Patricia Clarkson: White male actors need to ‘shut up and sit in the corner’


I’ve always thought that Patricia Clarkson was one of the classiest broads around. She just seems that way, right? Like, she would never tell anyone to kiss her ass, and she would simply be too regal to tell someone to sit down and shut up. So imagine my shock when I read Clarkson’s amazing Guardian interview. She’s promoting Learning to Drive, a new film she did with Ben Kingsley, and while the Guardian spent a decent amount of time talking about the movie, they also asked Clarkson about sexism in Hollywood, what she thinks of Kit Harington’s whines about a sexist double-standard for “hunks” and more, and she dropped an old-school taunt to all of the sexist d-bags out there: “Eat me.” CLASSY! Some highlights:

Sexism in the industry: “When I was younger, of course I had people act inappropriately to me. I’ve had certain directors yell at me. But I didn’t stand for it and I didn’t let it go far enough for it to be in any way abusive to me. People didn’t speak up as much as they do now. Women have risen. But we’re still underpaid and we’re still a vast minority in this business.”

The backlash against the all-female Ghostbusters: “There are still so many movies made starring 50 men and one woman! A white male actor should never be allowed to complain about anything. Shut up and sit in the corner. I mean, seriously! The odds of us having films made which star women … Everyone still references one movie: Bridesmaids! Ghostbusters is a great thing and I love these actresses. I can’t wait to see it.”

The pressure for all-female films: “Men make bad movies that bomb all the time but they’re like, ‘Oh, well, we didn’t do the marketing right.’ Eat me!”

On Kit Harington’s ‘it’s demeaning to be called a hunk’ complaints: “He’s a sex symbol. Get over it. You have an amazing career and you’re on a hot show. Take your shirt off.”

She’s a free agent: “Being married and having a child was not something I wanted and I knew that at a very young age. I tend to be more solitary and I’m truly a free spirit. I like a life that’s unpredictable. Even though it can take a toll on you in ways that are hard to express.” She’s proud not to “rely upon a man at all” and believes that the life she has chosen frees her from “the restraints or the pressures that people have who are married or raising children”.

[From The Guardian]

Now I kind of want Patricia Clarkson to come face-to-sadface with Kit Harington so she can tell him to shut up and take his shirt off. And while I do think she’s being hyperbolic for fun, there’s a vein of truth here: “A white male actor should never be allowed to complain about anything. Shut up and sit in the corner.” YASSS. Preach on, Patricia.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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75 Responses to “Patricia Clarkson: White male actors need to ‘shut up and sit in the corner’”

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  1. SKF says:

    Honk honk!!

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think there is a lot of truth in what she says, but I don’t think it’s all that helpful. I’m not criticizing her, because my reaction to Kit was also Kiss My A$$, but she maybe could have explained the reason she felt that way.

    • Nancy says:

      Agree. He is an arrogant little thing, I prefer he keep his shirt on. I haven’t heard the “shut up and sit in the corner” thing since 2012. She makes a lot of valid points for girl power though I guess.

    • INeedANap says:


      I am DONE having to calmly, lovingly, softly, achingly explain these things to those that don’t get it. We’ve spent decades trying to be nice and meet them halfway, and all we’ve gotten for our troubles are tantrums and MRAs.

      No more. If you don’t get it, read a book. Pay attention. I am tired of being obsequious.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Fair enough.

      • Nancy says:

        GNAT: Disagree. You didn’t deserve such a harsh response to an innocuous post. One doesn’t have to be condescending to get THEIR point across. I get it though, sometimes people need to blow off steam. I suggest a jog!

      • INeedANap says:

        @ GNAT
        The “you” in my comment was not meant to you GNAT, but more the Kit Harringtons of the world. I realize the change in pronoun was confusing, I would never call you uninformed of all things.

        @ Nancy
        Passive aggressive comments are unbecoming. Be direct and say what you mean, this is how we rise above patriarchy.

      • Kitten says:

        I think INeedANap was speaking more generally about how women’s speech is so often policed, even when we’re discussing something as important as feminism.

        I could be wrong but I didn’t take it as a direct attack on Miss GNAT.

  3. Krista says:

    I want to hear Tammy 1’s opinions on everything. And Learning to Drive was an excellent film.

  4. OriginallyBlue says:

    I love her. So much.

  5. Lbliss says:

    👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼 👏🏼 well said!

  6. BengalCat2000 says:

    I f*cking love her!

  7. AnkitaH says:


  8. lilacflowers says:

    Patricia Clarkson for all the things. Always.

  9. Aiobhan says:

    Kit does need to take a nap and his people need to tell him to quiet down on the hunk complaints.

    I knew there was a reason why I liked her. I first saw her in Pieces of April and thought both she and Katie were the highlights of that uneven film.

    I like what she had to say about not ever wanting to get married and have kids. I just turned 30 and realized that I have no interest in having children of my own. ( A long relationship with someone I love and respect who balances me out would be the ideal, but I ain’t out searching for him or her.) I don’t tell people this though because I get into the same passive aggressive arguments with family and friends who say things like “you just haven’t met the right person” or kids and marriage make things better. I could go into a long rant about why that line of thinking is silly, but I never say anything because at the end of the day, those people are living the lives that they want to live, and I respect them for that. It would be nice for them to reciprocate though.

    • RedOnTheHead says:

      Stick to your guns, Aiobhan! I’m about to turn 60 and I knew from the time I was about 18 that I didn’t want kids. Things were a little different when I was your age in regards to societal expectations for young women. It was less acceptable then to not go the traditional route. I’ve had some truly awful things said to me over the years about my decision. And I never had a f$ck to give. My life, my decision. The reasons for my decision were, and are, as valid as the reasons people have for having children. And they remain valid to this day. No regrets.

    • Algernon says:

      Aiobhan, as someone who is also abstaining from the child life, I can tell you no one will ever respect your decision to not have children. At best you’ll get a curious kind of pity, like you hit your head and are just confused. At worst they’ll call you a selfish slut. But if you truly don’t want children, don’t have them. It’s your life and you get to live it as you choose.

      ETA: There are a lot of people out there who don’t want kids. Be up front about what you do and don’t want, and you will find a partner who shares the same ideals.

      • Robin says:

        Algernon, that’s simply not true. I am another one in the child-free camp, and most people I know are fine with my decision. I’ve never been called a selfish slut, and while I have had people tell me I’d change my mind if I met the right person, I’ve never felt that anyone was pitying me. In fact quite a few parents have told me that if they could do it over again they wouldn’t have had kids.

      • Algernon says:

        I wish I knew some of those people but my experience has been mostly negative. I have found people to be judgmental in the extreme when it comes to the state of other people’s wombs, and the fact that I don’t want kids has made more than one person openly, seethingly angry (as if my choice invalidates theirs). Although a few of my friends and acquaintances have told me in private they wish they hadn’t had kids, or had waited till they were older and had spent more time on their own before settling down. I think there’s still an enormous societal pressure to settle down that sets in before people are really ready.

      • RedOnTheHead says:

        Algernon, I have to agree with you. I have had the same negative experiences. I’ve had people call me selfish, I’ve had people ask me if I felt less than a woman, I’ve had people tell me that it was my duty as a woman to have kids. And many more stupid, ridiculous, insulting things. And what enraged me the most was how these same people could not, or would not, recognize that just because someone is capable of having children doesn’t mean that they should. Why was I being shamed when people who weren’t fit to be parents were clearly getting a pass? And what the hell is wrong with people that they think your decision is any of their business?

      • Embee says:

        As a parent of a six year old, I will affirm your decision loudly and with enthusiasm. I did not plan my pregnancy, but affirmatively decided to keep the baby so I’m not playing victim but Oh. My. Gosh. Parenting is no friggin joke. I’m not saying it’s rocket science or anything but it is all -consuming (and I’m pretty laid back about stuff). I don’t think I have the ideal parent temperament and while I don’t think I am screwing up my kid (she’s thriving) but I know for a fact that I am significantly less happy and peaceful than pre-kiddo. It’s getting better as she ages but holy crap were the first few years misery. No judgment from me if you don’t do it. I’m a little jealous but no judgment!

  10. Missy says:

    She doesn’t give a sh*t, and I love her.

  11. Tig says:

    There’s no doubt she has plenty of tales to tell, and is probably frustrated that so much of that crap is still in play. However, if we are ever to move past the “sexxy” business, I think it’s wrong to dismiss male opinions about being objectified out of hand. Believe me, my first thought was “cry me a river”, but I think that’s not a thought out approach.

    • Bey says:

      the moment you stop seeing people as individuals you have lost all reason. every single life of a person with those two charatericsts gets to be made out to be the same, all their experiences and realities brushed aside. she tells men like Corey Feldman to shup up, how low can a person sink?

      the complaints about Kit also reek of sexism. he gets called whiny, thats used against men to shame them for their feelings and he gets mocked for his height, another thing thats only done to males.
      what she tells Kit is exactly what women have been told when they complained: shut up and take your shirt off.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree, and did the first time Kit complained too. Objectifying men doesn’t fix the objectification of women, and if he feels uncomfortable, I think he has the right to say so – as long as he acknowledges that his experience is a drop in the bucket compared to what women go through, particularly in that industry.

      I also don’t think telling white male actors to shut up and sit in the corner is the solution. Instead I’d rather tell them to be aware that there are people of other races, genders, etc out there who deserve to be equally represented and have their stories, so don’t sit there and sulk, lend a hand, engage, and be a part in changing the system.

      • Algernon says:

        My problem with Kit is that I don’t think he is acknowledging his experience is a drop in the bucket. Both times he’s said this line of thinking, it has come across to me as he thinks his objectification is just as bad as, say, Emilia Clarke or Natalie Dormer, both of whom had to show their boobs a lot on GoT.

  12. Itsme says:

    Her comments about Kit are gross. Imagine a man saying that about a woman, the horror. Inequality is perpetrated in comments like that.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I hear you, but while what you say is valid in one way, in another, you’re missing the point. There will never be equality in the complaints of sexism against men and women, because women have been oppressed for centuries simply because they are women. Sexually harrassed, raped, coerced, sold, fondled, ogled and so forth against their will. Reduced to breasts, legs and bottoms. Now this man complaining that people complimenting him too much makes him feel as if he’s being reduced to less than human just seems hollow and pale beside what women have gone through. BUT, I think she shouldn’t have said “just take your shirt off.” I think she should have said, “now you have had a small taste of what women have experienced since time began. You also have the same choice – if you can’t live with it, don’t be an actor. But don’t expect women to feel that you are being treated worse than they have been until you lose your job because you’re not a “good sport.”

      • Bey says:

        what has Kit Harrington to do with centuries of oppression?

      • Yep! Totally agree! I would have much rather her explain to him why he should shut up and sit in the corner than just tell him to shut up and sit in the corner. One way will educate and humble him the other will just create hostility.

      • Kitten says:

        Yes GNAT. Perfectly stated.

      • cindy says:

        YES YES YES.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I can’t really give you a short response to that, and I don’t have time to give you a full one. Maybe reread what I said and try to put it into the context of Kit complaining that he is being treated as a sex object. Or maybe someone else has time to answer you fully. I’m late. I’m sorry, because I would like to help.

    • Agreed! Although Kit’s really annoying and obviously very sheltered I would have preferred her to explain why instead of sounding off like a 1950’s studio executive speaking to a backup dancer.

      • MarcelMarcel says:

        While her statements about Harrington lack eloquence it isn’t her job to educate him about feminism, white male privilege and systematic oppression. If he wants to see the world outside of his discomfort with being sexualised on a graphically sexual show than he has the means to do so. I think it’s valid for him to disagree with being objectified however he hasn’t done it with a wider understanding of how sexism negatively impacts women in the entertainment industry. He didn’t invent sexism but he is contributing to it by complaining about his objectified without placing it in a feminist context.
        It’s not Clarksons responsibility to be polite when discussing the sexism she’s experienced for decades, it’s on him to educate himself about sexism. And if he hasn’t done so that it’s on him not on the women reacting to his public statements.

      • It’s more than educating someone, it’s humbling them and changing their perspective. Why wouldn’t you want to educate someone anyway? What point is there in a constant bickering back and forth to no end?

      • mira says:

        Its not her job to educate him. He should do that for himself, i mean if he lifted his head out of his woe is me ass for one moment he might actually see that there are people in the business and not to mention outside who have a far worse deal. Harrington may feel like that its hard to be a heartthrob but hes literally been singing the same tune i all the interviews for years.

      • I understand that its not her job to educate him, but clearly she wants to discuss it. Personally, I feel that if you want to make a difference and if you want things to change, which she does, then you need to educate people. Kit strikes me as a sheltered, spoilt person, not a person who supports sexism, so in this case I believe a little knowledge would go a long way. JMO.

    • Lucky says:

      I look at equality differently, who cares:-). Either way Patricia Clarkson remains awesome, obviously.

    • Lucky says:

      So when men feel uncomfortable about something, just shut up. Lol.

    • vilebody says:

      It’s statements like this that give feminism a bad name. Harrington is objectified and he finds it uncomfortable. It saddens me that women, who should at minimum sympathise with his plight, instead choose to say vindictive things like “now you know what if feels like” or dismiss his valid complaint with a “shut up and sit in the corner.”

      • Lucky says:

        Yup. Attitude seems a bit off.

      • elay says:


      • Kitten says:

        Sorry but he lost me when he equated his experience with what women have been dealing with since the inception of film-making and the dawn of Hollywood.

        Can men be objectified? Of course. But no, Kit, the consequences of male objectification is nowhere near as delimitating, damaging or as widespread as it is for women.

        It doesn’t have to be a contest, but acknowledging the difference in each gender experience is essential to avoiding the trap of mansplaining and swerving out of one’s lane. Discussing complex issues like sexism and objectification requires a light touch, humility, understanding, empathy, and self-awareness. Otherwise, it just comes across like derailment, hitching your wagon onto someone else’s fight, or just plain whining.

        “There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well.”

        At the risk of parsing his words, if he had said “The industry is incredibly sexist towards women: there’s the casting couch, unequal pay, and a persistent objectification of women. But I do think men can be victims of objectification as well” then I would have no problem with what he said.

        But he didn’t. He tried to say that men are victims of a sexist film industry. He was right about the film industry being sexist, but men aren’t the victims. Men don’t see all the good roles drying up for them after age 30, they don’t face pay disparities for the same work as women, and they’re not asked to show their wieners in every movie. Hell the MPAA is sexist as hell just in the way they give a movie that features male full frontal an NC-17 rating but not if it’s female full frontal nudity.

        So sorrynotsorry, I can’t get on-board with what he said. It’s not the same and it will never be the same and if he had at the very least acknowledged that within the context of his comments, I wouldn’t take issue.

      • Lucky says:

        I’m sorry this bothers you so much.

      • Kitten says:

        That’s it? Your argument was weak, but I still thought you could do better than that.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        I agree with with Kitten. Had he said, “now I know what women have gone through, and it feels uncomfortable, and nobody should have to feel like a piece of meat,” or something like that, I would sympathize with him. But he pretty much said “everybody gets all in an uproar when women complain about sexism, but nobody cares that I’m treated just as badly.” Why should we have to pretend that he’s correct? To shelter his fragile male feelings? I think we have done enough of that. He has in no way experienced the same sexism as a woman. I DO care about his feelings, and don’t think anyone should feel like an object. I just wish he had acknowledged that this is what women go through every day and not tried to make it all about poor, poor beautiful me.
        As for “giving feminism a bad name,” I just don’t care anymore. We live in a very misogynist country. Better than some, at least legally, but look on line at the responses to the Stanford rape case or at Amber Heard’s situation. There are many, many people who wouldn’t dream of listening to us long enough to even get what we are saying. I think we need to challenge old views of women and their role in society, and the average sexist person doesn’t like it, or thinks it makes us abrasive or unfeminine, too bad. We need to change and enforce the law, not beg people to like us.

      • lucky says:

        I just disagree with you kitten. My other comment was moderated, but basically I think he never said he was a victim. He said there is a sexism applied to men and a sexism applied to women. Everything else is just stuff that other people projected onto that statement.

  13. meme says:

    Especially when the white actor is whiny Kit Harrington.

  14. Bey says:

    “A white male actor should never be allowed to complain about anything”

    YES! Tell Corey Feldman to shut up!

    • Suzanne says:

      She is queenbae though?

      Gay men? Shut up
      Black men? Shut up
      Sexually abused men? Shut up

    • Marty says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what she was talking about. Sexual assault victims, not white male privilege which was the basis of her statement. Sheesh.

      • Luca76 says:

        Thank you Marty!

      • Kitten says:

        Thank you from me too, Marty.

      • I Choose Me says:

        I’m sitting here going the hell? Context is everything and hers is clear.

        The only part of her comments I disagree with is ‘take your shirt off.’ As GNAT elucidated above, the objectification Kit’s faced is nothing compared to the sexism women deal with on a daily basis but I wish she wasn’t quite so dismissive of his feelings.

    • cindy says:

      I really don’t think thats what she meant.

  15. Jess says:

    I love her (and that white dress with the flowers).

  16. Luca76 says:

    Yes Preach!!! She even seems to get intersectionality!!!!

  17. Marty says:

    Amazing woman. I love when actresses are so candid like this.

  18. Tallia says:

    Preach, preach, preach.

  19. Grant says:

    Slay a little, Patricia! Love her!!! “Eat me!” … “Take your shirt off!” I’m dead!!!

  20. Kitten says:

    I do love her, I just do.

  21. mira says:

    She’s awesome!! She was on BBCs womans hour the other day, such a great spirit.

  22. holly hobby says:

    Oh my! Who would have thought Patricia Clarkson is funny! I laughed through all her comments. Total truth but I liked the way she delivered it!

    • Carol says:

      Yeah me too. I didn’t expect her answers to be quite that funny and well-spoken. That Kit comment about taking off his shirt, though, I could have done without. But I know what she was trying to say.

    • Kitten says:

      Oh wow you didn’t know that she’s hilarious?
      I guess you never saw the infamous “Motherlover” video.

  23. Saks says:

    A sex symbol? Is Kit really considered a sex symbol?!!!
    He is a normal looking guy, with no such a great body and who looks like he is about to cry 90% of the time… Just my personal opinion but I just can’t see how can he be consider a sex symbol

  24. Brittney B. says:

    …wait, is SHE the anonymous actress writing a column for that British paper?

  25. jc126 says:

    Nah, telling a whole group of people, to “shut up and sit in the corner”, I can’t get behind that. Too dismissive. And I do sympathize with what Kit H. said – I hate it when any person is reduced to just a body, or a body part. Or a skin color.

  26. LadySkywalker says:

    Hang on hang on… so it’s okay for female actors to complain about being seen as a sex symbol and objectified physically, but when a male actor does it it’s “Shut up and take your shirt off?”