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This U.S. paper passed on Dylan Farrow’s Woody Allen letter; Stephen King weighs in, to everyone’s dismay

Author Stephen King speaks at a news conference to introduce the new Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader in New York, February 9, 2009.


Everybody's talking about the fallout from the sensational letter by Dylan Farrow published in The New York Times last weekend, but not many people realize The Los Angeles Times passed on publishing it.

According to reports in The Wrap, the L.A. Times op-ed department had first dibs on the letter in which Farrow renews her accusations of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of her adoptive father Woody Allen.

"We got it, we considered it, we ultimately decided not to use it," said L.A. Times op-ed editor Sue Horton.

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At the same time, Horton denied claims that L.A. Times editor-in-chief Davan Maharaj had the final call in deciding whether or not to publish the letter.

"The editor of the paper doesn't have a say in what goes on the op-ed page," said Horton.

Farrow's letter was originally posted last Saturday on the blog page of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. In a separate post, Kristof admitted that he was friends with Dylan's mother Mia and brother Ronan.

Unavoidably, there has been no shortage of high-profile names commenting on the Farrow-Allen imbroglio in recent days.

Among them was noted horror author Stephen King, who most recently was forced to backtrack on his comments posted to Twitter earlier this week.

How it started: Author Mary Karr originally posted a tweet asking whether it was "right or wrong" for The New York Times to publish the letter.

King responded to Karr's question on Monday with the following tweet: "Boy, I'm stumped on that one. I don't like to think it's true, and there's an element of palpable bitchery there, but…"

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In short order, Twitter users reacted vociferously to King's reply, claiming the author was inappropriate in using the word "bitch" in connection to someone who alleges she was raped. A brief sampling of the responses.

From Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler): " 'Palpable bitcher' just isn't warranted when you're talking about abuse that has been tacitly condoned, I guess."

From Steffi Bendi (@BertLoch): "So a victim of child abuse has to be nice and polite about it now?"

And from a Twitter user named Jesse Dangerously (@rljd): "There's an element of palpable misogyny there."

All of which prompted King to go onto his website on Tuesday night and post an earnest apology directed toward Dylan Farrow and her mother.

King's apology begins thusly: "Those of you who follow Twitter will know that recently I managed to put my foot in my mouth and halfway down my throat.

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"A good many people came away from my tweet about the Woody Allen controversy with the idea that I had called Dylan Farrow or Mia Farrow (or both) a bitch. That wasn't my intention, but the conclusion on the part of some readers is understandable. I used the wrong word to describe not Ms. Farrow–either Ms. Farrow–but a sad and painful mess. Some people seem to believe that writers never use the wrong word, but any editor can tell you that's not true."

The apology goes on to note that several of King's bestselling works, including Dolores Claiborne, Gerald's Game, Lisey's Story and his breakout novel Carrie, have painted sympathetic portrayals of abused women.

And King closes his mea culpa with the following statement:

"The maximum number of letters in a Tweet is 140. I think the following would fit: I apologize for screwing up. Just know my heart is where it's always been: in the right place."

Apology accepted, Mr. King.


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