Giles Coren is a well-known English writer and critic who has patched together a pretty impressive career portfolio. This week, he's also the source of a sexist joke that many are finding less than hilarious. Coren profiled Léa Seydoux, who stars in the upcoming Bond film, Spectre, for Vogue U.K. The piece isn't out yet, but he tweeted an image of the mag's cover, featuring the actress, along with his own cutesy caption that read: "In the new Vogue I suck up to Bond girl Léa Seydoux by saying Bond is sexist, while quietly hoping she might shag me." Yahoo Style UK hopped on his tweet pretty quickly, calling his quip sexist — and while they were the first, they certainly weren't the only ones to pile on.
Coren, who is married, tweeted back to the outlet, asking how a "passive hope that a film star and fashion model would take the initiative" could be considered "demeaning or reductive." He later pointed out that wanting to sleep with someone you find attractive is basically a tenet of the human condition.
Hmm. Fair-ish point. And yet, some thoughts better kept to oneself — or, perhaps, just away from the internet. But, here's the real problem. Clearly, Coren knows his witticism was more than a little uncouth; he deleted it, after all. But, after spending what we're certain was a substantial amount of time speaking to a talented professional about her life and career, the first piece of information he shared from their encounter — above anything else — was that the whole time, he was hoping that she might be considering him as a sex partner. How did he expect Seydoux might feel about that? From our perspective, it seems not only disrespectful but dismissive. Since the backlash, Coren has issued a new summation of his feature on the cover girl. "Oh alright then," he tweeted. "In this month's Vogue I discuss the sexism of Bond with a Bond girl over herbal tea in a hotel bar." Boring, yes — but better.