Sexual harassment ‘jokes’: still not funny. Hayden Panettiere on Funny or Die

From “Funny or Die“, via Oh No They Didn’t, via whooz_queen: Hayden Panettiere (star of Heroes) drops the ball attempting to satirise sexual harassment in this faux-PSA:


[Panettiere is standing in a plain dark dress facing the camera, hands clasped in front of her. She is pretending to be Earnest, and Concerned, and Sad.]

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious issue. If you’re been harassed, tell your supervisor immediately.

How many times has a co-worker said to you, “Man, your ass is amazing.”, or, “I wanna leave my wife of 25 years for you.”, or, “You have the best body of any women I’ve ever met or seen, including Jessica Alba.”

This is unacceptable behaviour and should be reported immediately. Even if what they’re saying is true. It doesn’t matter who says it, whether it be your boss, or co-worker, a former president of the United States, or one of the male leads of Ocean’s Eleven, sexual harassment is wrong.

Even if it makes you feel good.

I’m feeling kinda stabby and throwy right now, so I’ll just confine myself to these statements:

– It’s not sexual harassment if it’s not unwelcome. Really. That’s it.

– Therefore, the only basis for this ‘humour’ lies in the notion that “women want it really! They’re just pretending they don’t! Isn’t that hilarious? Let’s mock the humourless feminists! Hahahahaha!”

– Harassment jokes ~= rape jokes. Both not funny.

– Cute guys can harass. Movie stars can harass. Ex-presidents can harass. If it’s unwelcome, it’s not flattering, and it’s not hilarious.

– Getting a ‘barely legal’ and much-fapped-over TV star, most famed for playing a high school cheerleader, to mouth this victim-blaming harassment-condoning drivel? Monumentally uncool and creepy.

Incidentally, the second comment on the video is this, by a bloke whose idea of humour is listing his hometown/city as “Inside/Your Mom”:

“seriously, no nudity? what, are you too good to show a nipple? c’mon, just one…okay, HALF of one? no? Bitch.”

Was this hilarious? Flattering? Welcome? Do you think it made her feel good?

Categories: gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. I just want to say *thank you* for including the transcript of the video. The gradual YouTubeification of the blogosphere is making it hard to follow what’s going on.

  2. You’re welcome. I do try to transcribe or at least summarise where possible. Accessibility is something that is being roundly ignored by New Media cheerleaders, and tag clouds aren’t about to replace actual text searches any time soon.
    edited to add: If ever I do post up a bare quickie video post, and a reader can’t access it, please do give me a poke and I’ll do something about it.
    Lauredhel’s last blog post..Stolen Generations experiments: Australia?s Tuskegee?

  3. I find her participation in this sketch interesting in light of comments she’s apparently made this week about how “fame is a pain in the ass” and that she’s hiding herself away to avoid being recognised in the street. Might that possibly be because she’s feeling harassed by the unwelcome attention?
    I don’t want to be too harsh on any 18 year old who’s grown up in a showbiz cocoon and is suddenly dealing with hypersexualised attention and finding it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It can’t be easy to try and work out why she’s not happy with this aspect of the success that other people crave, and it certainly doesn’t help when the tabloid news trivialises her plaints with links to “More pics of the sassy starlet here” and this triple link whammy:

    (link) See Panetierre fighting to save whales from being slaughtered with Aussie actress babe Isabel Lucas.
    (link) And don’t miss the lovely Lucas.
    (link) More of the real-life Hero here – Then tell us, is she being genuine or is she just seeking attention?

    She must be confused, she’s probably asking experienced people in the industry for advice, and because they’re all socialised to sexist Hollywood, a lot of the advice she gets will suck.

  4. Oh boy, feminism has just been put back another 20 years. Or is this just post-feminism. I get confused.
    another outspoken female’s last blog post..radical thinking

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