It’s the week for spotlighting sexual assault in Hollywood, and the internet has now focused some of its attention on a comment made by “Game of Thrones” star Jason Momoa in 2011.
Building sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein in reports by the New Yorker and the New York Times have led to the public shaming of other powerful men in Hollywood this week, such as Ben Affleck – for reportedly groping women – and Matt Damon – who called the New York Times as part of an effort to quash a story about the harassment allegations (Damon denies knowing the report was about sexual harassment).
The latest actor to be spotlighted is 38-year-old Momoa, who in addition to “Game of Thrones” fame is starring in the upcoming “Aquaman.” Momoa, while on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con in 2011, was asked what he loved most about being part of the cast of the HBO series.
“As far as sci-fi and fantasy, I love the genre. It’s just there’s so many things that you can do like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat, and get away with it, and rape beautiful women, you know?” he said, prompting laughter from the crowd and mixed reactions from his fellow cast members sitting beside him. “And then they’ll fall in love with you, know what I mean?”
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Twitter user Peeanofreak posted the six-year-old video early Thursday, after many tweets about Weinstein, Affleck and other men and women involved in Hollywood.
The backlash on Twitter against Momoa was swift. All acknowledged it was likely a joke, with some dismissing it as such but others saying it wasn’t funny and was an example of part of the problem. There were reports on the comment at the time, but Momoa did not appear to apologize or make any further comment about the issue.
Discussion soon turned to the reaction of the audience and Momoa’s cast members, many of whom covered their faces or seemed to be laughing uncomfortably. Emilia Clarke, the actress who plays the character that Momoa’s character rapes on the show, did both. Momoa, after looking at the reactions of his fellow cast members, covers his face with his blazer as he asks for the next question.