RUSTLING UP SOME KIND OF SORRY Crowe explains away bizarre sex scene story
RUSSELL Crowe was forced to apologise yesterday for the bizarre anecdote about filming a sex scene he told the crowd at Australia’s version of the Oscars, saying he didn’t meant to offend anyone with his “half cringe-half laugh” story. As Time magazine crowned victims speaking out against sexual abuse in the media industry through the #metoo movement as its Person of the Year, Crowe stunned the audience at the AACTA awards by recounting how he accidentally “sodomised’’ Romper Stomper co-star Jacqueline McKenzie during filming. It came after McKenzie’s recent revelation she had endured “sexual harassment, bullying, groping, lascivious comments and unwanted advances” during her long stage and screen career. The AACTA awards had already been marred when Crowe’s fellow Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush stepped down as president over claims he denies of “inappropriately touching” a female co-star during a Sydney Theatre Company production. Crowe’s speech was so explicit that Channel 7 edited it out of its coverage. The Gladiator actor — better known for his dramatic roles than his comedic performances — yesterday said it was just a bad attempt at making people laugh.
“Actors and actresses by the nature of our job get thrown into some embarrassing, bizarre and extreme circumstances,” he said.
“It’s an ironic combination that the sensitivity required for the job also has to be coupled with an ability to put aside your embarrassment and fears and cope with the humiliation.
“Jacquie and I survived that moment in our young careers because we looked after each other.
“Our friendship has only strengthened over the years and it’s a story we both cringe and laugh over.
“The way I delivered the story was to elicit that half cringe/half laugh reaction.
“Obviously I was only intending to make people laugh. Especially Jacquie, and she did.
“I didn’t mean any offence to anyone and it wasn’t a comment on other issues,” Crowe said.
McKenzie — who is also starring in the new TV version of Romper Stomper — yesterday said Crowe’s joke “bears no relevance” to the “very important conversation of sexual harassment”.
I was only intending to make people laugh Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe at the AACTA awards on Wednesday night, and (inset) in Romper Stomper with Jacqueline McKenzie.