Hollywood has long objectified women, and fans of “Gilmore Girls” will recall how one episode turned the tables by objectifying Luke, played by Scott Patterson, in a now-infamous scene in which his butt is ogled by Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy).
Airing in the series’ third season, the episode “Keg! Max” features the pair watching Luke fixing a stove, with Sookie declaring his rear end has “a nice shape to it.” Irked, Luke asks them to “stop talking about my butt,” instructing them their comments are “in bad taste.”
Patterson addressed the scene in the latest episode of his “I Am All In with Scott Patterson” podcast, reported Entertainment Weekly, admitting he felt the same way about it as Luke did.
“Oh, you mean, objectifying somebody’s body part? Yeah, that was disturbing,” he said. “It is infuriating because you’re being treated like an object. And it’s disturbing and it’s disgusting and I had to endure that through that entire scene and many takes… it was the most disturbing time I have ever spent on that set. I couldn’t wait for that day to be over.”
Admitting he felt like “some kind of meat stick,” he asked listeners to imagine themselves in his position.
“Stand there in front of all those people filming and this is how the creator of that show sees that character. That you can humiliate him and take away his dignity that entire scene and that’s okay,” he explained. “That’s the one thing I hate about this episode is that scene.”
Recalling he felt “shame” while shooting the scene, he added, “It’s as disgusting for women to objectify men as it for men to objectify women and it’s as harmful. Just because it was 2003 didn’t mean it was okay. It’s never okay. And I didn’t feel comfortable doing it and it pissed me off. I never said anything so I was angry at myself for never saying anything but, you know, I had this job and I didn’t want to make waves and all that.”
While he can now see why viewers would find the scene amusing, all he can remember is “how incredibly small it made me feel doing it. And I think it really reduces the character and it really reduces their characters as well to be involved in something like that.”
Patterson also explained by he felt the scene felt dismissive of his acting abilities. “I get this big break on this show, right? And you want to rise to the top of your profession if you have any kind of competitive drive,” Patterson explained. “Everybody does. They just want to rise up. They want to be respected. They want to be feted. They want to win awards. They want to be recognized for their work and I end up doing a [censored] scene where people are talking about my butt? What are Academy members gonna say when they see this scene? ‘Oh, we’ve gotta nominate him. That butt scene was amazing. Best Butt.’ I mean, really, what am I involved in here? It really questioned why I was doing the show at the time.”
All these years later, he added, “Somebody had to pay the price for that. And I’m still paying the price for it.”