Woody Allen Rehashes Old Arguments, Says He’s ‘Perfectly Innocent’ in CBS News Interview
In Woody Allen’s first interview on American television in nearly 30 years, conducted in July and released Sunday on streamer Paramount Plus, the filmmaker again denies that he ever sexually abused his daughter, Dylan Farrow.
The interview, conducted by CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan for “CBS Sunday Morning,” skims the surface of the decades-old allegations against Allen. The session was conducted last summer but was held and released on the heels of last week’s conclusion of the four-part HBO docuseries “Allen v. Farrow,” which once again put Farrow’s accusations into the spotlight. Allen did not take part in that series.
Allen, as ever, denies the specific allegations made by Dylan Farrow, insisting that they were encouraged her mother Mia Farrow, who was angry at the breakup of her 12-year relationship with Allen. Allen and Mia Farrow had a bitter public split in 1992 after Mia discovered that Allen was having an affair with her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who has been married to Allen since 1997.
“It’s so preposterous, and yet the smear has remained and they still prefer to cling to if not the notion that I molested Dylan, then the possibility that I molested her,” Allen told Cowan. “Nothing that I ever did with Dylan in my life could be misconstrued as that.”
The 35-minute program, packaged with Gayle King’s 2018 interview with Dylan Farrow, along with a new segment by Erin Moriarty about how art should be evaluated when artists have been accused of reprehensible behavior, was mostly a rehash of the arguments that Allen has made in his defense since the allegation went public when Dylan was 7.
Allen’s defensiveness in the face of the magnitude of Dylan Farrow’s allegations and the origins of his relationship with Soon-Yi comes off as callous in the extreme.
“There was no logic to it on the face of it,” Allen said of Dylan Farrow’s accusations. He also pointed to the fact that he and Soon-Yi were allowed to adopt two girls who are now adults. “They don’t give two baby girls to someone they think is a pedophile,” Allen said.
Allen calls Dylan Farrow “a good kid” and insists she’s been coaxed into imagining the abuse. In “Allen v. Farrow,” numerous Farrow family members and friends attest to witnessing disturbing encounters between Allen and Dylan.
“She was a good kid,” Allen tells Cowan. “I believe she thinks it. I don’t believe she’s making it up. She’s not lying. I believes she believes that.”
At the top of the program, Cowan introduced it by saying that Allen had once been revered, but that “today, Woody Allen is reviled by many.” After saying how rare interviews with Allen are, Cowan said: “Some months ago, Woody Allen released a book, and we were offered an opportunity to talk with him on the patio of his Manhattan townhouse. To be honest, the swirling controversy, the storm of opinion, both pro and con, we gave careful consideration whether to do this interview at all. But you’re about to see it. Whether or not you believe Woody Allen, whether or not you even like him, we hope you’ll at least want to hear what he has to say.”
The 35-minute program, packaged with Gayle King’s 2018 interview with Dylan Farrow, along with a new segment from “Sunday Morning” correspondent Erin Moriarty about how art should be evaluated when artists have been accused of reprehensible behavior.
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