A group of roughly 20 people chanted outside the premiere of Woody Allen’s “Coup de Chance” at the Venice Film Festival Monday. While those inside Palazzo del Cinema watched the movie, the group yelled a variety of slogans, such as “no spotlight for rapist directors” and “the alpha male doesn’t exist.”
Film and TV reviewer Luke Hearfield shared a flyer from protestors on Twitter. Bolded text reads, “You would never let those involved in the Palermo, Caivano, and Milano violences walk the red carpet” in reference to a series of gang rapes that have rattled Italians in recent weeks.
The flier also states, “Patriarchal society believes the genius artist and not those who were sexually assaulted.”
Protesters have rallied together at #Venezia80 to “turn the spotlight off rapists”.
This protest just took place during the premiere of Woody Allen’s new film Coup de Chance. pic.twitter.com/cpG94nzrK6
— Luke Hearfield @ Venice
(@LukeHearfield) September 4, 2023
Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow accused the director of sexually assaulting her in 1992. He denies the allegations to this day. The alleged sexual abuse has divided Allen’s fans and critics in the decades since, and Allen himself has accused his ex-wife Mia Farrow of coaching their daughter to speak against him.
In 1993, the judge in Allen and Farrow’s custody case ruled the children should live exclusively with their mother and accused therapists who interviewed Dylan of being “colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen.” The director continues to be supported by a number of friends in the entertainment industry, including Diane Keaton, as well as Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem.
“We denounce today the culture of places such as the Venice International Film Festival,” the flier concludes, “which should convey consent culture, respect, and belief in those who have been sexually assaulted but which choose instead to continue to legitimize rape culture.”
The protestors formed a line and took off their shirts before beginning their chants as Allen walked the red carpet. Authorities escorted the group away from the premiere minutes later.
This year’s festival has been rocked with controversy. In addition to Allen’s latest work, the festival also screened Roman Polanski’s newest film “The Palace.” Polanski has evaded American charges of unlawful sex with a minor since 1976.
On Saturday, Polanski’s collaborator and producer Luca Barbareschi defended the director. “I don’t think he ever raped anybody,” Barbareschi said. “He was a very sexy man and women were chasing him.”
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