Yesterday before the premiere of Woody Allen’s 47th film “Cafe Society” at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Woody Allen’s son Ronan Farrow published an essay in The Hollywood Reporter sharply criticizing Hollywood and the media’s silence around Dylan Farrow’s sexual abuse allegations against Allen. The essay received a lot of attention and brought light yet again to Allen’s past and the various ways the film industry, his audience, and the entertainment press respond to such charges. Additionally, at last night’s premiere, master of ceremonies Laurent Laffite made a controversial rape joke regarding Allen, saying, “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.” Today at a reporter’s lunch Thursday afternoon, the 80-year-old director responded to both the joke and Farrow’s essay.
When asked about the joke, Allen said that, “I am completely in favor of comedians making any jokes they want,” and that he is “a non-judgmental or [non]-censorship person” and that it would “take a lot to offend me.” Allen continued that he was more upset at the length of the ceremonies before the movie, “I’m sitting there. I know I have a movie that’s an hour and a half, I would like the introduction ceremony to be 20 minutes, half hour at the most. I don’t want you to spend an hour on the show. By the time my movie comes around at the end, you’re antsy in your seat. To me, that is the mistake of the show.”
Then responding to Farrow’s essay, Allen said that he hadn’t read the piece in question: “I never read anything about me, these interviews I do, anything…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.” When asked if he’ll ever read the piece, Allen continued on, repeating himself, and then likened Farrow’s essay to a bad review, “I made the decision I think five years ago never to read a review of my movie. Never read an interview. Never read anything, because you can easily become obsessed with yourself. [It’s] a bad idea to consume yourself with this stuff. You should do your work, not call up and find out how the grosses are, how is the film doing, how are the reviews. Forget about all that. Just work.”
Allen’s film “Cafe Society” stars Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), Kristen Stewart (“Clouds of Sils Maria”), Steve Carell (“The Big Short”), Blake Lively (“Gossip Girl”), Jeannie Berlin (“Margaret”), Parker Posey (“Best in Show”), Corey Stoll (“Ant-Man”), and more. It opens in the United States on July 15th.