Theron causes anger with rape comment

MICHAEL KOZIOL
Last updated 09:55 31/05/2014
Smh.com.au

The Hollywood actress chose an inappropriate analogy to explain why she doesn't like googling herself.

charlize
Reuters
ANOTHER FAUX PAS: While Charlize's crass call was a passing comment, Gwyneth Paltrow went into real detail while trivialising the experiences of those at war.

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Charlize Theron doesn't Google herself. Which is just as well, given what's being said about her today.

The Oscar-winning actress caused an online furore after comparing press coverage of her private life to rape. The comment came during a Sky News interview in the UK, where she was promoting her new film A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Theron's interviewer mentioned he had typed her name into Google and was surprised to see so much gossip about her boyfriends, appearance and children. Her reaction was adamant.

"I don't do that. When you start living in that world, and doing that, you start, I guess, feeling raped," she said.

"When it comes to your son and your private life... some people might relish in all of that stuff... but there are certain things in my life that I think of as very sacred and I'm very protective over them."

"That doesn't mean that I always win that war, but as long as I don't have to see that stuff or read that stuff or hear that stuff, then I can live with my head in a clear space."

But online communities seized on Theron's "rape" analogy, accusing her of being insensitive and trivialising sexual assault. Some users commented that while a life in the public eye is a choice, rape is not.

Sexual assault victims are calling on the actress to issue a public apology, it was reported. Katie Russell, a spokesperson for the charity Rape Crisis in the UK, told London's Evening Standard: "We are concerned when anyone uses rape as a metaphor for less serious issues and uses the language around sexual violence casually because it trivialises sexual violence and it fails to acknowledge what is a very serious crime."

But others defended the South African-born actress, arguing she was simply trying to defend her family and that her comment had been taken out of context.

GWYNETH HAS ALSO HAD A GO

Ms Theron's controversy comes only days after fellow Best Actress-winner Gwenyth Paltrow also caused a storm by likening internet "trolls" to wartime combat. 

"You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it's a very dehumanising thing. It's almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanising thing, and then something is defined out of it," Paltrow said at the Code technology conference in California.

That remark was also leapt on by Twitter users and entertainment reporters. Cindy McCain, business owner, mother of soldiers and the wife of American senator John McCain, Cindy McCain responded angrily on Twitter to Paltrow's out-of-touch statement: 

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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