Monday 19 February 2018

Jay Leno criticised over 'sexist' Christine O'Donnell joke

Jon Swaine

Jay Leno, the television talk show host, and Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, have been criticised for making a sexual joke about Christine O'Donnell, the Republican Senate candidate.

Leno asked MacFarlane on his Tonight Show programme whether he would like to have "sexual relations" with Ms O'Donnell, the Tea party-backed candidate in Delaware.

MacFarlane replied: "I think the second she opened her mouth, it would probably ruin everything," to which Leno said: "Or make it really good."

They were accused of sexism by Name It. Change It, an anti-misogyny group, which claims that their comments are representative of a wider problem of media coverage of women politicians.

"This type of sexist commentary is extremely damaging to women running for public office and should not - under any circumstances - go unrecognised by the general public," the group said in a statement.

"Sexist media coverage has a proven negative impact on voters' likelihood to vote for women candidates, and it further perpetuates the inequitable political environment experienced by all women."

The group has called on Leno apologise and sign its Equality Pledge.

The pledge says supporters will work to "create an overall media culture in which sexism and misogyny have no place."

A spokesman for Leno did not return a request for comment.

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