The Green Book Controversy Just Escalated Thanks To A Penis 'Joke'

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Shortly after Green Book's win at the Golden Globes, The Cut discovered a 1998 interview with the film's director, Peter Farrelly, that details inappropriate behaviour on set and with his actors.
The Newsweek profile of Farrelly and his brother Bobby came ahead of the premiere of There's Something About Mary, and begins with an anecdote from star Cameron Diaz about Peter Farrelly exposing himself to her.
"When a director shows you his penis the first time you meet him, you've got to recognise the creative genius," she told Newsweek.
This was apparently somewhat of a running gag with the brothers. Bobby would set up and unsuspecting victim, tricking them into thinking they were looking at Peter's belt buckle or stomach, only for them to be startled by his exposed anatomy. All this intel came from Peter himself, who admitted to the Observer that same year that the duo had pulled this stunt "easily 500 times."
"It’s a joke," Farrelly told the Observer, according to The Cut. "It’s not like I make a habit of just whipping it out and saying, ‘Hey! Look! My cock!’ We do a joke where, it’s like, Bob says, ‘Pete’s been really crazy, he went out and spent $500 on a belt buckle.’ I go, ‘Bob, it’s an investment, it’s not a big deal.’ He says, ‘You’re stupid! $500 on a belt buckle!’ I say it’s not stupid … Finally she says, ‘Let me see it.’ And I lift my shirt and have it…hanging over.’"
It appears Farrelly didn't discriminate when it came to who he targeted with this prank, with Fox executive Tom Rothman telling Newsweek that he was also on the receiving end of the gag.
"It wasn’t a pretty sight," he said. "In fact, I’m still recovering."
While, as The Cut notes, both publications treated these anecdotes as playful and harmless at the time, 20 years later the behaviour is worryingly familiar — both Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K. were accused of exposing themselves to women in professional settings. Behaviour that was previously brushed off has been given the severity it warrants thanks to the increasing power of #MeToo, and now Farrelly is under the microscope.
This comes in the middle of an already difficult week for sexual abuse survivors, as Surviving R. Kelly illustrates the extreme nature of the accusations against the singer, and accused sexual harasser John Lasseter is welcomed to Skydance Animation.
A representative for Farrelly did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.

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