Since the news about Harvey Weinstein’s deplorable behavior broke, it seems that stories accusing male celebs of sexual assault, sexual harassment and inappropriate comments have emerged every day. And today was no different. A video of Jason Momoa—who played Khal Drogo on HBO’s Game of Thrones and will star as Aquaman in the upcoming Justice League—joking about raping women resurfaced.
The footage, which is from a 2011 San Diego Comic-Con panel, shows Momoa answering questions with several of his Game of Thrones costars. In response to a question, Momoa says, “I love [fantasy] because there’s so many things you can do, like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat and…rape beautiful women, and get away with it.” Momoa’s costars had mixed reactions to his disgusting comment; Kit Harrington buried his face in his hands, and Emilia Clarke attempted to laugh it off (while still looking uncomfortable).
Simply put, this is unacceptable. There is never a good reason to joke about rape. Ever. And it is troubling to me that many people, including adult men, still can’t grasp that concept. While Momoa didn’t do anything criminally wrong (that we know of), his words are still disturbing and indicative of a culture in which rape and sexual assault are not always handled with the gravitas they require.
Thankfully, people are taking steps every day, no matter how small, to put an end to this troubling culture. We have to remain strong and stand up to this kind of awful behavior when we see it.