Sexism is alive and well in the movie business and if you ever needed convincing of that fact, then the following statements made by some of Hollywood’s biggest names should suffice.
The depressing reality is that the film industry is steeped in misogyny with plenty of actors able to reel of horrific tales of bias and chauvinism from their time in the business. However, what makes the entire sorry situation all the more depressing is the number of alarmingly sexist statements being made by a lot of A-list male actors and stars who really should know better.
In most instances, these statements are being made by a party blissfully unaware of the fact they are putting women everywhere down their comments. However, in a few cases, these big-name actors have had no qualms about making ill-advised statements about women. These are the kinds of guys out there who wear their sexism as a badge of honour.
Superheroes, gladiators, Blade Runners, and Terminators all feature on the list, which gets more and more depressing with every new addition.
Wit that said, here are the 16 Actors You Didn’t Know Made Insanely Sexist Statements.
16. Jason Momoa
The Justice League actor came under fire in 2017 after comments made in a video from 2011 came to light online. In the clip, which was taken from a Q&A panel for the hit HBO fantasy series, Momoa discussed some of the extreme acts he was able to get away with during his time as Dothraki leader Khal Drogo.
“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 r*pe beautiful women,” he explained.
While some of the fans in attendance laughed at the comments, several of Momoa’s fellow cast members, including Lena Headey, looked embarrassed at his comments. Momoa subsequently took to Instagram to apologise. “I am still severely disappointed in myself at the insensitivity of my remarks that day.” You are not the only one, Jason.
15. Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield suffered the embarrassment of being called out for a sexist comment in public by his then-girlfriend Emma Stone during the promotional tour Q&A for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
The incident occurred when a young fan asked Garfield how he got into his Spider-Man costume. The actor explained that the superhero probably had to sew himself into it, adding that it was a “kind of feminine thing to do.”
Stone wasn’t going to let that sort of comment pass without interrupt though and quickly pipped up to ask, “it’s feminine how?”
A brilliantly awkward few minutes followed, with Garfield attempting to dig himself out of a sizeable hole while Stone continued to press. “It’s amazing how you took that as an insult,” he says at one point, with Stone firing back, “No, I’m not taking that as an insult, I’m asking how it’s feminine.” The pair split in 2015.
14. Ryan Gosling
On the face of it, Ryan Gosling’s heartfelt tribute to partner Eva Mendes during the speech he gave at the Golden Globes after winning the Best Actor Award he won for La La Land was sweet. However, dig a little deeper and it’s clear that Gosling was guilty of perpetuating the structural inequality women face in the workplace, with Hollywood no exception.
“If she hadn’t taken all that on so that I could have this experience, [there] would surely be someone else up here other than me to today. Sweetheart, thank you,” he said, in tribute to Mendes who was busy “raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer,” according to Gosling.
Plenty of actors weighed into the debate surrounding the 2016 U.S. election battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump but few did it in quite the same way as rapper-turned-actor T.I. “Not to be sexist but, I can’t vote for the leader of the free world to be a woman,” T.I. said during an interview with DJ Whoo Kid reported by Vibe.
“Just because, every other position that exists, I think a woman could do well. But the president? It’s kinda like, I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally. They make very permanent, cemented decisions – and then later, it’s kind of like it didn’t happen, or they didn’t mean for it to happen. And I sure would hate to just set off a nuke.”
T.I. went on to praise Trump as a “showman” whose business acumen would be of huge benefit to the American economy though he did admit Trump’s “racist remarks” made it difficult to completely support him. At least there’s that…
12. Kit Harrington
The actor behind Game of Thrones heartthrob Jon Snow really does know nothing, at least when it comes to the problems faced by women working in Hollywood. During an interview with the Sunday Times back in 2016, Harington accepted that, while attitudes towards women in the industry were far from perfect, things were also pretty tough for handsome young male actors, like himself.
“I think there is a double standard,” he said. “I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks.”
“It’s demeaning. Yes, in some ways you could argue I’ve been employed for a look I have. But there’s a sexism that happens towards men. There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well … At some points during photoshoots when I’m asked to strip down, I felt that,” Harington added.
11. Jeremy Renner
Everyone’s least favourite member of the Avengers – and yes that includes the Vision – has made a habit of making insanely sexist statements over the years. It all started a couple of years back during an interview alongside Chris Evans for Avengers: Age of Ultron with Digital Spy.
Asked by the interviewer what they thought of a possible romance between Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, Renner replied “She’s a slut,” prompting riotous laughter between the pair with Evans then chiming in to say she was “a complete wh**e.”
Though both actors later apologised for the incident, Renner doubled down on his comments during an appearance on The Conan O’Brien Show. “I was talking about fictional character and fictional behavior, but, Conan, if you slept with four of the six Avengers no matter how much fun you had, you’d be a slut, just saying,” Renner said according to Time. “I’d be a slut.”
10. Russell Crowe
The Gladiator actor left fans far from entertained after appearing to suggest older female actors should only play roles in their age bracket. Despite the industry’s track record of allowing male actors to take on a range of roles regardless of their age or suitability for the part.
Crowe dismissed the idea of female actors bemoaning the lack of opportunities for older women in the industry during an interview with the Australian Women’s Weekly.
“To be honest, I think you’ll find that the woman who is saying that is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingenue, and can’t understand why she’s not being cast as the 21-year-old,” Crowe said.
9. Mel Gibson
Mad Mel once told Variety that he has “never discriminated against anyone.” Obviously, he has a short memory. Fortunately, the internet never forgets. It never forgot the comment he made to a female police officer during his infamous DUI arrest in 2006 when he asked, “what do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” Then there were the comments made during a phone call recorded by ex-partner Oksana Grigorieva.
Not only did Gibson say Grigorieva “deserved” to be hit but also warned “I am going to come and burn the fucking house down… but you will blow me first.” He then took things one step further. “You look like a f**king pig in heat,” he said, in reference to Grigorieva’s appearance, adding that, if she got “raped by a pack of n***ers,” it would be her fault.
Other than that and telling Playboy that “men and women are just different. They’re not equal,” he’s never discriminated against anyone.
8. Alec Baldwin
Baldwin has been revelling in his role as Saturday Night Live’s chief Donald Trump impersonator, but, if current form is anything to go by, he’s in danger of taking a little bit too much inspiration from the President in certain aspects of his life.
One of example of this was when Baldwin exploded in an extraordinary rant against Decider journalist Kayla Cobb on Twitter after she revisited a documentary starring the 30 Rock actor alongside disgraced Hollywood director James Toback, in light of the allegations against the latter. Responding on social media, Cobb invited Baldwin to respond to a request for comment via email.
“I would send you an email, on any subject, if you weren’t such a dishonest, awful writer,” he fired back. “Why don’t you let prosecutors and real journalists investigate such cases and you stick to divorces and plastic surgery.”
7. Anthony Mackie
The actor best known for playing Falcon swooped lower than most during an appearance on The Wendy Williams Show back in January 2015. Given the past discretion of fellow Marvel stars Jeremy Renner and Chris Evans, you have to wonder what sort of inappropriate conversations are taking place on the set of the Avengers movies.
Mackie is someone who believes men and women have roles, you see. Knowing this, Williams offered the following: “Ok you say it, because people get mad when I say it. You’re from the South, I’m only from Jersey, but I do believe, if he wants a sandwich…”
“You make Daddy a sandwich!” came Mackie’s reply, prompting a shocked response from the studio audience. Mackie was undeterred though, going on to explain that men have roles too, including beating up other guys, paying for meals, and opening the car door. All he wants in return is a sandwich, apparently.
6. Matt Damon
Back in 2015, Damon landed himself in hot water with a couple of ill-advised comments made during an episode of Project Greenlight – the realty series in which he helps first-time filmmakers develop their debut features.
In the fourth season’s opener, when picking filmmakers for the show, Damon became embroiled in a debate with fellow producer Effie T. Brown on the subject of diversity.
While debating who to pick, Brown championed the team of Leo Angelos & Kristen Brancaccio (an Asian man and white woman) for the competition ahead of several all-male directorial pairings. Damon was unconvinced though.
“I think on the surface, they might look like one thing, but they might end up giving us something that we don’t want,” he said. “And when we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show.“
5. Seth MacFarlane
The Family Guy creator won praise for making a joke at Harvey Weinstein’s expense during his run presenting the Oscars back in 2013 but it was an otherwise sorry night for Seth MacFarlane.
The signs were there when MacFarlane opened the night with the unfunny musical number “We Saw Your Boobs.” It all went downhill from there. Zero Dark Thirty’s plot was an example of “a woman’s innate ability to never ever let anything go.”
Django Unchained was “the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unthinkable violence– or as Chris Brownand Rihanna call it, ‘a date movie.'”
Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston were later introduced with MacFarlane quipping, “at least one is honest about being a former exotic dancer.” Let’s not forget this gem directed at the women in attendance: “And those of you who gave yourselves the flu two weeks ago to ‘get there’? It paid off.” Classy.
4. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Austrian Oak has a habit of making controversial statements about women. In a 2003 Schwarzenegger told Esquire: “As much as when you see a blonde with great tits and a great ass, you say to yourself, ‘Hey, she must be stupid or must have nothing else to offer,’ which maybe is the case many times. But then again there is the one that is as smart as her breasts look, great as her face looks, beautiful as her whole body looks gorgeous, you know, so people are shocked.”
In 1988 he also confessed to Playboy that neither his mother or then-wife Maria Shriver were “allowed to go out with me in pants.” Then, in 1977, Schwarzenegger also told Oui magazine: “I can look at a chick who’s a little out of shape and if she turns me on, I won’t hesitate to date her. If she’s a good f**k she can weigh 150 pounds, I don’t care.”
3. Martin Lawrence
There was a time when Martin Lawrence was a huge star in the world of TV and film and a comedian at the top of his game on Def Comedy Jam. That time may have passed but some memories still linger– like his infamous stint hosting Saturday Night Live.
Lawrence earned himself a lifetime ban from the show after his 1994 stint, which included sexist comments about female genitalia.
The comments, which focused around what Lawrence saw as the “decline in standards of female hygiene” in the US, were subsequently removed from repeat broadcasts by NBC over concerns they were sexist.
The transcript is available online and includes lines like the following from Lawrence: “Smell yourself! I tell a woman in a minute, ‘douche! douche!’ Some women don’t like when you tell them that, when you straightforward with them. ‘Douche!'” Several people on SNL nearly lost their jobs as a result of the comments.
2. Matt LeBlanc
He shot to fame playing dumb-but-gorgeous lady killer Joey Tribbiani on the sitcom phenomenon Friends but his character’s “How you doin’?” approach to women did Matt LeBlanc few favours when he met Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke at the Emmys back in 2016.
The pair had previously bonded during an appearance together on The Graham Norton Show in the UK but it was a different story this time around. Quizzed by E!’s duo Jason Kennedy and Giuliana Rancic via split screen about who was the bigger fan of who, Clarke was quick to respond that she was “definitely the fan.”
LeBlanc then added that he was aware of Clarke on Game of Thrones, stating: “I saw the first season then fell out of touch with it and then I guess that was when she started getting naked.”
1. Sean Connery
The original and best James Bond might make a fine 007 but he’s a terrible role model to men everywhere. Though Connery has disputed some of the quotes attributed to him down the years, the evidence is pretty damming.
In 1965, Connery is alleged to have told Playboy magazine: “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong in hitting a woman, though I don’t recommend you do it in the same way you hit a man.” Friends of Connery have always claimed he was misquoted and actually said: “You can do a woman a lot more harm by moral torture than with a slap.”
However, he is also reported to have told Vanity Fair back in 1993: “There are women who take it to the wire. That’s what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack.” Connery has since gone on the record to state that he does not condone violence against women but has refused to discuss the quotes attributed to him.
Do you know of any other actors guilty of making insanely sexist comments? Have your say in the comment box.
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