Russell Crowe isn’t the first name that comes to mind when one hears the word “sensitivity”.
But at Wednesday night’s Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards ceremony, the Nice Guys star decided to speak at length on the subject — and ended up getting censored from the final broadcast!
The Oscar winner was presenting the award for Best Asian Film of the Year when he told an off-color anecdote about “sodomizing” actress Jacqueline McKenzie in the 1992 film Romper Stomper.
Yeah, prob not the best time for that particular story, guy…
Here’s what he said:
“I just want to talk about what binds us together. There’s two things really. One is an abiding passion for our pursuit and the other is sensitivity.
I was sodomizing Jacquie McKenzie on the set of ├óΓé¼╦£Romper Stomper’ and I didn’t actually intend to do that but I was trying to keep my bits away from her bits, and she’d been given one of those pieces of elastic that the girls get when you do the love scenes, which protects them from all things, and my bits and pieces were in a little canvas sack with a drawstring, similar to when you used to buy Gold Rush chewing gum as a child. And it was actually in my desire to keep the bits apart. It wasn’t until the opening night of the film that it was pointed out by none other than Jacquie McKenzie’s beautiful late mother that we were in fact, in her mind, engaged in sodomy. Anyway that was just a story about sensitivity.”
For obvious reasons the moment was cut from the TV broadcast of the ceremony.
But you can hear Crowe deliver the anecdote (below):
In today’s charged climate, with stories of real misconduct and abuse coming out every day, many who heard the story were less than amused.
Crowe’s response to the backlash:
“Actors and actresses by the nature of our job get thrown into some embarrassing, bizarre and extreme circumstances. 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 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 offense to anyone and it wasn’t a comment on other issues.”
As for Miz McKenzie, she released her own statement concurring that the situation of filming such an awkwardly explicit scene bore no resemblance to any real abuses.
Re: @AACTA 2017
Those scenes are always hell to shoot! Here├óΓé¼Γäós my fb post #NoBlurredLines #romperstomper @StanAustralia @russellcrowe pic.twitter.com/QNWhpuLWHO
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ jacqueline mckenzie (@JMcKenzie) December 7, 2017
It sounds like a genuine bond these two share over something they had to deal with together, making for a great inside joke between them.
But it’s like they say, in comedy timing is everything.
Do YOU think Russell Crowe’s choice of AACTAs anecdote was offsides??