Michael Gove has been criticised for joking about the sex abuse and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein during a radio appearance.
The minister and former journalist appeared on the 60th anniversary special edition of The Today Programme on Satuday and said submitting to interview by host John Humphrys was “like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – just pray you emerge with your dignity intact.”
Going into the studio is “like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom – you hope to emerge with your dignity intact” Gove on #Todayat60
Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, who appeared alongside Gove, joked: “John goes way beyond groping.”
The audience laughed but Guardian media editor Graham Ruddick reported others “set blank-faced or with a look of disgust”.
While there was laughter in Today audience after Michael Gove’s comment, others around me sat blank-faced or with a look of disgust
Weinstein, who has been a powerful film producer in Hollywood for decades, has been accused of harassment, assault or rape by more than 30 women.
Sex harassment allegations spread to other industries, including journalism and politics.
It has been reported that four MPs, including a minister, have been caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct at Westminster.
Gove quickly said he “apologised unreservedly”, tweeting it was a “clumsy attempt at humour”.
Apologies for my clumsy attempt at humour on R4 Today this morning -it wasn’t appropriate. I’m sorry and apologise unreservedly
Immediately after Gove’s comment aired on Saturday morning, people tweeted to condemn it.
Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson accused him of trivialising sexual assault.
No, @michaelgove it’s not like that. I have never once feared for my personal safety in a media studio. Don’t trivialise sexual assault. https://t.co/8neWSdnWJZ
October 28, 2017
Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity.”
Michael Gove just left the studio without his dignity
Journalist Hadley Freeman attacked him for “kicking off the weekend with a rape joke”.
That’s @michaelgove, that is. Kicking off the weekend with a rape joke. It’s funny, because it’s laughing at rape victims! https://t.co/76ll4jiUbj
Back to joke school for Michael Gove, I’m afraid. Hard lines https://t.co/dnjC7FXbU7
Law lecturer Paul Bernal said: “There are no words for how appalling he is.”
MIchael Gove. There are no words for how appalling he is. https://t.co/2UyXEXcnF5
One Tweeter suggested Gove’s jokes were being written by gaffe-prone Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that Boris Johnson is writing Michael Gove’s “jokes”. https://t.co/p2gafmG5EZ
Playwright Lucy Prebble said jokes like Gove’s were “half-conscious attempts to break consensus and make women look humourless”.
I think jokes like this aren’t just misjudged twat detritus, but half-conscious attempts to break consensus and make women look humourless. https://t.co/IrVTrbelRu
October 28, 2017