It’s been six months since Ronan Farrow helped bring down Harvey Weinstein in his bombshell exposé for the New Yorker, which ignited a cultural reckoning and propelled the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. What’s been the most gratifying aspect of the whole experience for the 30-year-old journalist was the follow-up conversations he had with his sources that included Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, and Asia Argento, who all struggled to go public with their stories about Weinstein’s unwanted sexual advances.
“I feel honored to have been a part of the moment where the dam finally broke,” Farrow told Variety at the Point Foundation’s annual gala in New York on Monday. He was on hand to receive the organization’s prestigious Courage Award for his vital work in advocating and empowering the LGBTQ community.
“This was a community of reporters who tried [for] over 20 years, banging their heads against the wall, just eager to break this thing,” Farrow continued. “The credit really goes to all the sources who spoke. They are responsible. It was much bigger than me. The conversations that have been most moving and meaningful to me have been from the sources who risked everything to talk to me and followed up and said, ‘As hard as this was, this was the beginning of a healing process for me.’ That’s been the most rewarding.”
Thanks to the brave women who came forward, many of Hollywood’s elite have quickly broken all ties with alleged perpetrators — canceling their movies and TV shows, axing development deals, and firing them from jobs. However, Farrow’s father, Woody Allen — who has been accused of sexual assault, but not criminally charged — has yet to fall from grace. Farrow’s older sister, Dylan Farrow, has accused their dad of molesting her when she was 7. Though, Allen has persistently and vehemently denied Dylan’s claims.
“There’s always going to be gaps in accountability,” Farrow said in regard to Allen still having success, including a multimillion-dollar distribution deal with Amazon. “There’s always going to be people who are too powerful, too beloved to face the facts of the allegation against them and use their extreme tools to evade accountability and to silence and discredit their accusers. You would have to talk to my sister about whether she’s in that category with Woody Allen and whether it’s still frustrating with her. I haven’t talked to her recently enough to know, but I do know she did a really brave thing speaking out and presenting a considerable and robust fact pattern against this man. I applaud the fact that she did that.”
As Hollywood takes a stand against the culture of sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry, Farrow is not sure whether his father will ever be completely shunned from Hollywood and suffer the same fate as others accused of sexual misconduct, but he is optimistic that others will no longer get a pass for inappropriate behavior and be responsible for their actions.
“I think we’ve seen a movement toward greater accountability in terms of the number of high-profile people speaking out. Not just about Woody Allen — this isn’t about any one alleged predator — this is about a whole echelon of society in the entertainment industry and beyond that has evaded accountability for years and manipulated the media to do so,” said Farrow. “I do think that the progression of Bill Cosby’s accusers, my sister coming forward and the domino effect of the last several years has been instrumental to the moment that we are seeing now. What I will say is, I give my sister tremendous credit for calling out Woody Allen and demanding accountability.”
When asked if director Bryan Singer, who was accused in a lawsuit last December of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy at a party more than a decade ago, and R&B singer R. Kelly, who was accused of sexually abusing a girl since she was 14, should both be held liable for their allegedly inappropriate behavior, Farrow said it’s worth investigating.
“It certainly seems that there is a lot to report on that,” Farrow commented. “If you ask someone like (#MeToo founder) Tarana Burke, she’d be very quick to say R. Kelly has been shielded in her view and I think more reporters should look at that.”
At the dinner, Farrow accepted his award, as did Point Impact Award recipient Laura Benanti. “Empire” star Jussie Smollett performed at the gala.
In his acceptance speech, Farrow said, “Being a part of the LGBT community — which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it, and has been such a stalwart source of support through the sexual assault reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible — that has been an incredible source of strength for me.”