Blake Lively Was Offended by Woody Allen Rape Joke (But He Wasn’t)

Blake Lively and Woody Allen
Lively and Allen attend the Amazon Studios "Cafe Society" press luncheon during the 69th annual Cannes film festival. David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

Blake Lively is not amused. The Cafe Society actress declared on Thursday, May 12, that she was offended by a controversial joke made about her director Woody Allen at the Wednesday night opening of the film — even if he was not.

“I think any jokes about rape, homophobia or Hitler is not a joke,” she told a Variety reporter at a Cannes Film Festival event Thursday. “I think that was a hard thing to 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.”

Lively, 28, and her Cafe Society costars Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg were all present when French comedian and master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte surprised the audience with a flippant jab at the 80-year-old director.

“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,” he said, causing the audience to shift uncomfortably.

It’s believed that Lafitte’s comment is a reference linking the iconic Oscar winner to Roman Polanski, who was arrested in 1977 for the rape of a 13-year-old girl and later pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. He later fled to Europe after learning that the judge was going to reject his plea bargain; Polanski now lives in Poland, where he continues to make films on the continent.

“But it wasn’t just Woody,” Lively continued, explaining why she took issue with Lafitte’s cringeworthy introduction to the film. “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.”

Allen, meanwhile, didn’t let the funnyman’s pointed statements get under his skin.

“I am completely in favor of comedians making any jokes they want,” he told Variety. “I am a non-judgmental or [non]-censorship person on jokes. I'm a comic myself and I feel they should be free to make whatever jokes they want. It would take a lot to offend me.”

Allen added that he hasn’t yet read son Ronan Farrow’s recent essay for The Hollywood Reporter, and has no plans on doing so.

“I never read anything about me, these interviews I do, anything,” he said. “I said everything I had to say about that whole issue in the New York Times. I have moved so far past it. I never think about it. I work. I said I was never going to comment on it again. I said everything I have to say about it.”

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