The 4-part documentary series “Allen v. Farrow” is already making sparks. And for good reason, the editor of the director’s memoirs threatens to sue the broadcaster, HBO.
Aired this Sunday February 21 to United States on HBO – and soon in France on OCS -, Allen V. Farrow returns, in four episodes, on one of the media affairs which is tearing All-Hollywood apart. The one between one of the most emblematic couples of the big screen: Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. In 1992, the latter accused the director of incest on their daughter Dylan Farrow, then aged 7. The filmmaker has always denied the facts. His last speech on the subject dates back to the publication of his memoirs, By the way, released in March 2020.
It is this biography which is found in heart of one of the scandals of the documentary series. The producers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick tried to contact Woody Allen, his wife Soon-Yi Previn and Moses Farrow for participating in the project, to no avail. The team therefore used audio extracts from the book, read by the filmmaker himself. One way to fill his absence and bring his version of the facts. The Skyhorse publishing house wants to sue the HBO channel for copyright infringement, saying they have not been contacted upstream.
The doctrine of Fair Use
Representatives of the director duo claim that the extracts were legally used under the doctrine of Fair Use. This stipulates that it is possible to use extracts from a work without permission, provided that these excerpts are less than 10 seconds. This is not the case in the documentary series, at least in the first episode.
Lawyers for Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn say “these librarians don’t care about truth.“ “Instead, they collaborated insidiously with the Farrows and their entourage to set up a web of lies.“, they explain in the press release. They also explain that the couple was warned during the making of the documentary, but only two months before the broadcast, with a response time required in just a few days. Allen V. Farrow consists mainly of testimonies from the Farrow family, their friends and cinema press specialists. The first episode will be available from March 1 on OCS.
Discover the trailer for the documentary series: