Ronan Farrow was one of the key people in the New York Times expose that derailed Harvey Weinstein’s career, and it was not an easy thing to do.
Farrow, 30, opened up about the story behind the story while delivering an emotional commencement speech at Loyola Marymount University on Saturday.
“You will face a moment in your career where you have absolutely no idea what to do,” he told the audience. “Where it will be totally unclear to you what the right thing is for you, for your family, for your community.”
“And I hope that in that moment you’ll be generous with yourself, but trust that inner voice,” he continued. “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.”
Farrow almost crumbled under the weight of the story, once emotionally breaking down in the back of a taxi.
“I remember a low point last fall where I hadn’t slept, and I had lost a lot of weight, and I was on the phone with my poor, long-suffering partner who dealt with a lot of really annoying calls from me during this period,” he explained. “And I was in a cab going from one meeting with a source to another and I had just learned I might get scooped entirely and I just fell apart.”
“I was sobbing, and trying not to sob, and I’m pretty sure there was some snot happening and it was not pretty,” he teased. “And I remember saying ‘I swung too wide, I gambled too much, I lost everything and no one will even know.’ And my partner said, ‘okay, we are going to talk about all of this but also you are going to tip that cab driver really well.'”
The journalist and activist won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for public service for his work on the Weinstein scandal, including a 7,000-word story detailing the first sexual misconduct allegations against the Hollywood executive.
Farrow became the youngest graduate in the history of Bard College when he received a B.A. degree in philosophy at the age of 15. In 2009, he received a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.