Though the Cannes Film Festival is known for being the most glamorous festival in the world, it’s also known for its shocking moments, especially in the relatively polite world of cinema.
The latest was at its opening ceremony on Wednesday when Laurent Lafitte, a French comedian and the master of ceremonies of the festival, joked about Woody Allen’s rape allegations.
Lafitte addressed Allen, whose latest film “Cafe Society” kicked off the festival, and said to his face, “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.”
A staffer at The Hollywood Reporter captured the remark in a picture he tweeted:
Shocking opening joke: Woody Allen thanked for shooting films in Europe, but in US he’s not been convicted of rape. pic.twitter.com/qujgnRMrKO
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) May 11, 2016
The comment is likely also a reference to another Cannes regular, director Roman Polanski, who lives in Europe and hasn’t been back to the US since the 1970s, when he was convicted of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old.
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter ran an opinion piece by Ronan Farrow, son of Allen and Mia Farrow, calling out the media for not asking Allen for years about the allegations by his sister, Dylan Farrow, that Allen sexually assaulted her when she was seven years old.
At the press conference the same day for Woody Allen’s new film that he attended, no reporters brought up the sex abuse allegations.
Lafitte’s remarks drew gasps from the audience, according to THR.