Ian McKellen has some complicated & awful thoughts about sexual harassment
I remember when the second of the X-Men reboot films came out, the ones starring Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy and their older-gentlemen counterparts, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Those men did press together, and it always felt like Ian was particularly flirtatious with James and Michael. So flirtatious, in fact, I always wondered if Fassy and McAvoy felt a little bit uncomfortable. Ian has also always been pretty close to director Bryan Singer, who of course was “outed” in Sex Predatorgate 2017 (even though most people knew a lot about Singer’s activities for years). My point? It’s always difficult to say this about Internet-Faves, but there’s a good chance that Ian McKellen might be problematic. Here’s further evidence: in comments last month to the Oxford Union, McKellen basically says that women are partly to blame for the culture of sexual harassment and abuse. Suuure.
[From Deadline & The Daily Mail]
Academy Award-nominated actor and advocate for equality Sir Ian McKellen recently addressed the numerous sexual harassment allegations running rampant through the industry saying that wrongful accusations can definitely have an impact. He also pointed out how earlier in his career, many women would have sex for roles. During a talk at Oxford Union, according to the Daily Mail, McKellen applauded victims for coming forward about sexual harassment saying “it’s sometimes very difficult for victims to do that.” He added, “‘I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether.”
He then went on to share his own experiences during the early ’60s. “The director of the theatre I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs,” he said. “Some of them had at the bottom of their photograph ‘DRR’ — directors’ rights respected. In other words, if you give me a job, you can have sex with me. That was commonplace for people who proposed that they should be a victim. Madness. People have taken advantage of that and encouraged it and it absolutely will not do.”
Although supportive of the victims, he went on to talk about being cautious about the accusations flooding Hollywood as of late. “I assume nothing but good will come out of these revelations, even though some people get wrongly accused — there’s that side of it as well,” he said.
As an openly gay man, McKellen also addressed the allegations surrounding Kevin Spacey, who he worked with in 2004 while he was the artistic director at the Old Vic in London saying that the way he chose to come out was “reprehensible because it linked alleged underage sex with a declaration of sexuality.”
In case there are any doubts about whether Ian really said this, he did – you can see the video here. The discussion was last month and his comments didn’t even make headlines until the Daily Mail picked them up this week. Ian, much like Matt Damon and so many other bros, wants us to think about the poor men who are being falsely accused by lying bitches. No, not lying bitches. Lying SLUTS! Sluts who, you know, live and operate in a patriarchal society, women who feel like the only way to attain professional goals is by leveraging their bodies to get ahead. It’s not about consent in Ian’s world, nor is it about men with power and influence abusing their power and influence to demean, harass and assault people with zero power and influence. It bugs me that men – and it’s almost always men – conflating the issue of consensual and transactional relationships versus harassment, assault and abuse. Those are two very different conversations. Ugh.
Photos courtesy of WENN.