- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2016

Woody Allen’s longtime publicist Leslee Dart banned The Hollywood Reporter from attending Thursday’s lunch event for the director’s Cannes opening-night film “Cafe Society,” in retaliation for publishing a damning essay written by his estranged son, Ronan Farrow.

“It’s only natural that I would show displeasure when the press, in this case The Hollywood Reporter, goes out of its way to be harmful to my client,” Ms. Dart told the publication.

It comes after Mr. Farrow rebuked Hollywood for continuing to work with Mr. Allen and the press for failing to ask the iconic director about the alleged sexual abuse of his daughter, Dylan Farrow, Mr. Farrow’s sister.

At Thursday’s lunch, Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller askedMr. Allen if he had read Mr. Farrow’s essay for The Hollywood Reporter.

“I never read anything about me,” Mr. Allen responded. “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.”

On opening night of the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday, French comic and master of ceremonies Laurent Lafitte reportedly drew gasps from the crowd after cracking a rape joke at Mr. Allen prior to his premiere of “Cafe Society.”

“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,” the comedian said, addressing Mr. Allen.

The joke was an apparent reference to director Roman Polanski, who fled the U.S. in 1978 to escape sentencing after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor.

Mr. Allen later said he wasn’t offended by the joke.

“I am completely in favor of comedians making any jokes they want,” he told Variety. “I am a nonjudgmental or [non]-censorship person on jokes. I’m a comic myself and I feel they should be free to make whatever jokes they want.”

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