Ronan Farrow Says His "Career Was on the Rocks" Before Weinstein Exposé
The journalist used his experience working on the 'New Yorker' story to encourage graduates at Loyola Marymount University's commencement on Saturday.
Ronan Farrow used his experience writing an explosive exposé on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein for The New Yorker to encourage graduates at Loyola Marymount University during its graduation ceremonies on Saturday in Los Angeles.
While it's been widely reported that Farrow faced threats and possible lawsuits in the pursuit of the story, he told the graduates that he wanted to tell "a simpler and more personal side of the story."
"The reality is my career was on the rocks. And as a result of my tackling this story as doggedly as I did, it fell apart almost completely," he shared. Farrow said he was not confident at the time, adding that he was "heartbroken, and I was scared, and I had no idea if I was doing the right thing."
Farrow, who is the son of director Woody Allen and actress Mia Farrow, said that even people close to him tried to discourage him from writing the piece: "My bosses saying, 'You have got to stop, let it go.' My agent saying, 'It’s causing too many speed bumps for your career, you have got to let it go.' Even loved ones, saying, 'Is this really worth it?' Pointing out that I would risk my whole career for a story that might not even make a dent."
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 80 women have since come forward with additional harassment and rape claims against the producer.
And while Farrow said he considered the advice he was receiving, he ultimately forged ahead. "I didn’t stop. Because I knew I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t honor the risks those women had taken to expose this. But also, less nobly, because I really had gambled too much and there was no way out but through," he said.
Farrow ended his speech with some words of advice for the graduates, telling them that they, too, will come to a moment in their futures when they might not know what the "right thing is."
"And I hope that in that moment you’ll be generous with yourself, but trust that inner voice. Because more than ever we need people to be guided by their own senses of principle, and not the whims of a culture that prizes ambition, and sensationalism, and celebrity, and vulgarity, and doing whatever it takes to win," he said. "Because if enough of you listen to that voice, if enough of you prove that this generation isn’t going to make the same mistakes as the one before, then doing the right thing won’t seem as rare, or as hard, or as special."
Watch Farrow's full speech below.