For the last 25 years, Woody Allen has done his best to ignore charges that he sexually abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow. On Tuesday night, he did that yet again. While playing with his New Orleans Jazz Band in Hamburg, topless protestors stormed the stage, reading a letter from Farrow to the packed crowd. Security were quick to whisk them off-stage, at which point Allen and crew resumed their Dixieland jazz like nothing had happened, while the audience did the same.
The two protesters were members of the extreme Femen group, who’ve grabbed headlines in the past for their nude activism. Though they were cut off by security, they released the letter to the press following the incident. It read, translated from German: “Although the incident occurred decades ago, Dylan (now 31) is still suffering the consequences. Woody Allen is not just the neurotic and charming director, actor and musician, but a father who likes to stick his finger in his daughter. We’d like to remind the world, and jazz fans, of that fact.”
The alleged incident took place in 1992, when Allen was still with her mother, Mia Farrow, and Dylan was 7. Allen has repeatedly denied and refused to discuss it. Dylan didn’t lodge a public accusation herself until 2014, at which point the accusations re-entered the public consciousness. Dylan’s brother Ronan backed up her allegations and accused the press of ignoring them.
We can’t take sides in this debate. There is no concrete evidence that the incident ever occurred, and yet to brush them off completely, insist they’re false, would be to let a potentially guilty man walk free. We’re forced instead to walk an uncomfortable line that tries, and ultimately fails, to honor both sides of a story that currently remains up in the air. Meanwhile, Allen’s next film, “Wonder Wheel,” starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake, is due in theaters in early December.
Video of the Hamburg protest can be viewed below. It is, of course, NSFW.