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A Song of Ice and Fire author and Game of Thrones producer George RR Martin is under fire again. This time, however, it’s not over his slow writing pace. Instead, it’s over something a bit more sinister. Recently, there was a discussion about on-set sexism in Game of Thrones. And during that discourse, some of Martin’s past misogynistic comments came up.
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George RR Martin’s “cold shower” after auditions for Game of Thrones
A few days ago, Twitter user daenerysgfs wrote a thread, detailing a series of problematic, abusive, and sexist treatments that actresses faced on the set of Game of Thrones. One of the comments, however, was by George RR Martin back in 2010. This was during the audition for the role of Shae, when he had to see videotapes of around twelve young women. His comments read:
Auditions continue in Dublin, Belfast, and London for a whole bunch of parts, both major and minor, on HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.
Sometimes it is a very hard job.
I’ve just reviewed the tapes of twelve young women reading for the part of Shae.
Excuse me. I need to go take a cold shower now.
Here’s a screenshot and a link to the comment on Martin’s live journal:
Other incidents on the Game of Thrones set
This was also highlighted in the thread. However, this comment by George RR Martin pales in comparison to some incidents on Game of Thrones, which truly showed how apathetic the showrunners were. This included actress Hannah Waddingham being waterboarded quite literally for 10 hours. It was so torturous for her that she developed claustrophobia around water. Furthermore, remember the baby that the White Walkers turned into a wight in season 6? He was put on actual ice, with his mother consistently worried. And the showrunners kept up with the scene because they didn’t think fake ice would do the same trick. They even prevented the mother from holding her baby because they wanted a close-up of the child’s genitals, according to the thread.
Moreover, Emilia Clarke had to face a lot of abuse on set as well, as she described her nude scenes as “terrifying”. And throughout this ordeal, Jason Momoa was the only person who cared for her truly and brought her robes when the crew left her naked mid-set. And that’s just the stories that we know of. These sexist attitudes also bled into the show, as we saw how sexism ruined the storytelling in Game of Thrones as well. But with these words by George RR Martin, some might ask how much his involvement made Game of Thrones such a hostile place for women and even children?
Related: How Sexism Ruined Game Of Thrones