After lying about Jon Snow’s fate for the entire interim between seasons five and six of Game of Thrones, actor Kit Harington finally came out of the liars’ closet with the fan favorite’s triumphant return from the dead. Despite the blatant breach of trust, however, fans have altogether forgiven Harington. (Hell, a police officer even let him out of a parking ticket for it.) But will all this newfound good will be enough to blow over the 29-year-old performer’s latest transgression? That is, his suggestion that Hollywood and culture at large ignore the double standard of sexism levied against men?
In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, Harington compared the “demeaning” experience he and other male actors now endure to that which actresses and other female professionals in Hollywood have put up with for decades. “I think there is a double standard,” he said, adding: “If you said to a girl, ‘Do you like being called a babe?’ and she said, ‘No, not really,’ she’d be absolutely right.”
As Harington put it, “I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks.” He’s not wrong, as his sentiment regarding his own self-image and worth are the very backbone of empowerment emphasized by feminist arguments against sexism. Whether sexist attitudes exist in Hollywood, the film and television industries elsewhere around the world, or in other walks of life, it’d be nice to know one was appreciated for more than what they look like to the opposite (or preferred) sex.
“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,” Harrington continued. “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.”
Yet with recent news stories about Gillian Anderson and Robin Wright’s unequal paychecks for The X-Files and House of Cards respectively, and countless other instances of Hollywood’s sexism towards women, it’s difficult to consider Harington’s comments seriously. Hence why the majority of Twitter that wasn’t infatuated with the Game of Thrones actor’s mid-radio interview phone call with fellow cast member Maisie Williams chose to knock him down a peg.