As more powerful men continue to be taken down by allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct against women, former INXS rocker Kirk Pengilly appears to be taking a different approach when it comes to his thoughts on the scandals that have been plaguing both Hollywood and other celebrity landscapes around the world.
While attending a Movember charity event in Melbourne , Australia on Nov. 30, Pengilly, who provided vocals and served as a guitarist for the band until 2012, when they announced they would no longer be touring, said that he missed the days when it was deemed much more acceptable to grab a woman’s rear end and slap it as a compliment.
“I really loves the 60s and 70s when life was so simple and you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment, not as sexual harassment,” he said.
Pengilly’s comment came after he was asked about the allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, which started the influx of claims made against powerful men, as well as claims recently made against Australian television gardening personality Don Burke, who, according to The Daily Mail, has been accused of sexually harassing, assaulting and bullying female colleagues over a number of decades.
Pengilly’s comment isn’t the first to seemingly criticize the complaints that have come out and tarnished both the reputations and careers of men like Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and most recently, “Today” cohost Matt Lauer, who was fired by NBC earlier this week for his own alleged misconduct.
In Lauer’s defense, former talk show host Geraldo Rivera took to Twitter to state that it seemed as if women were “criminalizing courtship,” and indicated that the news business was a “flirty” one.
“Sad about @MLauer great guy, highly skilled & empathetic w guests & a real gentleman to my family & me. News is a flirty business & it seems like current epidemic od #SexHarassmentAllegations may be criminalizing courtship & conflating it w predation,” he wrote. “A jerk’s a jerk in dating. #Sex Harassment should be confined to situations where superior imposes himself on subordinate who feels unable to complain because of power of perp or feared consequences to victim’s employment. Shouldn’t be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex’s.”
Rivera later apologized for his tweets.