By , Ramin Setoodeh
Published May 12, 2016
Over a lunch for Woody Allen’s latest movie “Café Society,” Blake Lively criticized the Cannes Film Festival for allowing a controversial rape joke about Woody Allen to be part of the opening night ceremony.
“I think any jokes about rape, homophobia or Hitler is not a joke,” Lively said on Thursday when asked about the incident by a Variety reporter. “I think that was a hard thing swallow in 30 seconds. Film festivals are such a 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.”
At Wednesday’s opening night screening of “Café Society,” master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte shocked the audience 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 joke, which drew gasps from the Palais audience, was taken as a knock on Allen and possibly on director Roman Polanski as well.
“But it wasn’t just Woody,” Lively said of the material. “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.”
When asked by Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan about the Ronan Farrow essay published yesterday in the Hollywood Reporter about how the media hadn’t responded appropriately to rape allegations brought by his sister Dylan Farrow against their father Woody Allen, Lively said that she hadn’t read the piece yet.
“I came home and went to bed at whatever time we finished,” Lively said. “I haven’t been in it, so I don’t want to speak on something I haven’t read. I think that’s dangerous. It’s definitely something that being at the festival, the media these days, you come to a film festival about film and people talk about all different types of things. You know? That can be definitely tricky to navigate, I’m sure. I don’t want to speak about something I haven’t read.”