Welcome to my new weekly column “Say What?” Wednesday where I look at some of the most outrageous things said by everyone from celebrities to politicians. Some of these comments may be offensive but keep in mind that some of these were uttered when sensibilities and standards were different than today. Then again, some of these comments were nearly as offensive back when they were said. In either event, if you’re easily offended, steer clear.
Once upon a time, there was no social media to quickly disseminate information to the world at large. However, Sean Connery’s comments from a 1965 Playboy interview would not be forgotten, particularly this golden nugget “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman. An openhanded slap is justified — if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a bitch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it.”
Over two decades later, Sean sat down with Barbara Walters for an interview and she pressed him about his earlier remarks. The full 1987 interview can be found here but here is a clip where “Slappy” Sean doubles down on his relationship advice.
Just to make sure there was no misunderstanding about his insights, he told Vanity Fair in 1993 that “Sometimes there are women who take it to the wire. That’s what they are looking for — the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack.”
Sean became Sir Sean in 2000 but his remarks have not been forgotten. Recently, hobbit-like Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi had this to say about his fellow Scotsman:
“Bam. There’s a video of him talking about hitting women, and he says ‘sometimes they deserve a slap’, and you’re like Sean, no.” (for the unenlightened, “bam” stands for “below average mentality”).
However, if a June 25, 2020 story at The Times is any indication, Sir Sean wants to erase his past comments from the record. According to the paper:
The Edinburgh-born movie star has always maintained he was quoted out of context and last week told friends: “My view is I don’t believe that any level of abuse against women is ever justified under any circumstances. Full stop.”
Sources close to Connery said he had been “hurt and annoyed” that alleged comments from 40 years ago were still being dredged up.
Considering how many times he repeated them and stood by them, his sudden change of heart seems more like a half-assed attempt to wipe them from the public record than any type of apology. To say they were taken out of context would be one thing, but to repeat them two times afterwards (and decades later to boot) suggests Sir Sean may actually be a bit BAM.