Jon Snow may know nothing, but actor Kit Harington knows one thing: He doesn’t like being a heartthrob. The actor recently cleared up some controversial statements he made about being objectified as a male sex symbol thanks to his breakout role on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The issue for the 28-year-old actor dates back to some comments he made at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association conference when he shared his frustration with being called a “hunk” all the time.
“To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning. It really is and it’s in the same way as it is for women. When an actor is seen only for her physical beauty, it can be quite offensive,” he said (via Page Six) before later adding: “It’s not just men that can be inappropriate sexually; women can as well. I’m in a successful TV show in a kind of leading-man way, and it can sometimes feel like your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal. And I don’t like that.”
While the comments seemed to come from a place of personal experience, Harington caught some backlash from fans who found it rude for someone to complain about such a thing -- especially when it’s a significantly more prominent issue for women than hunky men.
“I’ve kind of decided I’m going to be a good little hunk and shut up,” the Jon Snow actor told Good Morning America after his comments got him in a bit of trouble. However, now it seems the actor is ready to clarify his stance and remains adamant in his belief that his sex appeal is getting in the way of his craft. Speaking to OUT, Harington was asked about the “hunk” controversy and he shared his thoughts on the ensuing backlash.
“I found it unfair, really, some of the stuff I read [in response],” he said. “I was making a point, which was that I think young men do get objectified, do get sexualized unnecessarily. As a person who is definitely in that category, as a young leading man in this world, I feel I have a unique voice to talk about that. I was making a point to sort of say, ‘It just needs to be highlighted.’ With every photo shoot I ever go to, I’m told to take off my shirt, and I don’t.”
As Time points out, the actor has a valid argument. While it’s mostly a problem for female celebrities who are often asked more questions about their clothing than their craft, anyone in Hollywood with the right look can find him or herself forced to field questions about their looks. The implication being: “What’s it like to be famous just because people want to sleep with you?”
What do you think? Does Harington have a point or is this not a discussion that men in Hollywood can reasonably engage in? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.