Right-wing Canadian intellectual Jordan Peterson had an emotional response to Olivia Wilde naming him as the inspiration for Chris Pine's villainous character in her new feminist thriller Don't Worry Darling.
During a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Peterson became choked up after being asked if he is indeed a "hero to the incel community," as Wilde described him. "Sure. Why not?" Peterson replied. ("Incel," short for "involuntary celibate," usually refers to isolated young men who resent their inability to find romantic or sexual partners.)
"People have been after me for a long time because I've been speaking to disaffected young men," Peterson said. "What a terrible thing to do that is." He then began visibly crying. "I thought the marginalized were supposed to have a voice."
Chris Williamson/Getty Images; Warner Bros. Pictures Jordan Peterson; Chris Pine in 'Don't Worry Darling'
Peterson continued, "It's very difficult to understand how demoralized people are, and certainly many young men are in that category. You get these casual insults, these 'incels' — what do they mean? These men, they don't know how to make themselves attractive to women who are very picky, and good for them. Women, be picky. That's your gift, man. Demand high standards from your men. Fair enough. But all these men who are alienated, it's like they're lonesome and they don't know what to do and everyone piles abuse on them."
Wilde's film, which opened last week, stars Florence Pugh as a seemingly happy '50s housewife who slowly realizes that something is very wrong with her suburban idyll, including her marriage to workaholic Jack (Harry Styles) and the looming presence of Jack's boss, Frank (played by Pine). In a recent conversation for Interview magazine, Wilde called Peterson a "pseudo-intellectual" and "this insane man," and said he was the model for Frank.
Peterson went on to tell Morgan that Wilde's comments were a "low-level" critique compared to others he's faced. He referenced the issue of Captain America last year, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, that compared him to Marvel's "mystical super-Nazi" known as the Red Skull.
"When Olivia Wilde made her comments, the first thing I did was check out the trailer for her movie, which I quite liked! I thought, 'I'd go see that movie,' and perhaps I will," Peterson said. "It didn't really bother me… If I had to be played by someone, [Pine] is a very good-looking man, so that's all right. I hope he gets my fashion style choice right when he plays me."
You can watch Peterson's full interview above. The Don't Worry Darling conversation starts around 40 minutes in.
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