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Game of Thrones' star Jason Momoa joked about raping 'beautiful women' on show

Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa made a joke about raping “beautiful women” in recently unearthed footage from 2011.

The actor, who played Khal Drogo on the hit HBO show, was making a comment about the extreme acts he’s allowed to get away with during a Comic-Con panel.

“But as far as sci-fi and fantasy, I love that genre because there are so many things you can do, like rip someone’s tongue out of their throat and get away with it and rape beautiful women,” he said. Fellow cast members, including Lena Headey, looked embarrassed while the crowd laughed.

In 2011, Momoa spoke further on the subject of rape in an interview with the New York Post. “Yeah, I’m raping Emillia [Clarke]” he said. “I love her, but I’m hurting her and she’s crying. We could have made it longer, but you get the idea. I’m not a rapist. I prefer my women to enjoy sex.”

Momoa has since apologized for his comments in an Instagram post. “I awoke in Australia to the justified reactions by many people to a distasteful joke I made years ago in Hall H for which I am sorry,” he wrote. “I am still severely disappointed in myself at the insensitivity of my remarks that day. I know my sincerest apology now won’t take away those hurtful words. Rape and sexual harassment can reach anyone and I have seen first hand its painful torment among members of my own family and friends. I made a truly tasteless comment. It is unacceptable and I sincerely apologize with a heavy heart for the words I said.”

The clip, which one Twitter user described as “horrific”, was shared on social media and arrives weeks away from the release of DC’s big-budget Justice League, which sees Momoa take on the role of Aquaman. His co-star in the film, Ben Affleck, has also been the subject of criticism after footage surfaced of him groping One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton during an episode of TRL in 2003.

Both clips have been brought to light after a string of allegations were made against producer Harvey Weinstein. Actors such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd have all spoken out about their treatment by Weinstein, leading to a more open discussion about sexual assault in Hollywood.

Momoa’s comments also come after ongoing criticism about HBO’s depiction of violence against women in Game of Thrones as well as Westworld. “Using Game of Thrones, violence is not just specific to women, it’s men and women,” said HBO executive Casey Bloys last year in defense. “It’s indiscriminate, I would say, so I don’t think so. I think it’s violence in general. I don’t know that it’s specific to women. Men are killed as well.”

Momoa’s co-star Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, recently spoke about her rape scene on the show. “Sexual assault wasn’t something that had affected me or anybody I knew, so I was pretty blase about the whole thing,” she said to the Sunday Times. “Naively so. And then I shot the scene, and in the aftermath there was this huge uproar that we would depict something like that on television. My first response was like, maybe we shouldn’t have put that on screen at all.”

This article titled "Game of Thrones' star Jason Momoa joked about raping 'beautiful women' on show" was written by Guardian staff, for theguardian.com on Friday 13 October 2017 06.22am

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