Blake Lively Is Really Upset About A Rape Joke That Was Made At Cannes, And I Wish I Could Argue With Her
PageSix- 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 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 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.”
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 US.” 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.”
I guess we all learned a pretty valuable lesson here. If you are going to have a comedian introduce your film at Cannes then make sure your film isn't written, produced, and directed by two guys that are alleged to have committed lewd and lascivious acts with underaged girls. Was a film festival the right time for a rape joke? Probably not. But if there was going to be people in the room that would be obvious targets of rape jokes then it probably also wasn't the right time for stand-up comedy.
The real shame here is that I can't tell Blake Lively - in all her immaculate beauty - to fuck right off. I really wish I could disagree with her, but the joke in question simply wasn't funny enough for me err on the side of humor. The fact is that she couldn't be more wrong. A joke about rape, or homophobia, or Hitler can still be a joke. I know this because I have heard plenty of funny jokes about all three of those topics. She's just lucky that this didn't happen to be one of them or I would really have some disparaging words for her. It's not the subject matter that was too far out of line, it was the content and the delivery. Laurent Lafitte was inappropriate because all he really did was get up there and say "please let us not forget that the two men primarily responsible for this film may or not have molested children". Granted, that got a laugh out of me due to the sheer absurdity of it, but generally speaking it just wasn't clever enough to make up for it's offensiveness. That's why Blake Lively is right to be upset, not because a stand-up comedian used the questionable pasts of the audience members at his disposal in an attempt to get some laughs.