John Krasinski, the actor best-known for his role as The Office’s resident “good guy,” Jim Halpert, has some thoughts about what men need to be doing to help fight sexual harassment.
He recently spoke about the #MeToo movement to Playboy, stressing how important it is for all men — even those who don’t think they’re part of the problem — to take action.
“If you’re a male CEO and you don’t harass people, don’t pat yourself on the back,” Krasinski told Playboy. “Get other people to be more like you.”
The actor went on to explain that he owes his present day beliefs on equality to his parents, who raised him “in a very old ideal of America.” Krasinski shared he was taught to always help out his neighbors, which is why he does so now without question.
“You just help if you can. I held doors for women. I called my father-in-law before I married Emily. It wasn’t a decision for me. It was a foregone conclusion,” he said. “I think more people need to have the foregone-conclusion version of treating women equally. Women are treated equally rather than women should be treated equally.”
“This is a much bigger movement than just sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is the by-product of a system that failed women a long time ago.”
Krasinski opened up on talking to his wife Emily Blunt about sexual harassment, noting that he “felt terrible and borderline embarrassed” that he hadn’t asked her about her personal experiences in the entertainment industry before movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp gained so much attention.
“This is a much bigger movement than just sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is the by-product of a system that failed women a long time ago,” Krasinski said, explaining how becoming a father of two girls has further opened his eyes to women’s battle for equality.
“The sexual-harassment stuff is the disgusting by-product that is shaking people up and making people awake, but I hope we don’t stop there,” he said. “I think it’s a conversation about power more than anything else. To me, that’s what’s so palpably powerful. It’s not as a father of two daughters or the husband of a wife who’s a strong feminist woman in the business. It’s as a human being. I think it’s a human-being level that we should all be talking about.”
“I hope this is just the pulling back of the curtain, and once we see the wizard, we get to dismantle him and rebuild it and live in the kingdom we want to live in. The problem is the system is very old, so the dismantling process is going to take a while.”