he ‘Full Frontal’ host and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ star’s new PSA calls out jokes about male sexual harassment and assault.
Sexual harassment is no laughing matter — but we often treat it that way when it happens to men.
So “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee addressed the one-third of working men who have experienced some level of sexual harassment on her TBS late-night show Wednesday, and aired a PSA addressing the matter with “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star and former NFL player Terry Crews, who alleges he was groped at a party by a WME executive.
“Sexual harassment of men is a real problem and not a joke — despite the way we talk about it,” said Bee, who ran a montage of clips showing Bill Maher, Steve Martin and Martin Short, as well as shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Mike & Molly,” cracking prison-rape jokes.
While most sexual harassment (about 90%) is reported by women against men, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw a 15% increase in sexual harassment cases filed by men between 1997 and 2011. Men make up nearly one in five (17%) sexual harassment complaints with the EEOC today, and that rate has remained consistent over the past decade.
The #MeToo movement has blown up since accusations were first levied by dozens of women, including Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow, against media mogul Harvey Weinstein last fall. But there have been too many high-profile male victims, too, as well as the countless ones staying silent. “The Mummy” star Brendan Fraser, film director Tyler Perry, “ER” star Anthony Edwards and Broadway “Rent” actor Anthony Rapp (whose accusation against Kevin Spacey got the latter canned from “House of Cards”) have all come forward with their own #MeToo stories.
Bee confessed that she’s often covered sexual harassment and assault as a women’s problem. “I need to do better on this, too,” she said “Many of the predators in the #MeToo era preyed on men — hashtag MenToo! There are tons of other slimeballs out there, and when we laugh at their victims, we make it easier for them to keep Kevin Spacey-ing all over the place.”
She noted that, “The truth is, about one out of 33 men in the U.S. have been victims of attempted or completed rape, which means men are vastly more likely to experience sexual assault than to be falsely accused of rape.”
The PSA video features Crews giving some advice to people who find their “edgy” jokes about prison rape and child molestors aren’t getting the laughs they expected. “I’m here to tell you how to solve that problem: Stop telling those f—ing jokes,” he says in the clip. “But here’s the good news: lots of things are funny that aren’t rape,” he adds, as he and Bee list gags like spit-takes and pies to the face as inoffensive alternatives.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved