Emma Thompson Says Not Committing Sexual Misconduct Is “Not Rocket Science”

She doesn't understand why men don't get it.


For as much positive change as the #MeToo movement has brought about, it’s exposed some men who have used it as an opportunity to complain about the shifting societal expectations for how people should treat each other. For Emma Thompson, though, the people resisting this movement towards greater equality between men and women, by questioning what acceptable behavior should be, are just morons.

The Love Actually actress and Oscar winner—who happens to be the first woman, and person, to earn statues for both writing and acting, with 1995’s Sense and Sensibility—recently sounded off about people who don’t know how to move forward in a post-#MeToo world. “Get a grip, guys, it’s not rocket science,” she told the Los Angeles Times, adding, “just behave with respect and courtesy. Now shut up and get on with it. And please don’t make this your…problem. I’m so fed up with that I just want to smack them.” Bless her.

The activist also shared her opinions on the gender pay gap, which she thinks should be much easier to fix than some people think. “I’ve had people say, ‘Well, it’s more complicated than that,’ ” she said. “No, it’s not. It’s work that has to be done, and you pay someone to do it and you don’t pay them less because she’s a woman.”

For her, it largely comes down to the difference in confidence between men and women. “Men will say they can do things they can’t, and the women will say they can’t do things that they can do,” she said. “They will be offered a job that they are absolutely perfect for and they’ll say, ‘Oh, I can’t do that’ and some bloke who can’t do it will stand up and say, ‘I’ll do it, it’ll be great.’ ”

Thompson went more into depth about predators, saying, “Bullies and predators are very clever about when they try to intimidate and abuse. They don’t do it when there’s someone right next to them who’s going to say, ‘What…do you think you’re doing?’ ”

At this point in her life, Thompson is no longer afraid of any consequences from speaking out. “I guess I just don’t care,” she said. “I’ve been trashed in the press, my career was absolutely changed by the response of those misogynistic critics. But I just don’t care. It’s not to say that it wasn’t painful, but I knew I couldn’t work properly in a false environment because nothing would be any good at all. It’s exhausting.”