Graham Norton made Cara Delevingne incredibly uncomfortable when he tried to induce her into telling a sex story she plainly didn't want to tell. The incident occurred during a super-sized version of his regular chat show on Friday night in support of Comic Relief's Red Nose Day.
The segment started innocently enough, with Norton asking Delevingne to retell an anecdote about having sex on a plane. Things got wildly uncomfortable very quickly.
"So you were having sex on a plane and someone was watching you," Norton said.
"I don't even know how to begin to tell this story," Delevingne said, noting that her father was in the audience.
Two women also on the panel attempted to rush to Delevingne's aid, which sort of worked. Things ultimately got back on track when Norton asked her to balance a water bottle on her head.
Look, this is a tough one. Norton is trying to do his job, which is to get his guests to tell funny or strange stories about themselves in an effort to connect with his viewers. Delevingne has one such story and told it to him backstage. He either didn't know that she didn't want to tell it onstage, or did know and thought he could get her to tell it through her opening spasm of embarrassment. Talk show hosts do this or similar things all the time.
But! Any man pressuring a plainly uncomfortable young woman to tell a sexual story in front of an audience that includes her father isn't a great look. In a regular workplace, this would be called sexual harassment and would result (maybe) in a lawsuit. In the celebrity workplace, it's a case of a normal situation going to a deeply uncomfortable place. Asking her to relate a story that she doesn't want to tell is yet another way (among many) that men attempt to exert ownership over the sexual identities of young women. If he can make her tell the story, it's like he owns a part of the story, and therefore a part of her sexuality. It's a deeply creepy and weird moment, and also one that happens literally all the time.
We hope that this was a misunderstanding of the situation, and a false assumption by Norton that Delevingne was playing up her embarrassment before getting through the story. That's both the most charitable and most likely explanation for what was happening. So we hope that there was a quick apology backstage and everyone went to attend whatever party they were attending.