Keegan-Michael Key Apologizes For Stealing A Sexual Harassment Joke From A Woman

Photo: Sundholm,Magnus/action press/REX/Shutterstock.
Following the first of many waves of women and men coming forward about facing sexual harassment by powerful figures, comedian Anne Victoria Clark came up with a tongue-in-cheek hack to convince men to treat women with respect: pretend they're Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson!
"This life hack will have you treating women like people in no time," she jokes in the piece posted on Medium, which goes on to explain that all you have to do when a woman approaches you is "just replace her in your mind with The Rock. Then, behave accordingly."
Which is why some people were confused when they heard comedian Keegan-Michael Key say this on The View last week:
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"Gentlemen, if you are in a situation with a female coworker, it's very simple, this is all you have to do: Just pretend, no matter what the environment is, that you're talking to Dwyane 'The Rock' Johnson."
He ended the bit by instructing men to just treat a woman "like she's a human."
After seeing this clip, Clark took to Twitter to ask Key what was up.
She pointed out that The Rock himself had endorsed her Medium article.
Key later responded to her Tweet, giving her full credit for the joke.
However, Clark pressed him further. How exactly did a mistake like this happen?
"That means a lot, I'm a big fan!" she responded to his apology. "Though I'm still confused as to why this happened. I would happily grant permission with credit or even write you new bits. I'm a freelance writer so my livelihood depends on this. I'm sure you can understand that."
Key went on to quote-tweet her question with an explanation:
"Thank you Anne! I had specifically mentioned your article during the pre-interview & and like an idiot I missed it when we went live," he wrote.
"I appreciate this and you taking the time to explain it!" she replied. "Thank you."
However, not everyone was as gracious. Many are coming to Clark's defense saying she should receive payment for the stolen writing, or that Key should make an effort to work with her in the future.
"I hope you will compensate her," one user suggested. "Her bio says writer for hire, perhaps you can extend her an opportunity? She should be fairly compensated for her work, no?"
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"Maybe pretend The Rock wrote that bit and see if you want to pay up for it then..." another joked, referring to the original article. Sounds like Key should take his own (AKA...Clark's) advice.
Refinery29 has reached out to both Key and Clark for comment.
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