annehathawaymattlauer

Matt Lauer is gross, Anne Hathaway kicks slut shaming’s ass

Anne Hathaway went the Today show yesterday to promote Les Miserables (which I am ridiculously excited about like the big nerd I am). And Matt Lauer took the interview as an opportunity to be a disgusting, patronizing pig.

Hathaway had a “wardrobe malfuction” while getting out of a car at the New York premiere of Les Mis. Because our culture is gross like Matt Lauer, photographers quickly snapped shots of Hathaway’s crotch and then spread them all over the internet. And then Lauer treated the photos like they were news. He opened the interview with “Seen a lot of you lately,” which Hathaway gracefully tried to laugh off. But Lauer kept pushing, leaning towards her with a knowing look of paternalism *shiver*: “What’s the lesson learned from something like that?” You can just hear the question continue, “you naughty girl. Dirty, dirty girl.” Ick.

So what’s Hathaway supposed to say there? “Next time I wear Tom Ford to a premiere I’ll be sure to wear underwear so you can slut shame me about visible panty lines?” Awesomely, her response to Lauer’s question nailed the sexist culture in which these photos get non-consensually spread around, and in which a male interviewer thinks he has the right to lecture her on the subject:

Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. Um, I think— It kinda made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and, rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is—she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child, because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net. And I— Yeah, so, um, so let’s get back to Les Mis.

Bam! Matt Lauer continued his condescension game by saying Hathaway’s response was, “One of the most creative turns of a question I’ve ever heard.” Here’s the thing, though: bringing this question back to Les Mis is kinda brilliant. Cause Hathaway’s right – the culture in which Fantine was forced into sex work is the same culture that slut shames a celebrity because photographers and media outlets are assholes. A culture where women’s sexuality is commodified regardless of any intent on our part, and then we’re shamed for being dirty sluts.

Lauer then tried repeatedly to get Hathaway to talk about her weight loss for the role. A topic she’s avoided because she lost weight to look emaciated and sickly, and she does. And she’s smart enough not to talk about how she went about doing that, probably because she knows about the dangers of our skinniness-obsessed culture (she even mentions that the weight loss impacted her singing ability). Matt Lauer, on the other hand, has no clue what it’s like to be a woman in a world full of gross patriarchal slut shamers like him.

Here’s the video of the full, creeptastic interview:

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Transcript of the relevant part of the interview after the jump via Shakesville, complete with parenthetical commentary from Melissa McEwan:

Matt Lauer: Anne Hathaway, good morning. Nice to see you.

Anne Hathaway: Morning, Matt.

Lauer: Seen a lot of you lately.

[HAR HAR. HE LITERALLY JUST FUCKING SAID TO HIS GUEST: "I SAW YOUR VAJAYJAY TITTER!"]

Hathaway: [laughs uncomfortably] Sorry about that. [laughs again] I’d be happy to stay home, but, uh, the film. [laughs; casts her eyes down]

Lauer: Let’s just get it out of the way. You had a little wardrobe malfunction [grins; Hathaway "mm"s in acknowledgement] the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that? Other than that you keep smiling, which you always do?

[FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!]

Hathaway: [deep breath; looking down] Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. Um, I think— It kinda made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and, rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is—she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child, because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net. And I— Yeah, so, um, so let’s get back to Les Mis. [laughs uncomfortably; looks down]

Lauer: [acting all impressed and amused because HE IS A FUCKING DIRTBAG] That is one of the most creative turns of a question I’ve ever heard. And I’m gonna take it at that. That’s fine.Matt Lauer: Anne Hathaway, good morning. Nice to see you.

Anne Hathaway: Morning, Matt.

Lauer: Seen a lot of you lately.

[HAR HAR. HE LITERALLY JUST FUCKING SAID TO HIS GUEST: "I SAW YOUR VAJAYJAY TITTER!"]

Hathaway: [laughs uncomfortably] Sorry about that. [laughs again] I’d be happy to stay home, but, uh, the film. [laughs; casts her eyes down]

Lauer: Let’s just get it out of the way. You had a little wardrobe malfunction [grins; Hathaway "mm"s in acknowledgement] the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that? Other than that you keep smiling, which you always do?

[FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!]

Hathaway: [deep breath; looking down] Well, it was obviously an unfortunate incident. Um, I think— It kinda made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and, rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is—she is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child, because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net. And I— Yeah, so, um, so let’s get back to Les Mis. [laughs uncomfortably; looks down]

Lauer: [acting all impressed and amused because HE IS A FUCKING DIRTBAG] That is one of the most creative turns of a question I’ve ever heard. And I’m gonna take it at that. That’s fine.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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