections of Woody Allen taking her into a small, dark room and sexually assaulting her when she was 7 years old.

The charges were investigated by police at the time, and no charges or arrests were made of Allen, but there has always been some controversy about that.

Years later, of course, Allen married Mia’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi, who was about 40 years younger than him, and lost millions of fans and a ton of respect from many for that, shall we say, bizarre life choice.

But these Dylan Farrow allegations re-surfacing have really riled a lot of people up, especially after Woody was given a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago.

There were denunciations of Allen from so many corners of the Internet this week, and many of them were spot-on. Then there was this full-throated, fairly clear-eyed defense of Allen, contradicting much of Farrow’s story, by Robert Weide in The Daily Beast. (Weide is a longtime admirer of the director and recently made a documentary for PBS about Woody).

But then there was this equally compelling article I read by Natalie Shure in The Atlantic, herself a victim of molestation as a young child, explaining why inconsistencies in 7-year-old Dylan’s story at the time is not unusual, or surprising.

Honestly, after reading so much about this the last few days, I don’t know what I think the “right” side of this is. Of course I sympathize with any sexual assault victim, and it’s twice as heinous when that victim is too young to even attempt to fend for themselves, or speak up. If what Dylan Farrow said really happened, Woody Allen should be locked up and imprisoned forever.

But we also have innocent until proven guilty in this country, and Weide makes some excellent points about Mia Farrow’s “pushing” her daughter toward certain details, among other things. I think this has hung over Allen’s head for 20 years, and if he really did not commit this act, it’s wildly unfair that it has trailed him for two decades.

There doesn’t appear to be any clarity of the truth here, just a whole lot of muddled mess. I’ve thought about this a lot and I truly don’t know what to think.

**Next up today, here’s a pretty powerful ad that would’ve been great to run during the Super Bowl, except you just know the NFL and FOX never would’ve approved it.

The National Congress of American Indians released a two-minute video on its YouTube channel, targeting a team name it says is racist, the Washington Redskins.

Will it have an impact on the debate? Who knows. What I do know is that the longer this issue stays in the public consciousness, the more pressure Dan Snyder and the NFL will feel to change the ‘Skins’ name.

**Finally, once again a commercial from a foreign country blew me away, and makes me wonder how U.S. advertisements don’t seem nearly as good. This is an ad from a liquor company, shown in South Africa, but it has nothing to do with alcohol. It’s about … well, I don’t want to say too much. Just watch it. I found it very moving.