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Woody Allen’s Jazz Concert in Germany Disrupted by Topless Feminists

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Ed Meza
© Provided by Variety

Two topless female protesters from the feminist group Femen interrupted a concert by Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band, who were playing their first concert in Germany in six years Tuesday evening.

Targeting Allen for his alleged abuse of adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, the women stormed the stage about 20 minutes into the show at the Elbphilharmonie, the glittering new concert hall in Hamburg. The woman ran about on stage wearing flowers in their hair and with messages scrawled on their bodies – quotes from Farrow’s 2014 open letter detailing Allen’s alleged abuse, according to Femen’s Facebook page. The protesters were met with loud boos from the audience before they were finally escorted out by the hall’s personnel.

Following the show, activists outside the Elbphilharmonie handed out leaflets explaining that they had not sought “to spoil the evening” but rather “to give the victims of sexual violence a voice,” according to broadcaster NDR.

Allen denied the allegations made by Farrow and her mother, Mia Farrow, in a lengthy 2014 op-ed in The New York Times. The filmmaker said it would be his “final word” on the matter.

Appearing cool and unperturbed following the incident, the 82-year-old Allen, on clarinet, and the band began playing again as the protesters were dragged off. The jazz combo was given an enthusiastic ovation at the end of the concert, front-row tickets for which sold for €200 ($230), according to NDR. Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band play weekly at Café Carlyle in New York City.

The episode followed a weekend of mass protests against the G-20 summit in Hamburg, which left 476 police officers injured and 186 demonstrators arrested. Last Friday, the Elbphilharmonie, which opened in January, played host to leaders of the world’s 20 leading economies, who gathered to listen to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in the vast high-rise venue while police kept thousands of angry demonstrators at bay with water cannons and tear gas.

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