The press blitz for the new “Fantastic Four” movie has begun! Which means the cast will be subjected to a never-ending carousel of journalists asking variations of the same dozen questions. But hey, it”s part of the job and most actors are consummate professionals…even when the people interviewing them aren”t.
Recently Jason Bailey and Southside Steve – the morning show hosts of WNNX Rock 100.5 in Atlanta – sat down with Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell to ostensibly talk about the movie. Instead, things went off the rails almost immediately.
Straight out of the gate, Jason Bailey brings up the question of Sue Storm being white and Johnny Storm being black. Kate Mara answers, “Sue Storm was adopted.”
End of line of questioning, right? Nope. Bailey can”t seem to let it go, completely ignoring Mara”s succinct response. Over and over he rephrases himself in an attempt to understand how people of two different ethnicities can be related. Not a surprise as Bailey was pondering the mysteries of the interracial Storm siblings on Facebook the day before the interview.
For his part, Michael B. Jordan tried to diffuse the line of questioning with logic, “There”s a whole bunch of different family dynamics that it could be [even without] an obvious adoption.”
From there, things go from ‘uncomfortable” to straight up ‘sexual harassment.”
Southside Steve, in an ill-fated attempt at a compliment, tells Kate Mara she is “way, way hot.” When Mara incredulously laughs it off, Steve takes it as permission to lament Mara”s new short hair, saying her long hair was “excellent.”
“You don”t like. I can tell.” Mara quips, sarcastically. “This is a great interview.”
Right before the interview is cut off by the publicist – during which point Jordan has answered a phone call to escape the awkward encounter – Steve slides back in with the sexual harassment. “What would you cut your hair for?” he asks. “You”re gonna grow your hair back out [for the sequel?]”
At this point, even BAILEY has had enough. “Is it weirding you out that he”s [talking about your hair]?” he asks.
Pointing at Mara”s feet, Steve says “I”m a toe guy. Your toes are fine.”
And that's where the interview ends, because part of a publicist”s job is to stop professional journalists from telling actresses they live up to their fetish requirements, apparently.
Obviously it didn”t take long for both Jason Bailey and Southside Steve to start getting flack for their behavior. Not that it seems to have had any effect. Neither Rock 100.5 nor Bailey are repentant in the least.
– Ryan the Nux (@TheChewDefense) July 31, 2015
Bailey even goes so far as to say those offended by sexual harassment are somehow sexual deviants?
– Jason Bailey (@mrjasonbailey) July 31, 2015
While neither the hosts nor radio station appear to take responsibility for how the interview went down, there is something of value to learn here. Don't imply non-traditional families don't count and/or are baffling as a concept. Also, it is not a compliment to tell a woman – unprovoked – that you find her sexually appealing. It comes across as tasteless at best and predatory at worst. Don't behave as if a woman owes you an explanation for her appearance or imply some kind of ownership over her physical attributes.
Definitely don't tell a woman you think her toes are fetish worthy.