Ronan Farrow Tells Stephen Colbert His Next Report On “Machine” That Hushed Up Harvey Weinstein Story


Ronan Farrow had not anticipated the “cascade” of women from various industries coming forward, after his and the New York Times’ pieces on Harvey Weinstein and sexual assault were published.

Farrow was Stephen Colbert’s last-minute guest Friday night, after Late Show scrubbed a pre-taped interview with CBS primetime star Jeremy Piven, who has been accused of predatory behavior.

Interviewing Farrow, Colbert said he was aware Weinstein “was known for monstrous behavior” and wondered if Farrow got warned off his reporting.

Farrow responded he’d been threatened with a lawsuit from Weinstein’s lawyer, and intermediaries made a lot of “threatening and menacing” statements. He declined to discuss details, calling them “private” communications, but added, “yeah, menacing stuff.”

“This was a public safety issue,” Farrow insisted of his report. “You can’t stop going if you have evidence there’s maybe an ongoing pattern of behavior that’s endangering people.”

When Colbert’s audience whooped and applauded in approval, Farrow schooled them, “Cheer for the women who talked, you know?”

Farrow already has published a second report on the subject, and says he has a third in the works.

“This machine that was so instrumental in keeping this quiet as long as it was quiet – I think there is much more to be said about just how far that went,” he teased of his next installment.

Perhaps to that point, Colbert asked Farrow about NBC’s involvement in his original report. As he had previously, Farrow declined to discuss in any detail, other than to clarify NBC had given him the assignment, not the other way around, as some have suggested, given his and his sister’s allegations about Woody Allen.

Colbert informed his viewers Farrow originally worked for months on his report for NBC News, “and they did not want to broadcast the report you had come up with, so you took it to the New Yorker.

“How much sooner would you have been able to talk about this if NBC had broadcast it?” Colbert wondered.

Farrow said, as he has in every interview since his first article published, that there “maybe more to say about the NBC piece of this” later, but that the focus now needs to be on the “flood of women” who are coming forward.

Colbert argued back that “part of story is the story not being told for so long, and you experienced the story not being told.”

“What was the reason you were given?” Colbert pressed.

“It is very clear, if you look at this story and how long it 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…and run it,” Farrow responded. “That’s what I’ll say about that.”

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