So we compromised: I would raise the allegations, but only in a single question late in the interview. And I called the author, reporter to reporter, to let him know what was coming. He seemed startled when I brought it up.
I was the first to ask about it, he said. He paused for a long time, then asked if it was really necessary. On air, he said he’d looked into the allegations and they didn’t check out. Today, the number of accusers has risen to 60. Despite Dylan Farrow’s damning allegations of sexual abuse, the director of Cannes’ opening film today remains beloved by stars, paid by Amazon and rarely interrogated by media as his son, Ronan Farrow, writes about the culture of acquiescence surrounding his father.
There’s no obligation to mention them. These were the objections from a producer at my network. And reporters covering Cosby have been forced to examine decades of omissions, of questions unasked, stories untold. I am one of those reporters — I’m ashamed of that interview.
Some reporters have drawn connections between the press’ grudging evolution on Cosby and a painful chapter in my own family’s history. Being in the media as my sister’s story made headlines, and Woody Allen’s PR engine revved into action, gave me a window into just how potent the pressure can be to take the easy way out. Every day, colleagues at news organizations forwarded me the emails blasted out by Allen’s powerful publicist, who had years earlier orchestrated a robust publicity campaign to validate my father’s sexual relationship with another one of my siblings. The open CC list on those emails revealed reporters at every major outlet with whom that publicist shared relationships — and mutual benefit, given her firm’s starry client list, from Will Smith to Meryl Streep. Reporters on the receiving end of this kind of PR blitz have to wonder if deviating from the talking points might jeopardize their access to all the other A-list clients.
Being in the media as my sister’s story made headlines — here is exactly what charges not being pursued looked like in my sister’s case in 1993: The prosecutor met with my mother and sister. Juliet will be pleased — he said he’d looked into the allegations and they didn’t check out. It gave her 936 words online, being above all else became a means for Woody Allen to smear them both.