It has been a strange week in Hollywood. Firstly Harvey Weinstein was sacked from his own company after allegations emerged, accusing him of a string of sexual offenses going back over 30-years. Now video has been uncovered, in which Game Of Thrones star Jason Momoa boasts that his role in the hit show allowed him to “rape beautiful women.” As reported by the Independent, Momoa, who played Khal Drogo on the hit HBO show, made the tasteless comments at Comic-Con in 2011.
Momoa was on a Comic-Con panel when he was asked what he enjoyed about acting in the epic fantasy series when he made his “joke” about raping beautiful women.
“But as far as sci-fi and fantasy, I love that genre because there are so many things you can do, like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat and get away with it and rape beautiful women.”
Later the same year Moama spoke about a scene in Game Of Thrones, in which Khal Drogo raped Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke. Momoa was speaking in an interview with the New York Post when he was asked about the rape scene.
“Yeah, I’m raping Emilia Clarke. I love her, but I’m hurting her and she’s crying. We could have made it longer, but you get the idea. I’m not a rapist. I prefer my women to enjoy sex.”
It is probable that Momoa’s comments would never have been put under the spotlight if it had not been for the outcry surrounding the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. As reported by the Inquisitr yesterday, droves of Hollywood stars are emerging to make complaints about Weinstein’s behavior. The allegations against Weinstein go back for decades, but the details are only just becoming public.
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Momoa was quick to issue an apology for his remarks. Momoa said that his remarks were “insensitive” and claimed that he had seen the “painful torment” of sexual assault within his own circle of family and friends.
“I am still severely disappointed in myself at the insensitivity of my remarks that day. I know my sincerest apology now won’t take away those hurtful words.”
“Rape and sexual harassment can reach anyone and I have seen first hand its painful torment among members of my own family and friends.”
One is given to wonder why, if Momoa has seen first hand the effect of rape, he thought it a suitable subject to make jokes about. It’s not like allegations of sexual misconduct are new phenomena in Hollywood. Stories about Hollywood’s infamous “casting couch” have been around for as long as the movie industry itself.
All the way back in 2014 Harry Potter star Emma Watson was talking about misogyny in Hollywood. As reported by the Guardian at the time, Watson even went to the United Nations to launch the “HeForShe” campaign, which pointed out that misogyny needs to be tackled by both men and women if it is to be eradicated. Watson is far from a lone voice, Actors Reese Witherspoon, Anne Hathaway, and many others have been vocal about the issue.
The reality seems to be that the allegations about Weinstein, and Momoa’s remarks about rape, are simply symptoms of a much more destructive disease. As reported today by the L.A. Times, misogyny in Hollywood should have been a scandal, but instead, allegations are treated “with a shrug.”
Women, they claim, are viewed as “traitors, whiners or pitifully naive” in an industry where “sex for fame” is a common currency. It is claimed that the few women, like Rose McGowan, who did come forward are sidelined by Hollywood, their careers over before they had really begun.
Variety reports that Seth Meyers goes even further on the subject of misogyny, claiming that “a culture of systemic misogyny exists at the highest levels of society,” and citing President Donald Trump as the perfect example. Meyers claims that Trump built a political career based on misogyny and bullying.
“[Trump’s] campaign and now his presidency has in many ways been a performance of dominance, a performance that has in many cases been explicitly misogynist.”
Momoa’s jokes about rape were tasteless and insensitive, but they almost fade into insignificance, when compared to the alleged behavior of people like Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Take a look in any workplace and you are likely to find people who are afraid to speak out about sexual misconduct in the workplace.
Speaking out or whistle-blowing against powerful people in any industry is difficult. That is why people like Weinstein, Cosby, Jimmy Savile, and many others can get away with abusing others for decades. Momoa’s rape jokes simply serve to highlight the fact that some people just think sexual assault is something to be laughed about, or covered up by a wink and a shrug.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]