Woody Allen says he’s ‘always willing’ to meet estranged daughter Dylan Farrow and again DENIES her abuse claims – as he decries cancel culture in the US following rapturous reception in Venice for his new movie
Woody Allen has said he is ‘always willing’ to meet his estranged daughter Dylan as he again denied her claims he sexually abused her.
Allen, 87, was in Venice, Italy, on Monday evening for the premiere of his 50th film, Coup de Chance.
The film is unlikely to be screened in the US after Hollywood cut ties with him following his daughter’s allegations.
But in Europe – much like disgraced Roman Polanski – he is still working and on Monday night he was given a three-minute standing ovation for his new French-language film.
The reception was not universal as a group of protesters voice their anger at Allen’s presence in Venice, marching past and chanting in Italian: ‘We are the loud and fierce shout of all the bodies that no longer have a voice.’
Ahead of the premiere, Allen told a press conference he felt he had had a very lucky life, and was fortunate to be healthy and able to continue making films.
But, speaking to Variety, the veteran director became ‘gloomy’, the journalist reported, when asked about the allegations made by his daughter, now 38.
Dylan Farrow claims that Allen touched her inappropriately in August 1992, when she was seven.
She said he abused her in an attic of the Connecticut home where she lived with her mother Mia Farrow and siblings, touching her while she played with a toy train.
The allegations were investigated, and no charges ever brought.
In 2014, the story resurfaced when Dylan Farrow spoke to New York Times columnist Nick Kristof.
Ronan Farrow, the journalist brother of Dylan, wrote about it in 2016, and condemned Hollywood for continuing to work with their father. Their brother Moses Farrow, however, has consistently defended their father and accused Mia Farrow of coaching Dylan to accuse Woody, in anger at their divorce.
In 2018, Dylan Farrow spoke to CBS News, and Woody Allen began to pay a professional price for the accusations.
He has always denied abusing her, and on Monday reiterated his denial.
Asked for his reaction to the HBO documentary Allen v Farrow, which aired in February 2021, Allen told Variety: ‘My reaction has always been the same.
‘The situation has been investigated by two people, two major bodies, not people, but two major investigative bodies. And both, after long detailed investigations, concluded there was no merit to these charges, that, you know, is exactly as I wrote in my book, ‘Apropos of Nothing.’ There was nothing to it.
‘The fact that it lingers on always makes me think that maybe people like the idea that it lingers on. You know, maybe there’s something appealing to people. But why? Why? I don’t know what you can do besides having it investigated, which they did so meticulously. One was less than a year and the other one was many months. And they spoke to everybody concerned and, you know, both came to the exact same conclusion.’
Allen said he had not seen Dylan or Ronan Farrow in years, but would not say no to meeting them.
‘Always willing to but no, no…,’ he said.
Dylan’s allegations have divided Hollywood: actors including Kate Winslet, Greta Gerwig, Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Hall, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman and Mira Sorvino have all said they regret working with him.
Diane Keaton, Scarlett Johansson and Cate Blanchett – who won her 2014 Oscar for the Allen-directed Blue Jasmine – have all stood by him. Blanchett said she did not agree with social media being ‘judge and jury’, but said that if there was cause for the investigations to be reopened, she would support that.
Allen filed a $68 million lawsuit against Amazon Studios in 2019 after they pulled out of a deal to distribute his film A Rainy Day In New York: the case was settled out of court.
His last film, Rifkin’s Festival, only showed in 25 cinemas across the United States.
But Allen shrugged off the idea of being ‘cancelled’, calling the concept ‘silly’.
‘I feel if you’re going to be canceled, this is the culture to be canceled by,’ he told Variety.
‘I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be canceled. I know that over the years everything has been the same for me. I make my movies.
‘What has changed is the presentation of the films. You know, I work and it’s the same routine for me. I write the script, raise the money, make the film, shoot it, edit it, it comes out. The difference is not is not from cancel culture. The difference is the way they present the films. It’s that that’s the big change.’
Allen also said some of the effects of the #MeToo movement were ‘silly’.
‘I think any movement where there’s actual benefit, where it does something positive, let’s say for women, is a good thing,’ he said.
‘When it becomes silly, it’s silly. I read instances where it’s very beneficial, where the situation has been very beneficial for women, and that’s good.
‘When I read of some instances in a story in the paper where it’s silly, then it’s foolish.’
Asked what he meant by ‘silly’, Allen replied: ‘It’s silly, you know, when it’s not really a feminist issue or an issue of unfairness to women. When it’s being too extreme in trying to make it into an issue when, in fact, most people would not regard it as any kind of offensive situation.’
Allen has previously suggested Coup de Chance might be his final movie.
However, on Monday he said he had a good idea for a story based in his native New York and would make it if he could find a backer willing to accept his terms – not to read the script or to know whom he had cast.
‘If some foolish person agrees to that, then I will make the film in New York,’ he said.