‘Allen v. Farrow’ Review: Reprehensible Act of Media McCarthyism

Globe Photos/mediapunch/Shutterstock / via HBO
Globe Photos/mediapunch/Shutterstock/HBO

Allen v. Farrow, a four-part HBO series from directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, is everything wrong with our current #MeToo-Woke Gestapo era boiled down into four tedious and breathtakingly dishonest hours.

HBO ran this series over four weeks, and over those four weeks I heard a lot about how one-sided it is. But even with those warnings, nothing prepared me for just how lacking in objectivity the whole thing truly is. Allen v. Farrow is neo-McCarthyism, a witch hunt, naked propaganda, a hagiography for Mia Farrow, and a mercenary act by two dishonest filmmakers looking to add a notch to their #MeToo gun.

No one is looking for the truth. No one is interested in the truth. This is a public lynching by way of innuendo, lies of omission, and emotional blackmail.

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Some quick background…

In 1992, before things exploded in the ugliest way imaginable, and after making 13 films together, 57-year-old Woody Allen and 47-year-old Mia Farrow had been together 12 years. The two never married or even moved in together. Their relationship ended after Mia discovered Polaroids in Allen’s apartment — naked photos of Mia’s 20-year-old adopted daughter (with former husband Andre Previn) Soon-Yi.

Turns out Allen was having a sexual affair with his girlfriend’s (Mia’s) adopted daughter. Allen was not Soon-Yi’s father or her stepfather or her adopted father. He was never even a father figure to her. Allen and Soon-Yi married in 1997 and now have two daughters in college.

At the time, Mia and Allen had three children together. Moses and Dylan were adopted. Satchel, who is now Pulitzer winner Ronan Farrow, is their one biological child.

As you can imagine, and for perfectly justifiable reasons, Mia was devastated, humiliated, and bitterly angry. She had been betrayed in the worst way imaginable by her daughter and the father of three of her children. Allen had basically tossed a hand grenade into a large family that had trusted and embraced him. What Allen did was indefensible.

Naturally, a bitter custody agreement ensued over their three kids, and on August 6, Mia and Allen were set to sign off on an agreement. But on August 4, Mia accused Allen of sexually assaulting seven-year-old Dylan in the attic of her Connecticut home.

As you can imagine, and I remember this very well, all hell broke loose. Allen was in immediate jeopardy of being prosecuted in two states, Connecticut (where the alleged crime took place) and New York, where they were both residents.

Allen was eventually cleared in both states. At the behest of the state prosecutor, Frank Maco, the prestigious Child Sexual Abuse Clinic of Yale-New Haven Hospital conducted a six-month investigation, interviewed Dylan numerous times, and concluded Allen was innocent. Additionally, they said it was possible Mia had coached Dylan into making a false allegation against her own father.

After an exhaustive 14-month investigation of its own, New York’s Department of Social Services concluded, “No credible evidence was found that the child named in this report has been abused or maltreated. This report has, therefore, been considered unfounded.”

Allen was never even charged. Two respected state agencies had declared him innocent.

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During this time he did lose custody of Moses, Dylan, and Ronan and deservedly so. The judge was disgusted with Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi and believed it would be unhealthy for three small children to live in a home where their father was having an adult relationship with their sister.

As sleazy as this all was, the truth is this: anyone who looks at the abuse case objectively comes away certain — as certain as one can be without having been there — that Allen is innocent. On top of two state agencies declaring him innocent, it just doesn’t make sense that 1) a man without a single scandal to his name would become a child molester at age 57, and 2) he would molest his daughter while in the middle of a custody battle in Mia’s house, which was, at the time, full of kids and at least three adults.

What’s more, Mia claims that by this time she was already worried about Allen’s behavior with Dylan, and yet she was not so worried she made sure to stick around knowing Allen had a scheduled visit that day. Instead, she went out shopping with a girlfriend.

Is that the behavior of a woman worried about a man’s sexual attraction to her own child?

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Obviously, I can’t say for certain Allen is innocent. Only Allen and Mia know the truth. But if we’re to function properly as a civilized society, even in the court of public opinion, we must accept the idea of innocence until proven guilty, and in the case of Allen, he was declared innocent by two agencies working on the behalf of two state prosecutors. And one of those prosecutors, Frank Maco, was desperate to charge Allen.

But now that the fascist #MeToo-Woketard Gestapo is so empowered, all of the above is no longer relevant. If the legal system doesn’t give you the hanging, the lynch mob runs to HBO or Netflix.

Honestly, I could fill the Internet laying out all the ways in which Allen v. Farrow is manipulative, deceitful, and outright wrong. Instead, I’m going to ask a few questions of it…

1) Over four hours dozens of people are interviewed, not one taking Allen’s side. Why?

2) There are tons of home video of the Connecticut home where the alleged crime happened. Why are we never shown the attic where this supposedly took place?

3) The documentary claims Allen influenced the investigators in Connecticut and New York, including all the way up to then-New York Mayor David Dinkins. Why, then, was he unable to influence the family court judge in the custody hearing he so resoundingly lost?

4) Despite the findings of his own investigator, Connecticut State Prosecutor Frank Maco claims he had probable cause to charge Allen but didn’t go ahead and prosecute because he didn’t want to put Dylan through a trial. How does this make sense when she had already been through two grueling investigations where she told her story countless times? What’s one more time, and this time for justice?

4) Mia Farrow is portrayed as something akin to Mother Teresa. Why are we not told that three of her children are dead, two reportedly by suicide?

5) Dylan Farrow now says “I wish I had testified” against Allen back in 1992. Well, why doesn’t she testify against him now? The Connecticut statute of limitations for civil suits in sexual abuse cases does not expire until the alleged victim turns 48. There is nothing stopping the 35-year-old from having her day in court, from fulfilling her wish to testify. Why doesn’t she?

6) Much is made of Allen’s movie Manhattan (1979) where his 42-year-old character has an affair with a 17-year-old. Ignorant journalists are interviewed to inform us that Manhattan was Allen’s way of “grooming us” to accept his behavior. Okay, but why is it never mentioned that the age of consent in New York is 17?

7) Much is made of Allen’s attraction to younger women and inappropriate age differences. Why is it never mentioned that Mia was 19 when she began her relationship with a 49-year-old Frank Sinatra?

8) Why are we told that the media was only on Allen’s side in 1992? I lived through that period. I was 27 at the time. The media were desperate to crucify Allen. The idea the media were on Allen’s side is simply false. The only thing on Allen’s side were the facts and findings.

9) You honestly couldn’t find one — not one — Mia-skeptic to interview?

10) You claim Allen and Soon-Yi refused to be interviewed and were given a chance to respond. Allen claims he was only asked two months  before the documentary was set to premiere. Is this true?

11) Much was made of a police drawing of the attic where the alleged molestation took place. Dylan claimed she watched her brother’s electric train go round and round as she was molested. A police drawing apparently proves there was a train track up there, but am I wrong that with the train set, there is not enough room for a grown man to molest a seven-year-old? And why was the train running at the time? Did Allen turn it on? Wouldn’t a running train signify to Allen that someone might come right back? Would he really molest a child under those conditions?

12) Why is there no medical evidence Dylan was penetrated? Mia says she took Dylan to the doctor twice right after the supposed incident. Was a physical exam not done? If not, why not, when that would be the most damning evidence against Allen?

13) Much is made of the Clinic of Yale-New Haven Hospital destroying their original notes. The documentary tells us this is unprecedented and proof of a conspiracy. But another documentary filmmaker, Robert Weide, says it is not at all unusual and regularly done in an effort to protect everyone’s privacy. Weide has spent years digging into this case and has written countless words defending Allen. He says no one from Allen v. Farrow contacted him for an interview. If that’s true, why would a respected filmmaker with a firm understanding of the case be ignored?

To call Allen v. Farrow an act of Media McCarthyism is actually a gross understatement, especially when it ends by shaming the actors who have stood by Allen. This shaming includes commentary from Dylan about how “my self-worth” increases every time someone famous says they will never work with Allen again.

My God.

Honestly, how did a society raised on To Kill a Mockingbird, The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, and The Lottery devolve into Allen v. Farrow? How did an HBO that once used its power to question legal convictions allow itself to be turned into an electric kangaroo court?

The ongoing persecution of this man, a man cleared entirely by two different state investigations, is one of the most despicable acts of public indecency I have ever witnessed.

This #MeToo-Woke Nazi era has so broken us that Allen v. Farrow filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering not only knew they could get away with this sickening, one-sided, dishonest hatchet-job, but that their dishonesty would be applauded.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.


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