Woody Allen’s opening ceremony honor at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for his film Cafe Society was not the victory lap he might have expected. He was the butt of a joke about the sexual abuse allegations that have followed him for decades.
The 80-year-old is accused of molesting adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992, as he was breaking up with her mother, actress Mia Farrow.
And at the Cannes opening ceremony on Wednesday, May 12, French comedian Laurent Lafitte got on stage and compared Woody to Roman Polanski, another famed director plagued by abuse accusations. Roman has been living in France since 1978 to escape charges of raping a 13-year-old.
“You’ve shot so many of your films here in Europe and yet in the U.S. you haven’t even been convicted of rape,” Laurent said, the joke greeted by awkward silence broken by a few audible gasps, The Hollywood Reporter says.
At lunch yesterday, Woody told reporters he wasn’t offended.
“I have moved so far past that,” he said of the lingering accusations, per Vulture. “You know, I never think about it. I work, and that’s the end of it for me. I said I was never gonna comment on it again because I could just go on endlessly.”
Cafe Society star Blake Lively, on the other hand, was offended on Woody’s behalf.
“I think that was a hard thing swallow in 30 seconds,” the Gossip Girl alum told Variety. “Film festivals are such a beautiful, respectful festivals of film and artists and to have 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.”
Blake joins Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell in the film, which opens in wide release on July 29.