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Nearly one month after the publication of his explosive exposé on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow appeared as a guest on Friday’s episode of The Late Show to discuss its ripple effect throughout Hollywood.
Speaking with host Stephen Colbert, Farrow said people warned him about writing the story. “There were multiple moments where people would sit me down and say, ‘Hey, are you sure you want to keep going with this?’ There’s a lot of pressure, and that’s something I’ve reported on too. It’s not something that’s directed at [just] me; it’s directed at a whole range of reporters,” he said.
He also reiterated that he was threatened with a lawsuit by Weinstein’s lawyers, but he refused to let that stop him from reporting on the story. “It was very apparent this was a public-safety issue. You can’t stop going if you have evidence that there’s maybe an ongoing pattern of behavior that’s endangering people.”
Farrow also said that what struck him most about the report was “the particularly ugly and powerful machine aimed at securing silence.” He explained that victims from all walks of life, not just in Hollywood, don’t come forward with their stories for several reasons. “There are the same profoundly personal reasons why it is sometimes almost impossible to come forward,” he said. “There are career repercussions, and they fear what their families will think.”
When asked if he thinks the Weinstein allegations and reports like them could change the conversation around his father, director Woody Allen, who has been accused of molesting his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, Farrow said he didn’t have “a direct link that motivated [him] to look at this story” and said it was just an assignment he received. However, he said, “What was instrumental in linking these two things [Weinstein and the allegations around Allen] and helping drive me during this story was sexual assault was an issue that had touched my family. I understood over time the importance of confronting it honestly.” He also said his sister’s story helped him understand the importance of women coming forward.
He also had a call to action for the media: “It is very clear when you look at this story, with how long this stayed quiet, that it is of the utmost importance that any news organization that has damning evidence of ongoing criminal activity needs to run that, needs to investigate it, interrogate it and run it.”
Farrow’s months-in-the-making report, which came days after The New York Times published its own exposé on Weinstein’s “decades of harassment,” detailed accounts from multiple women who alleged they’d been sexually assaulted by Weinstein. Over 70 women have since come forward with additional harassment and rape claims against the producer, who is being investigated by the LAPD, Beverly Hills PD, NYPD and London police.
As the topic of harassment continues to pervade Hollywood, several other actors and media power players have also been outed and condemned for alleged sexual misconduct, including Amazon’s Roy Price, WME’s Adam Venit, James Toback, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven and more.
Farrow’s interview was taped Thursday, the same day CBS announced Piven, who was originally scheduled as the show’s lead guest, had been dropped amid recent sexual-harassment allegations surrounding the actor.
“Jeremy Piven’s interview for Friday’s broadcast was pretaped earlier this week on Monday, Oct. 30. Since we were unable to address recent developments in that interview, we are replacing that segment with a new guest,” a representative for The Late Show told The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier this week, actress Ariane Bellamar accused Piven of groping her on the set of Entourage. In a statement, CBS revealed the network is currently “looking into the matter.”
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