Actor Chris O’Dowd Criticizes Sexually Abusive Movie Producer Harvey Weinstein But He’s Got An Inconsistent Record About Women’s Issues
I was looking up information about the Irish abortion referendum debates recently, which is how I came across actor Chris O’Dowd’s name in the news and on some of my social media accounts.
O’Dowd is somewhat hypocritical or inconsistent on a few different topics. This is yet another one.
Here is the link I came across:
Excerpts from that article, which is dated October 2017:
The comedic actor [O’Dowd] said he was completely unaware of the string of sexual harassment claims against the 65-year-old when he worked with him a number of years ago
… The comedic actor has revealed that he briefly worked with the disgraced Hollywood producer several years ago, and had no idea of the allegations that the he routinely harassed women and abused them in seedy ‘casting couch’ scenarios.
… The Roscommon native wrote on Twitter early this morning:
“I briefly worked with Weinstein a few years back.
“Anyone know how to time travel a head-butt? #Pig”
//end O’Dowd tweet
Expressing his regret at not having been aware of Weinstein’s behaviour, Chris defended working with the sleazy film-maker when criticised for working with him.
“Funny that at the time, you had no complaints,” wrote one disgruntled user
O’Dowd strikes me as being a little opportunistic on some topics.
It’s as though O’Dowd sees a topic trending in the media, culture, or on Twitter, and tries to get some attention for himself by tweeting about it.
The Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse scandal, and subsequent “MeToo” and “TimesUp” topics, were very prominent starting in October of 2017, and went on for months afterwards.
I cannot help but wonder how sincere O’Dowd’s opposition to sexual abuse and sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein, or anyone else, really is?
It looks as though O’Dowd is merely jumping on the trend train. It worked. The Sun published this story about him; I’m commenting upon it now.
As to this portion of the article (emphasis added):
The comedic actor said he was completely unaware of the string of sexual harassment claims against the 65-year-old when he worked with him a number of years ago
Is O’Dowd serious? And he wants us to believe him on this?
(By the way, had O’Dowd known that Weinstein was a sexual abuser of women back in the day, I really doubt O’Dowd would’ve refused to work with him, refused to appear in movies Weinstein was associated with. O’Dowd can correct me on this if he likes, but I have a gut feeling that some of his public dismay over sexual harassment is all for show, due to his previous behavior, which I will discuss below.)
Many other actors – way more famous than O’Dowd is – said Weinstein’s sexual exploitation of women actresses was an “open secret” in Hollywood, so how can O’Dowd claim ignorance on the matter?
Here are a few links about that, before I resume with O’Dowd related commentary:
British producer Alison Owen says stories of Harvey Weinstein’s inappropriate behaviour towards women were well known in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 5, 2017
by Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
Hollywood reacted with disgust — but not surprise — after allegations of decades of sexual harassment by producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced Thursday in The New York Times.
After being named in the Times piece, actress Rose McGowan tweeted
(link): “Anyone who does business with __ is complicit. And deep down you know you are even dirtier. Cleanse yourselves.”
…After the piece broke, CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted that Weinstein’s conduct was an open secret in Hollywood. “Hollywood producer I know: ‘Shocked it’s taken so long for a Harvey Weinstein behavior expose. One of the most open secrets in Hollywood.’ ”
The movie mogul’s lawyers have dismissed ‘false’ reports of sexual harassment, but industry insiders claim there have long been rumors about his behavior
…When Emily Best, a Los Angeles-based film producer, got a text about the Harvey Weinstein “news”, it did not, she said, come as a surprise.
On that page, the journalists at The Sun included Tweets that O’Dowd received in response to his October 2017 tweets, one or two of them critical.
One wonders if O’Dowd, after tweeting at the person(s), or reading their critical tweets, promptly blocked them, as he did with me month ago?
Yes, O’Dowd actually blocked me on twitter, although I never even tweeted at him. I guess O’Dowd is either vain or insecure enough to go looking up his own name online to see what, if anything, people are saying about him.
Someone named Colette Gibson tweeted this at O’Dowd:
Maybe should have been given at the time??? Rose tinted hollywood glasses??
To which O’Dowd replied (tweet link):
Knew nothing back then. Met him maybe 5 times total. I know people are angry, but not everyone in this industry is the same. Is yours?
One astute reader, “MzBeazlee” (@ShantyIrish66) sent this comment to O’Dowd (tweet link):
You called Michael B. [Michael Bay the movie director who is widely regarded as being sexist] out, then apologized; Why?
As I mentioned in an earlier post or two on my blog, O’Dowd depicts himself in interviews and on social media as being pro-woman, or feminist, but his actions or attitudes belie this.
Before I get to the Michael Bay incident specifically – which I blogged about months ago, and which “MzBeazlee” mentioned to him on Twitter – I’d like to say I’m a woman, and yet O’Dowd blocked me on Twitter.
This is in spite of the fact I never tweeted to or at him, and though he said in one interview he likes to read what women have to say. (And there again, I happen to be a woman, which I’ve mentioned in some of my blog posts about O’Dowd.)
In a 2012 interview with GQ, which you can read here, actor Chris O’Dowd says:
“I don’t know, maybe there is something in female writing that I’m attracted to.”
How can a guy claim to support women, want to hear what they have to say, then promptly block a woman writer on Twitter? Does he mean to say he only likes to read flattering and fawning things women have to write about him? He only is interested in what women script writers write?
So, here O’Dowd is claiming to be supportive of women in various interviews and in various ways over the last few years, such as:
-Publicly supporting the legalization of abortion in Ireland (which is not really a good thing);
-Tweeting criticisms of alleged sexual abuser movie producer Harvey Weinstein
And yet (as I’ve gone into more detail on previous posts, so I refer you to those posts), O’Dowd says or engages in sexist actions or behaviors, such as:
The O’Dowd List of Sexism
– In interviews, calling the Annie Walker character from “Bridesmaids” slutty – (this was a movie in which he was a co-star) – Calling the Walker character “slutty” is known as “slut shaming” in American feminist circles, and is greatly frowned upon – it’s considered sexist to mock a woman over her sexual actions or choices (even if it’s a fictional character)
-Publicly sexually objectified his wife, Dawn O’Porter, on social media, by sending out a photo of her in her lingerie (probably meant to be amusing but is tone deaf – most women are not going to consider such a Tweet or post to be endearing, but find it sexist)
-As described by various reviewers of O’Dowd’s children’s book on Amazon, (“Moone Boy: The Blunder Years”), reviews which I excerpted for one of my blog posts, O’Dowd has a sexist theme or two in his book for children, where he’s signaling to the presumably intended book audience, 8 to 12 year old boys, that it’s okay to sexually objectify teen girls, or it’s acceptable to judge or mock girls based upon their looks.
-Posing for photos for a magazine shoot with scantily clad women models who are highly sexualized (photos appear on this blog post, farther down, left hand side)
-Appeared in a P.S.A. ad for charity, in a video, to bring awareness of male breast cancer, that was never- the- less very sexist, in which O’Dowd plays some kind of judge of topless women bouncing- on- trampolines event
-Quickly retracted his public criticism of Hollywood director Michael Bay, even sent Bay an apology, when his comments defending actress Megan Fox and verifying that Bay is known by the Hollywood community for being sexist, were published in various papers
-Willingly played a character in a movie (“Cuban Fury”) where his character apparently tries, or tried, to rape a woman, and this was played for laughs – according to:
Via Roger Ebert.com (by someone named “ who left a comment below the review):
This was an overly generous review [of the “Cuban Fury” movie], in my opinion.
This is a film that rests so heavily on formula, as you point out, that it’s impossible to view as anything other than hopelessly derivative.
I also wonder if you noted the mean streak in this film; the golfing scene, and the fact that O’Dowd’s character dices with attempted rape. …
Speaking of O’Dowd’s tacky and horribly sexist GQ magazine shoot (which can be viewed below, left hand side of page), where women were dressed up to look like sleazy hookers, lick his face, and in one shot, all you see are the woman’s butt and legs:
Chris O’Dowd and Director Michael Bay
At the time, O’Dowd affirmed publicly that everyone in Hollywood knows that Bay is a sexist jerk, but then quickly walked back his comments, sent an apology to Bay (which Bay published on his website), where O’Dowd claimed the media got him wrong, out of context, or what have you.
The liberal feminists at ThinkProgress were not amused.
Via Think Progress:
The Fleeting Hollywood Feminism of Chris O’Dowd by Alyssa Rosenberg
How is it that O’Dowd, as of October 2017, dares to publicly condemn the sexual harassment of women in Hollywood vis a vis the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but in or around 2012, sought to back-track his public criticisms of a sexist movie director, Bay?
Not just in regards to the Bay incident, but concerning O’Dowd’s public, inflammatory comments in regards to religion (which offended and upset a lot of people, including yours truly), O’Dowd does not have the convictions to stand by his beliefs.
I’ve seen a pattern, after having read articles about O’Dowd the last two years, articles that span back to around 2011 in date, that if O’Dowd feels spouting off about some subject or another publicly may harm his career, or get him black-balled in Hollywood, he retracts his views on occasion, or claims he never said ‘thus and so,’ or says he was taken out of context, misunderstood.
In short: O’Dowd refuses to stand by his honest (and obnoxious) opinions if he feels his acting career may be ruined or set back.
I’ve explained in a few posts on my blog that I’m a moderate conservative, and I run somewhere from deist to Christian, concerning religion. However, I respect a disagreement of opinion on political and religious topics – I have friends who hold opposing religious and political views from mine, and we get along well.
I will say I don’t care for O’Dowd’s extreme left wing positions or his particular brand of atheism (which runs to the extremely antagonistic, hostile “anti-theism,” not merely run- of- the- mill, “live and let live” atheism), but…
The insult to injury, or the cherry on top, the thing that really grinds my gear about O’Dowd and people like him, is that not only does this actor think it’s acceptable to give public voice to his obnoxious political and religious views to start with, but that when he gets pressure or criticism for those publicized views, he does not stand by them.
O’Dowd resorts to blocking critics on twitter – such as myself – or getting indignant or defensive with other critics on Twitter – or he tells the media he was misquoted.
To those in power who may be able to impact O’Dowd’s Hollywood career, such as a big name director like Michael Bay, he immediately sends them groveling letters or e-mails begging for forgiveness or reconciliation.
I don’t think O’Dowd (or any celebrity) should be public with their political and religious views, but if he chooses to go public with them, he should have the courage to stand by those comments.
Again, I am talking in terms of celebrities here – movie actors, rock stars, and the like. I’m not applying the same set of rules to “average joe’s” who use twitter.
As a Z-grade movie actor, O’Dowd has more of a platform to expose his views than you or I ever will.
These entertainers get paid by us, the public, to act, sing, or dance – not pontificate. If I want to hear politicizing or moralizing, I will watch CNN, Fox News, read NPR, Breitbart, Huffington Post, Wall Street Jounal’s editorial section, Townhall, or watch televised church programs.
I can only guess after issuing his public condemnation of Michael Bay in the media, O’Dowd must have panicked and thought, “Oh no, what have I done?” which would explain his groveling letter to Bay. This also sends a message that when he thinks standing up for women and pushing back against sexism in Hollywood may hurt him or his career, O’Dowd is willing to drop any pretense of convictions instantly.
In light of how ineptly O’Dowd handled the Michael Bay – Megan Fox incident, and according to the list I outlined above – The O’Dowd List of Sexism – I don’t think O’Dowd is as “woke” (liberal term, defined on this page) as he thinks he is, or as he wants the public to perceive him as.
O’Dowd has really has ruined the “Bridesmaids” movie for me.
O’Dowd needs to stop publicly commenting on women’s issues, and anything regarding politics and religion.
But that O’Dowd presents himself as a protector or advocate of women while simultaneously doing, saying sexist things in or out of character for movies or in his personal life, on Twitter, for magazines, or in interviews, is very hypocritical (as outlined in this blog post and on my other blog post and in this one), and it makes me want to vomit.
I am really perturbed and annoyed by men who think of themselves as feminist allies (to use liberal-speak), who seem to think they are not the least bit sexist, and yet, they still harbor sexist biases of women, or they participate in less obvious forms of sexism.
This O’Dowd guy may not be raping women, groping them, or sexually harassing them at his job (I hope he is not), but guys like him don’t seem to realize that their more “benign” forms of sexism – such as cracking jokes, or using humor, based on gendered stereotypes, for example – is not entirely harmless, either, but contributes to the sexism in our culture.
Guys like O’Dowd help to enable the sexism of even more sexist and dangerous men, such the Harvey Weinsteins.
Do you think doing things like sexually objectifying your wife on social media, or making jokes at the expense of girls, or what have you, erodes sexism, or chips away at cultural sexism? It does not.
Such behavior actually adds to sexism that permeates various cultures, and it helps to make guys like Weinstein possible, or permits him to continue on for years with exploiting women, without facing consequences.
Months ago, I read several articles about Weinstein and about guys like him, where mental health professionals, such as psychologists and psychiatrists, were interviewed. (I am unable to find that web page at this time.)
Regardless, the reporters were asking these professionals, why do men such as Weinstein sexually abuse women? What causes it?
Some of the experts interviewed replied that one factor to creating and enabling a Weinstein is that guys like him assume and think all other men are just as perverted, entitled, and sexist as he is.
A guy like Weinstein, they were saying, assumes that other men also view women as chattel or sex objects to be used and exploited by men, and that is how these sexual harassers and abusers justify their behavior.
These male abusers of women assume they can grope and rape women and never really be held accountable for it – not by other men – because, they feel, all other men are also raping and groping women, or secretly they want to do so, so that, they assume, abusing and degrading women must be “normal,” acceptable, and perfectly fine.
An American expert on domestic violence explains in his book that one reason why some men grow up to physically or emotionally abuse women (especially their girlfriends and wives) is because they are programmed to be that way by culture.
From the time they are boys, the author explains, boys in many cultures receive messages from video games, magazines, TV shows, movies, books, and rock songs, that they are sexually entitled to women, they should be allowed to control a woman, that a man’s needs matter but a woman’s needs do not, etc, etc.
Boys are also fed a steady stream of gender stereotypes about women, too, as they grow up, sometimes from their families, but it’s all around them in the media they consume. And those gender stereotypes help perpetuate their entitled, abusive mindsets, and may play a part in why some of them grow up to abuse women.
Every time O’Dowd – or other men –
- uses derogatory, gender-based humor (makes jokes at the expense of) girls or women in books he writes,
- agrees to appear in movies with such sexist “humor,” or
- poses for magazine photo-shoots with scantily-clad models who are licking his face, or
- he posts photo of his wife in a skimpy negligee on Twitter (thereby inviting men to view her as a sex object),
etc. etc. and so forth, he is contributing to a culture that is already sending messages to boys and men that women are not quite fully human, and are only here for men’s enjoyment and pleasure.
Please don’t present yourself as a woke, feminist, girl-power, male ally when you’re not making things better for women but are in fact adding to the sexism we face already, no matter how small.
This post was written on May 21, 2018 and has been edited a time or two to add additional thoughts or new links