As I sit here writing this piece, it is currently November of 2016. It's pretty safe to say matters of women and their consent to physical contact is front and center right now. The more I stand up for the rights of my sex, the more something keeps nagging at me...
Yes. That damn kiss at the Oscars in 2003. I've grown very tired of people discussing that any time the name Adrien Brody comes up. Any time the Oscar win is mentioned on TV or online, boom, there's you kissing Halle Berry. No talk about the skill and dedication as an actor that earned you said award, or anything. No. Just the kiss.
And yet, here I am. Discussing this kiss. I feel, in this current climate, it needs to be brought up again.
Adrien, bro... that really wasn't cool. Like at all. Now, granted, the world of 2003 was a vastly different one. Even that short of a time ago, sexual politics was in a different place. If that kiss happened today, it would not have ended well for you. Don't get me wrong, I'm very glad that it didn't happen that way. I'm just saying it would not fly today.
Actually, it doesn't fly today. People have started talking about it again and use it as a reason to dislike you. I've even had people ask me, "how can he be your favorite actor, after that assault on Halle Berry?" Normally, I would scoff that "assault" is way too harsh a term to use, but if I'm being honest with myself, yeah... that's essentially what it was.
She was forcibly kissed. And not just a little congratulatory peck award presenters typically exchange with winners. This was a kiss. Observe in the video below.
Yep, I sure did. I think I even made a crack that she would probably go home with you. I'm not proud of that. This further proves my point that yes, it was a different time. I don't think we as a society were as careful and sensitive then. Nearly everyone's reaction was, "Isn't that cute and charming?" Or, "Hey, who wouldn't? She's Halle Berry!"
What were we thinking? Because she's a much-desired actress, it's excusable? It's "who wouldn't?" Let me tell you, a lot of people wouldn't in 2016. In fact, I doubt you would do it again in the current political climate.
No, I don't. Do I think you were being intentionally predatory, Adrien? Absolutely not. Do I think it was mostly the overwhelming joy that you'd just won an Oscar for a role you had sacrificed so much for (including putting your physical and mental well-being at risk)? Yes I do. But honestly, I think there was a little more to it than that.
Your comment after the fact -- "I'll bet they didn't tell you that was in the gift bag." -- cements that belief. It gave off a vibe of I'm a big deal in this moment and I'm handsome, of course she wants me to kiss her. Why would she possibly object? That was kind of a douche move. As was carrying breath spray and making a restraining order joke at the Oscars the following year (especially considering one of the nominees for Best Actress was an underage girl).
Again, I laughed at the time.
Either way, a public statement would be a shot in the arm for this country so divided by the concept of consent right now. It would expand your fanbase, as well as helping those of us already in your fanbase defend you more effectively. People admire your talent and want to like you. Mending this fence would help a lot.