I have to be honest, I don’t get mad at humor. You can usually tell the crudest joke, and — though I may not laugh — that’s fine with me. Humor, by design, is edgy. This is America. Have at it.
But writer Nancy French argues that Sasha Baron Cohen’s “humor” crossed the line when he victimized someone sexually. And not just anyone, but Congressman Ron Paul.
In National Review, she writes:
Even her description of it is disgusting, so watch it for yourselves. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
It’s time for him to deal honestly with the filmed sexual harassment of Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul during a 2008 interview. If you didn’t see this scene in his Bruno movie, I can assure you it was hard to watch. Cohen’s people requested a simple interview about Austrian economics. The GOP candidate arrived at the studio and exchanged pleasantries with the man he thought was his Austrian host. (Cohen is British.) Then a few seconds into the conversation, a light goes out. Cohen suggests that Paul go into another room to wait.
It turns out to be a hotel room. There are no chairs, so Paul sits on the bed. The lighting is low. Cohen offers Paul champagne, which he politely declines. Strawberries and caviar are set on a table. He takes off his jacket and compliments Paul’s “cute” appearance.
Now, imagine for one second what would’ve happened if Cohen had done this to a woman. Outrage would’ve ensued.
However, are we saying that it’s okay to do this to men? Is it just because Congressman Ron Paul is not a liberal darling that makes him fair game? Isn’t it some form of latent homophobia that allows men to be treated in this way?
Luring someone into a sexually uncomfortable situation is not acceptable — not for Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, or Sacha Baron Cohen. The Me Too movement’s principles of consent are not suspended when someone thinks it’d be funny to use sexuality as a tool.
I agree. It’s time that liberals apply their moral outrage evenly.
#MeToo doesn’t just apply to women. And it also applies to conservatives.
Let the justifications begin.
Image Credit: Screen Cap