In a new interview with The Guardian, the Game of Thrones star addressed the comments he made last year about how the entertainment industry could be sexist toward men as well as women, which sparked some controversy.
“I was wrong there, though,” he said. “Sexism against men is not something I should have really said. I think what I meant was, being objectified. At that time, I did feel objectified, and now I’ve learned how to control that [by] just shutting it down.”
“Look, I do think men can get objectified,” he continued. “I do feel I have been objectified in the past, sexually as well, in pieces that have been written about me. Has that made me feel uncomfortable in the past? Yes. Do I think my position is the same as a woman’s in society? No. They’re very different things, and I should have separated them. I was wrong.”
Harington’s original comments were made during an interview with The Sunday Times last May, in which he told the newspaper he likes to think of himself “as more than a head of hair or a set of looks.”
“It’s demeaning,” he said. “Yes, in some ways you could argue I’ve been employed for a look I have. But there’s a sexism that happens towards men. There’s definitely a sexism in our industry that happens towards women, and there is towards men as well … At some points during photoshoots when I’m asked to strip down, I felt that.”
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In the more recent interview, Harington, 30, also addressed the hyper-fame that came with starring in HBO’s wildly popular Thrones, acknowledging that it was “bizarre and weird,” though he never wants to appear ungrateful for what he calls his “privilege.”
“It makes me snappy and it makes me uncomfortable, and I turn into a grumpy person,” he said, explaining that he sets certain days when he won’t take pictures with fans.
“You just have to, otherwise you start feeling like a mannequin,” he added.
The actor also never takes fan photos with his fiancée and former Thrones costar Rose Leslie, “because then it makes our relationship feel like … puppets. Like we’re a walking show.”
“Like, being in Spain [shooting Thrones] and there being a crowd of 500, maybe 600 fans camped outside the hotel every day, and you have to get through them,” he continued. “It feels like being [Justin] Bieber or something.”
For reasons both personal and professional, Harington thinks the show is ending at the right time.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to go on for another year, but if it had finished last year, it wouldn’t have felt long enough,” he said. “Maybe the most special year was the first. We weren’t being recognized in the street, we didn’t know what we were doing, we were having a great time. … I’m glad I’ve experienced it, but that’s what I mean about it being eight years, then it’s done. You couldn’t go on for much longer. It’s a bit incessant.”