Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 19, 2014

House of Burgess: Separating art from artist

Allen, Polanski are talented creeps.

Dylan Farrow begins and ends her open letter, published by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on his blog Feb. 1, with a question: “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?”

“Before you answer, you should know: when I was 7 years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house,” wrote Dylan, before launching into a stomach-churning recollection of what she maintains are her memories of the abuse she suffered at the Oscar-winning director’s hands.

These are not new allegations and have been part of the public consciousness for the last 22 years. Since they first surfaced in 1992, though, we hadn’t heard Dylan’s side of the story — until now.

Allen has never been charged and, as ever, has denied any wrongdoing.

“No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing,” he closed his response in The New York Times on Feb. 7. The same day in the Hollywood Reporter, Dylan confirmed she wouldn’t go quietly. “I won’t let the truth be buried and I won’t be silenced,” she wrote.

Over the years, both Allen and Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow, have separately but consistently used legal documents to stick up for another celebrated but embattled director, Roman Polanski. In March 1977, the then-43-year-old Polanski was charged with multiple sexual assault counts involving then-13-year-old Samantha Jane Gailey.

For decades, Mia Farrow has written letters to the court and testified on Polanski’s behalf. In 2009, Allen joined Terry Gilliam, John Landis, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Tilda Swinton and others in signing a petition to the Swiss government asking for Polanski’s release after being arrested there.

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