It isn’t easy being beautiful. Kit Harington opened up about facing “sexism” as an actor based on his good looks and long, curly hair in a new interview with The Sunday Times.
“I think there is a double standard,” he told the British newspaper. “If you said to a girl, ‘Do you like being called a babe?’ and she said, ‘No, not really,’ she’d be absolutely right."
“I like to think of myself as more than a head of hair or a set of looks. It’s demeaning. Yes, in some ways you could argue I’ve been employed for a look I have,” the 29-year-old said, possibly referencing his role as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones. "But there’s a sexism that happens towards men.”
Although he says he’s experienced objectification as a man, the Brit, who is dating former GoT costar Rose Leslie, points out that women deal with it as well. “There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well. At some points during photo shoots when I’m asked to strip down, I felt that. If I felt I was being employed just for my looks, I’d stop acting."
The Game of Thrones actor faced some backlash for his comments on social media, with people pointing out that there’s still major gender inequality in Hollywood. The entertainment business has always been dominated by men, and female actresses are still fighting for equal pay. Other tweeters and commenters argued there is a lack of roles for strong, powerful women and not as many women are employed in behind-the-scenes positions such as writers, directors and producers.
Harington received similar online reactions in March 2015 when he revealed that he didn’t like being called a heartthrob and lamented that sometimes it feels like “your art is being put to one side for your sex appeal."
“To always be put on a pedestal as a hunk is slightly demeaning,” he said at the time to Page Six. He later responded to the incident on Good Morning America by joking, “I’ve kind of decided I’m going to be a good little hunk and shut up.”