In the years since Dylan Farrow’s allegations against Woody Allen were revived amid the #MeToo movement, numerous actors have expressed regrets about working for the filmmaker, including Greta Gerwig and Kate Winslet. Just months after the release of the devastating HBO documentary series Allen V. Farrow, which re-examined Dylan Farrow’s claims that Allen sexually abused and assaulted her as a child, Drew Barrymore has added her voice to the chorus of actors who feel remorse for starring in his films. During an appearance on Monday’s episode of The Drew Barrymore Show, Farrow discussed the four-part series directed by acclaimed documentarians Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick (who also released a companion podcast). One of the more upsetting components of the doc is the inclusion of previously unreleased home footage recorded by Mia Farrow of her daughter, a then-seven-year-old Dylan, describing how Allen—her father figure—sexually abused her.
Barrymore said she starred in Allen’s 1996 ensemble musical Everyone Says I Love You because, at the time, “there was no higher career calling card than to work with Woody Allen.” But after she became a mother, Barrymore told Farrow her perspective changed:
Then I had children, and it changed me because I realized that I was one of the people who was basically gaslit into not looking at a narrative beyond what I was being told. And I see what is happening in the industry now and that is because of you making that brave choice. So thank you for that.
Farrow’s reply was fairly gut-wrenching:
Hearing what you just said, I am trying not to cry right now. It is just so meaningful because it’s easy for me to say, ‘Of course you shouldn’t work with him; he’s a jerk, he’s a monster,’ but I just find it incredibly brave and incredibly generous that you would say to me that my story and what I went through was important enough to you to reconsider that.
Her response sort of reiterates something explored in Allen V. Farrow—how media and celebrity add a surreal dimension to sexual abuse allegations, further distorting the power imbalance between sexual abuse victim and those with the power to advocate for and validate their experiences. It’s also just fucking awful that Farrow feels compelled to praise Barrymore as generous and brave for finally believing her story. What that says about the lack of progress we’ve made in holding sexual abusers accountable and taking allegations seriously is—gonna be honest here— NOT GREAT. But it’s nice that Drew Barrymore was able to so bravely relieve herself of this guilt.