Should We Still Be Talking About The Joke Jason Momoa Made About “Raping Beautiful Women” On Game Of Thrones Six Years Ago?
If you saw Jason Momoa’s name trending this morning you were probably intrigued and subsequently horrified to find the reason was not related to his good looks, but rather his poor sense of humor.
During a press conference at Comic Con, Momoa talked about why he loves the genre of sci-fi fantasy, saying, “There’s so many things you can do like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat and get away with it and rape beautiful women.”
See video below for proof those were his actual words, though I should warn you the laughter that erupts after said “joke” is far more disturbing than the remark itself.
But here’s the thing, the video is from 2011 and, according to some tweeters, Momoa has since apologized for his crassness, though all I’ve been able to uncover is this interview in which he backtracked on “raping beautiful women” being a perk of the job. In fact, he said filming those rough sex scenes “was very hard because I have never done that to anyone before. But the good news was I’m not a rapist. It really did not feel good. There was not enjoyment. I don’t like women crying when I’m making love to them.”
Obviously, it’s the Harvey Weinstein scandal that has brought this six-year-old clip to light again. Specifically, it was a joke about how the Justice League should be reshot to include a scene of Wonder Woman killing Ben Affleck’s character as a result of his involvement in attempting to cover up the sexual assault allegations and engaging in inappropriate behavior of his own that opened Pandora’s box on other sci-fi faux pas. And that is how Momoa became a trending topic this morning. What I can’t yet decide is whether it’s rightfully so?
It’s open season in Hollywood right now — as it should be — and for years women have been trying to teach men how rape is not just an act, it’s an entire culture. That culture includes jokes like the one Momoa made that make light of sexual assault and the trauma that goes with it by passing it off as a good ol’ time for the boys. When rape is presented in such a nonchalant manner it lays the foundation for people to engage in the act and to assume it’s what the victim wanted. The laughter from the crowd at Momoa’s joke is proof of how prevalent that lackadaisical attitude toward rape is. The Weinstein scandal is evidence of how that attitude breeds action.
Still, Momoa is six years removed from this incident and in no way involved in the take down of Weinstein (at least from what’s been presented so far). While I don’t think he deserves a pass and I’m definitely here for the message unearthing his words sends about just how desensitized and disconnected from the realities of rape most men are, I can’t say it feels fair to single him out, particularly if he has atoned for and grown from this incident. I think if we’re going to tell it then we need to tell it all. So, in addition to Momoa — since his misstep has already been exposed — I want to keep seeing receipts of the crass things men have said about rape and put a face to all those who prove rape culture is not a mythical concept but a very real threat that cis men keep alive on a daily basis, whether intentionally or not.