Tuesday, August 19, 2003

In Slate (scroll down to the Sunday entry), Mickey Kaus wonders aloud whether Schwarzenegger is a bully:

Schwarzenegger's reputation, meanwhile--which I've heard from one reliable source, one eyewitness ultra-reliable source, and one unreliable Premiere article-- is this: He bullies people "below the line." That is, he bullies the technicians, costumers, etc. who aren't billboardable talents. Is it to get his way? No--he's the star and he's going to get his way anyway. It's from an ugly sense of pleasure in others' discomfort. ...

Kevin Drum at CalPundit also wonders about this (here and here) and Robert Garcia Tagorda at Boomshock adds his own speculations (here) -- but I find it interesting that when talking about bullying, Kaus, Drum, and Tagorda never bring up allegations that Schwarzenegger gropes women who don't want to be groped.

I've previously linked Salon's summary of a 1991 Premiere story that says Arnold groped a female crew member on a movie set, as well as a British tabloid story that discusses several Schwarzenegger groping incidents (at least one of which occurred on British television). In yesterday's edition of London's Evening Standard Wendy Leigh repeated some of the same charges:

Most notably, Arnold has developed an apparent penchant for groping nubile young women. This has even extended to fondling the breasts of his Terminator co-star Linda Hamilton — in front of Hamilton’s then-boyfriend, Terminator producer James Cameron.

And when Arnold came to London in 2000, his behaviour led insiders to label him ‘the octopus’.

When TV presenter Anna Richardson interviewed Arnold for Big Screen at the Dorchester Hotel, he asked her pointblank if her breasts were real. He then pulled her onto his knee, circled her nipple with his finger, squeezed it and announced: ‘Yeah, they are real.’

And when Denise Van Outen interviewed him for The Big Breakfast, he slapped her bottom then brushed his arm against her breast. Afterwards, he smirked: ‘It was a handful. I never know if my wife’s watching. I’ll tell her it was a stuntman.’

If these stories are true, Schwarzenegger's using power -- star power and the power that comes from fear of physical force -- to get away with mini-sexual assaults. Doesn't this qualify as bullying?

(Thanks to BuzzFlash for the Evening Standard link.)

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