John Krasinski To Men Who Aren't Sexually Harassing Women: 'Don’t Pat Yourself on the Back'

"Sexual harassment is the byproduct of a system that failed women a long time ago."

This is a picture of Jim Halpert.

Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage

This is a picture of Jim Halpert.

Sexual harassment is horrible, but in order to combat it, we must talk about the topic. The constantly evolving conversation surrounding may have picked up its pace recently in Hollywood circles, but it's one that has always been happening. John Krasinski, best known for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office, spoke up about the #MeToo movement and more in a new Playboy interview, stressing that every man should take action — even the ones that don't see themselves as part of the problem. "If you’re a male CEO and you don’t harass people, don’t pat yourself on the back," he said. "Get other people to be more like you." 

A common retort to conversations about sexual harrassment and assault against women is that not all men are responsible for the actions of "a few," and shouldn't be grouped into a call for change. It's important to realize the ways passive attitudes can contribute to environments for sexual harassment and misconduct to thrive, from actively turning a blind eye to more "subtle" forms like cat-calling and unwanted advances to victim-blaming.

Krasinski thanks his upbringing for shaping his beliefs on equality, and understands that sexual harassment is part of a much larger problem. "This is a much bigger movement than just sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is the byproduct of a system that failed women a long time ago," he said. "The problem is the system is very old, so the dismantling process is going to take a while." The actor also admits that before movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp he hadn't asked his wife, actress Emily Blunt, about her past experiences in entrainment. "We definitely had the conversation once it blew up to the level that it did," he said. "I felt terrible and borderline embarrassed that I hadn’t asked her about it."

While Blunt and being a father of their two daughters helped to open his eyes to the importance of these conversations, he makes it clear those aren't the only reasons he cares. "It’s not as a father of two daughters or the husband of a wife who’s a strong feminist woman in the business. It’s as a human being. I think it’s a human-being level that we should all be talking about."

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