Woody Allen & Soon-Yi Previn React To ‘Hatchet Job’ Documentary — All The Shocking Details In Part 1 Of Allen v. Farrow HERE
Sunday night marked the first episode of the four-part HBO documentary series Allen v. Farrow, and we’re still reeling from all the controversy and revelations therein! The docu-series follows the story of Woody Allen and his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow (pictured above, circular inset), who he has long been accused of sexually abusing, first in 1992.
Produced by Amy Herdy (who also made The Hunting Ground), the first night marked lots of participation from Dylan, and some interesting info has come to light from it all.
Among the most memorable moments from the doc’s premiere are the filmmaker’s explorations into why early allegations haven’t seemed to have much of an effect on Allen’s career as a famous director. Well, until now, that is.
Here are some things you may have missed during the premiere last night:
Dylan Blames Herself
Though Woody’s alleged actions are, of course, no fault of hers, now-adult Dylan still nevertheless blames herself for not being “stronger” when it came time to follow up with her allegations:
“I think in a lot of ways I’ve come to understand my feelings better as an adult than I did as a child. What I was really feeling was that I had let down the little girl that I was before when I couldn’t speak about it. I wish that I had been stronger, that I hadn’t crumpled so much under the pressure. And I needed in a way to prove to myself that I can face it. Which is probably why I feel so strongly about coming forward now.”
And she’s not the only one who has regrets, either…
Mia’s Motherly Regret
Mia Farrow (pictured above, square inset), who has long since split from Woody Allen in the years after she adopted Dylan in 1985, revealed her own serious set of regrets regarding the entire situation. She recalled:
“I haven’t spoken publicly about this for decades, but that’s the great regret of my life, that I wasn’t perceptive enough. It’s my fault, I brought this guy into our family. There’s nothing I can do to take that away. I get why people can’t believe it, because who on earth could believe that of Woody Allen? You know? I couldn’t believe it…I couldn’t believe it. Everybody admired Woody so much, loved him. And I did, too.”
The Cult of Woody Allen
A core part of the problem here was that, for years in the film industry, Woody Allen was seen as a legend and rarely challenged on anything. A group of longtime film critics spoke about that during the doc, and got real about how his stellar on-set rep affected their perceptions of the man, even after the allegations had come out.
Claire Dederer of The Paris Review recalled (below):
“I grew up feeling really close to Woody Allen. He was always to me, my whole life, extremely appealing. I felt that he represented me, which is a very weird way for a little girl to feel about a middle-aged filmmaker. He has a way of inhabiting something very human that’s extremely relatable.”
A Father Figure Gone Wrong
Early on, after Mia first met Woody, they hit it off quickly and fell into a romance in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Allen had “zero interest” in kids, but Farrow figured she could maintain her own private life herself, and still involve Woody as necessary.
Even after Dylan — and later, son Ronan (pictured above, with Mia) — came into the picture, though, Woody was doting on them more than what was normal. Dylan couldn’t put into words exactly what was happening with it at the time, but here nearly 40 years later, she recalled (below):
“I worshipped [Woody]. He was so funny and he made me feel so special. That’s where things get really, really complicated, because threaded throughout all of those good times, there was a lot more going on. He followed me wherever I went.
Dylan even remembered playing with dolls at a friend’s house, and looking around wondering why the friends’ dad wasn’t there like Woody would be for her:
“That was my entire frame of reference. I was always in his clutches. He was always… hunting me.”
Eventually, Dylan started running away from Woody and “locking herself in bathrooms,” according to Mia. The alleged abuse got more frequent, and worse…
Terrible Memories & Excuses
Eventually, Dylan began to be haunted by the memories of things her father had allegedly done, including remember getting into bed with Woody, with both of them in their underwear, to “cuddle.” As a 5-year-old in 1991, Dylan opened up about her “secret” to a therapist. One day, at the family’s country house, the little girl recalled sitting on the porch with Woody as he “directed me on how to suck his thumb, telling me what to do with my tongue.” WHAT?!
At the time, Woody excused it away when Mia first learned of the action, explaining to his wife that the thumb-sucking simply comforted the little girl. The film director came up with other excuses after he started going to therapy, denying any sexual misconduct at the time and prompting Mia to believe things could get back to normal.
In the doc, Mia recalled:
“I felt it was under control. I thought things would get better and for a time it seemed that way. I thought he was my life’s partner and I believed in our future. I thought we were going to go on and have a wonderful life.”
That didn’t happen.
On January 13, 1992, Mia stopped by Woody’s New York apartment and discovered a stack of “pornographic pictures of a girl.” The girl was Mia’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn (pictured above, with Woody), who was barely of legal, adult age, and in her first year of college at the time.
Recalling the memory of just how over-the-top the pictures were, Mia spoke out in the doc:
“They wouldn’t put them in Playboy. They were like, I don’t know, Hustler pictures or something. Really, really raunchy pictures.”
After Mia first confronted Soon-Yi about the pictures, she also confronted Woody. While he claimed to her that he “only loved her,” he also admitted he’d made a mistake and “lost control.” Ummm… yeah. Mia told Woody to get out at that point, and, well, the rest is history. Until next episode of the documentary, at least.
Serious, serious stuff…
Woody and Soon-Yi Respond
In a joint statement released on Sunday night by a spokesperson for both Woody and his still-wife, the couple claims the documentary is full of falsehoods.
The statement read (below):
“These documentarians had no interest in the truth. Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods. [Woody and Soon-Yi] were approached less than two months ago and given only a matter of days ‘to respond.’ Of course, they declined to do so. As has been known for decades, these allegations are categorically false. Multiple agencies investigated them at the time and found that, whatever Dylan Farrow may have been led to believe, absolutely no abuse had ever taken place. It is sadly unsurprising that the network to air this is HBO – which has a standing production deal and business relationship with Ronan Farrow. While this shoddy hit piece may gain attention, it does not change the facts.”
Ronan Backs His Sister
Speaking of Ronan Farrow, he too is speaking out — in support of his sister.
He kept it sweet and simple on Sunday night with a very meaningful post, as you can see (below):
Quite a lot to take in here, isn’t there, Perezcious readers? What do U make of everything from the first episode of Allen v. Farrow?? There are three more episodes coming, too — episode two premieres on HBO Max on Sunday, February 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Will U be tuning in on Sunday night?