In the last year no one brought down more powerful American men than Ronan Farrow. They continue moreover to fall – the latest among them Les Moonves, among the mightiest men in media – victimized by that most lethal of weapons, a pen.* Beginning with Harvey Weinstein, and ending heaven knows with whom , more than anything else it was Farrow’s articles appearing in The New Yorker that triggered the #MeToo movement. Which means it is he who, directly or indirectly, is responsible for the downfall of one after another head honcho, some in business and politics, others in arts and sports, still others in entertainment, comedians to tragedians.
Farrow is no ordinary leader slayer. He is slight in stature, basically bookish, exceedingly smart, and, in his first (and intermittently still continuing) incarnation, an expert on foreign affairs. In fact, he was a protégé of one of the most eminent men in the American foreign policy establishment, Richard Holbrooke. But, a couple of years ago, Farrow sunk his teeth into the topic of sexual abuse and he has not since let up. His second article on the previously untouchable Moonves did the man in.
What explains Farrow’s fixation is rank speculation. But, I cannot resist providing the following, psychoanalytically-tinged, information. Farrow’s mother is the well-known and accomplished actress, Mia Farrow. His father of record (don’t ask) is the supremely well-known and highly accomplished director, Woody Allen. Some years ago, Allen was accused by Dylan, his daughter, Ronan’s sister, of molesting her when she was a child. No charges were ever pressed. However, it is also the case that Allen began his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, now his wife, when she was a teenager living at home with her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow.
In short, it’s complicated. Suffice to say here it would appear there’s a reason why Farrow, educated and trained in foreign policy, has at least for now made it his mission to take on powerful men who abuse women far, far less powerful than they. Like Oedipus, to avenge his mother he killed, among others, his father. In this case not literally, obviously, but certainly politically, and probably professionally. Farrow has hammered a nail into the coffin of his parent – and many another of his ilk.
*See my previous post, on related subject, “Les and Sex.” http://barbarakellerman.com/les-and-sex/