In a post published last night, BuzzFeed writer Susan Cheng (who has also written for Complex before) describes about what it was like to greet One Tree Hill and Mad Men actor Paul Johansson at her office, and details several instances of inappropriate comments and uncomfortable advances made by Johansson towards her and her coworkers.
For the first time since her interview (the first part of which was already published on BuzzFeed), Cheng opens up about her jarring experience interviewing Johansson. There was this exchange between Johansson and her coworker that first made Cheng feel uncomfortable:
“This is what we refer to as flirting where I am from,” he responded blithely. “I’ll find your weak spot.”
“I don’t have any,” she responded.
“My serve is pretty strong,” he said. “I’ll serve the ball right down your throat.”
Cheng also describes other uncomfortable comments that Johansson made throughout their interview and photo shoot, like when he said, "I'm sweating like a rapist," and this conversation that happened on as he left the BuzzFeed office:
As I led Johansson out of the office, without a recording device as the interview had ended, he gestured at the various partitions throughout the space. “Oh yeah, that’s where we have our meetings and stuff,” I explained.
With his hand on my back for the second time, he asked, “Do you ever take people in there and make out with them?”
I felt my skin crawl but forced a smile. “Well, those are glass windows, so no.”
Cheng, who works in the BuzzFeed Los Angeles office, is ultimately writing about her firsthand experience in the scope of sexism in Hollywood. When she wrote to Johansson's publicist with "a request to speak to him about how he acted toward me, and what he was thinking," she received a response from a lawyer that denied any fault on Johansson's part, and at some points, denied that any sexual comments or inappropriate behaviors occurred (Complex has also reached out to Johansson's representatives).
Read Cheng's account in full, including a partial scan of the letter she received from Johansson's office, here.