I don’t know if it’s a heightened sense of awareness for things at the moment or what, but I happened to watch a clip of an old episode of Graham Norton’s chat show today and it blew my mind. And not in a good way. In a wow how has that been allowed to happen kind of way.
Obviously there is A LOT of stuff about sexual harassment at the moment, following the revelations about Harvey Weinstein and his constant need for showers with ladies watching and his bizarre skill for still looking dirty. And Ben Affleck’s wandering hands. And whether Matt Damon spoke up for Weinstein at the time a story was due to come out about Weinstein’s
alleged actions. And things of that nature.
And then Alyssa Milano started – or, technically, restarted the “me too” hashtag and countless people have come forward with stories about being sexually assaulted. In some cases, people I know have come forward. And it should surprise me, but it doesn’t. And that isn’t a good thing either. There shouldn’t be a situation where you read about someone you know being sexually assaulted in some way and don’t react with outrage. You certainly shouldn’t just take it in your stride as you read about it.
And then for every person who has a story, there are the trolls who argue that it is the woman’s fault, or that women use their feminine wiles to than turn the tables on the men and accuse them of rape in order to blah blah blah. I don’t know how those arguments end because I never read to the end of them because they’re generally written by arseholes.
Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, a clip of Graham Norton. It was a show from a while ago and featured among the guests Richard Gere and Saoirse Ronan. And Graham turns to Saoirse and asks her a question about being nominated for an award. And she starts to answer.
And then Richard Gere reaches out and starts stroking her back.
Now, let’s be clear here – there’s none of the obvious fun of, say, the time that Emelia Clarke and Matt Le Blanc sat next to each other and hugged and laughed and did the whole “How you doin’?” thing. There’s none of that. There’s not even the fun of Ian McKellan and Harry Styles from One Direction having some flirty banter.
There’s just an old man reaching out and stroking the back of a young actress for no apparent reason.
And Saoirse does not have a happy face during this.