Blake Lively has condemned a French comedian for poking fun at Woody Allen with a controversial rape joke during the Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony.
Master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte shocked the audience at the grand premiere of Allen’s new comedy, Cafe Society, on Wednesday night, when he said: “It’s very nice that you’ve been shooting so many movies in Europe, even if you are not being convicted for rape in the U.S.”
The quip reportedly drew gasps from the audience, as host Lafitte appeared to reference the allegations of sexual abuse leveled at the director by Dylan O’ Sullivan Farrow, his adopted daughter with ex-partner Mia Farrow.
Allen, 80, batted off the joke during a lunch in Cannes as he continued to promote his new comedy, telling Variety.com, “I am completely in favor of comedians making any jokes they want.”
He added, “It would take a lot to offend me.”
However, his Cafe Society star Blake Lively wasn’t laughing at the joke and she is outraged at Lafitte’s remarks during his opening routine, which also included quips about the gay community and Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
“I think any jokes about rape, homophobia or Hitler is not a joke,” she explained to Variety. “I think that was a hard thing to swallow in 30 seconds.
“Film festivals are such beautiful, respectful festivals of film and artists and to have that, it felt like it wouldn’t have happened if it was in the 1940s. I can’t imagine Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby going out and doing that. It was more disappointing for the artists in the room that someone was going up there making jokes about something that wasn’t funny.”
And it wasn’t just the rape reference which upset pregnant Blake: “He made three homophobic comments in a row. A Hitler joke. And a rape joke. It was all within 30 seconds. What on Earth was happening? It was really confusing.”
The controversy unfolded hours after an essay written by Woody Allen’s estranged son, Ronan Farrow, for The Hollywood Reporter hit headlines. The broadcaster slammed the Hollywood support his dad continues to receive, despite the allegations he molested his daughter.
The moviemaker has never been charged and has always maintained his innocence, but Ronan is convinced his sister wasn’t lying when she opened up about her experiences with their father.
Allen appeared unfazed by his son’s remarks at Cannes, and when asked for a comment he said, “I never think about it. I made my statement in the New York Times a long time ago… I think it’s all silly, the whole thing. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t think about it.”