Reconsidering television true crime and gendered authority in Allen v. Farrow

Horeck, Tanya and Negra, Diane (2021) Reconsidering television true crime and gendered authority in Allen v. Farrow. Feminist Media Studies. ISSN 1468-0777

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2021.1970608

Abstract

This essay examines how the 2021 HBO docu-series Allen v. Farrow destabilizes a “he said/she said” framing of historic child sex abuse accusations against Hollywood auteur Woody Allen. Joining a number of other recent docu-series on celebrity sexual abuse cases, Allen v. Farrow repurposes the long-form true crime structure to focus sustained investigative attention on sexual violence as a crime that demands social justice. Refuting charges that the piece is “biased” against Allen, the essay argues that Kirby Dick’s and Amy Ziering’s four-part true crime investigative series is in fact designed to interrogate the notion of “communicative injustice”. In its support of Dylan and Mia Farrow’s voices, the docu-series challenges the cultural logics of “bothsidesism” and reveals how a misogynistic media culture enabled a gendered cultural narrative that silenced Dylan and painted her mother as a scorned and vengeful woman. As part of a wider cultural turn toward re-evaluating gender roles of the 1990s, Allen v.Farrow invites reflection on the gendered cultural logic that saw a child-exploiting midlife female vendetta as a more intelligible cultural script than male child sexual abuse.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: true crime, sexual abuse, celebrity, gender, #MeToo
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2021 12:06
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 15:23
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707073

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