Ronan Farrow published a long account of his own failings as a journalist in The Hollywood Reporter. What did Farrow fail at? He didn’t pursue the allegations about Bill Cosby’s alleged serial rape habit, back when he was on the trail and had a chance. He kept (mostly) quiet and stayed obedient to the system, which favors the stars. Now that Cosby has been publicly shamed, yet still not convicted, Farrow confesses he’s “ashamed” of an interview he did that failed to ask enough questions. And he doesn’t want to miss again. The world is changing, Farrow says, moving slowly toward an environment where victims won’t be so easily shushed and where “PR machines” like the one commanded by his father, Woody Allen, won’t be able to so easily control the narrative. Especially if journalists like Farrow aren’t intimidated, as they’ve been in the past. A journalist’s worst fear is being cut off from his or her sources, and that’s the chief threat — even beyond legal action — wielded by publicists, especially where celebrities are concerned.
Farrow wants to be part of the change. The Hollywood Reporter article is Ronan Farrow’s line in the sand. He writes that he believes his sister, Dylan Farrow, and her accusations that their father, Woody Allen, sexually assaulted her. He says he always believed her, and that it was to his shame that he asked her at times to keep her story to herself. When she finally “explained her agony” in The New York Times in 2014, he “knew she was right.” Now he wants to help her tell it. And he also wants to bring down condemnation against Woody Allen like what’s happened to Cosby. Cosby’s new show plans were cancelled while Allen continues to thrive commercially. Even if the accusations never turn into a conviction, Farrow wants stars who work with Allen — and there are lots of them — to realize that by doing so they hurt his sister immensely. Every guest spot on an Allen project by a big name like Miley Cyrus is a punch in the gut to Dylan Farrow.