In video from the demonstration, protesters are seen being pulled away from the event honouring Allen, who was decades ago accused of molesting Dylan Farrow, his adopted daughter. Many of the protesters also chanted in Italian and handed out papers reading “Turn the spotlight off of rapists.”
Though Allen has remained a controversial figure since the allegations, no charges were ever filed against the 87-year-old movie director.
Allen attended the festival and received a three-minute standing ovation after the conclusion of his 50th film, Coup de Chance, according to Variety. The outlet reported that the applause — which is often longer at the Venice Film Festival — was cut short because Allen left the room.
Many critics have declared Coup de Chance to be Allen’s greatest film in the last decade, though reviews are still middling.
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In a rare interview with Variety prior to the Coup de Chance premiere, Allen called so-called cancel culture “silly.”
“I feel if you’re going to be cancelled, this is the culture to be cancelled by,” he said. “I just find that all so silly. I don’t think about it. I don’t know what it means to be cancelled.”
He said his reaction to Farrow’s allegations against him has “always been the same.”
“The situation has been investigated by two people, two major bodies, not people, but two major investigative bodies. And both, after long detailed investigations, concluded there was no merit to these charges,” he continued. “I don’t know what you can do besides having it investigated, which they did so meticulously. One was less than a year and the other one was many months. And they spoke to everybody concerned and, you know, both came to the exact same conclusion.”
Allen said he has not seen Farrow since she made her allegations against him, but claimed he is “always willing.”
Dylan Farrow accused Allen of sexual abuse in 1992 amid a breakup from his then-partner, and her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow. In 2014, Dylan Farrow reasserted her claims that Allen molested her in an attic when she was seven years old.
Allen went on to marry Soon-Yi Previn, Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter shared with her ex-husband André Previn. Allen and Soon-Yi are still married and have two adopted children of their own.
Alongside Allen, Luc Besson and Roman Polanski were also invited to show their work in Venice this year.
In 2018, Besson was accused of repeated rape by Dutch-Belgian actress Sand Van Roy. His case was dismissed the following year.
Polanski was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, rape by use of drugs and other similar charges in 1977. The following year, he accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He became a fugitive when he fled England and France before he was formally sentenced.
Coup de Chance is set to be released in France on Sept. 27.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.