Ronan Farrow, Woody Allen and Asking the ‘Tough Questions’

By Chris Ariens 

The Hollywood Reporter asked NBC’s Ronan Farrow to write a column as a response to the publication’s recent cover story and interview with Farrow’s father, Woody Allen. The cover story, timed to the debut of Allen’s new movie at Cannes, glossed over the allegations of sexual abuse against Allen involving Farrow’s sister, Dylan, when she was child, all of which returned to the headlines in 2014.

The former MSNBC host, who now reports for the NBC News investigative unit, writes about how journalists–even he–sometimes forget to ask the hard questions:

Tonight, the Cannes Film Festival kicks off with a new Woody Allen film. There will be press conferences and a red-carpet walk by my father and his wife (my sister). He’ll have his stars at his side — Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. They can trust that the press won’t ask them the tough questions. It’s not the time, it’s not the place, it’s just not done.

That kind of silence isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. It sends a message to victims that it’s not worth the anguish of coming forward. It sends a message about who we are as a society, what we’ll overlook, who we’ll ignore, who matters and who doesn’t.

We are witnessing a sea change in how we talk about sexual assault and abuse. But there is more work to do to build a culture where women like my sister are no longer treated as if they are invisible. It’s time to ask some hard questions.