Tracee Ellis Ross used her platform to reach an even bigger audience.
The black-ish star guest-hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday, using her opening monologue as a teachable moment for people who don’t know what sexual abuse and sexual harassment entail.
“There is something I wanted to talk about tonight, and that’s the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. First of all, let’s start with the fact that it isn’t a sex scandal. It isn’t a Hollywood scandal. It isn’t even a scandal. It is a systemic problem about the abuse of power that takes place across all industries and has enabled a culture of inequity to persist for far too long,” she said. “Over the past few months, countless brave women have come forward to share their experiences. While I’m not totally surprised by these stories, it seems like quite a few men are.”
“Treating another human being with respect isn’t complicated, but it seems a bit confusing for a lot of men out there. So, I wrote a book,” she added. “It’s kind of like a children’s book, for men, that is going to make this really simple and just bring it back to the basics. So…Listen up, fellas!”
Ellis Ross then read aloud from her book, all while illustrations appeared onscreen behind her. “There is a guy with 10 long fingers, creepy glares and hugs that linger. If you’re a woman, you’re not a fan. I speak, of course, of The Handsy Man,” the Golden Globe winner read to the audience. “Handsy Man, based on the news, you seem to be a bit confused. Listen, and I’ll explain to you all the things you may not do. You may not compliment my butt. You may not call me ‘ho’ or ‘slut.’ And even if you’re stoned or drunk, do not expose me to your junk. And if I am your employee, don’t rest your hand upon my knee. No, I won’t sit on your lap. I shouldn’t have to say this crap. You cannot smell my hair, you creep, or grab my boobs while I’m asleep. I do not want a back massage. Did you follow me into the parking garage? I do not like you, Handsy Man. You’re not allowed to touch my can. Not on a plane. Not on a train. Not on your boat. Not in a moat. Not in a tree. Not by the sea. Not in your mansion. Help me, Chris Hansen.”
“So, Handsy Man, if you’re still confused whether your behavior will be excused, I’ll say it clearly, nice and slow,” Ellis Ross said in conclusion. “If she doesn’t consent—the answer is NO.”
The audience cheered after the actress finished reading from her book. “Everyone got it? Good,” Ellis Ross told the audience, joking, “Just so you know, that’s Part 1 of a 67-part series.”
Later in the episode, Ellis Ross interviewed Mary J. Blige and Amanda de Cadenet.