No pun intended.
I didn’t watch the debate, in keeping with my policy since 9-11 of not watching TV, so I don’t know about any body language or other signal that might mitigate his shocking statement, but these could be the 20 words that bring down the Terminator.
Did Arnold Schwarzenegger really say this to Arianna Huffington?
“I would just like to say that I just realized I have a perfect part for you in ‘Terminator 4.”‘
Especially given the context–Huffington raised the issue of “the way you treat women”–how could he be referring to anything else but his much-publicized pleasure in shoving an actress’s face into a toilet?
“But nothing in T3 bears Schwarzenegger’s creative stamp more than his epic tussle with the Terminatrix, a battle that begins in a bathroom. The sequence was made longer and more elaborate thanks to the actor’s largess — and his singular imagination.
“‘As we were rehearsing, I saw this toilet bowl,’ says Schwarzenegger, an impish smile crossing his face. ‘How many times do you get away with this – to take a woman, grab her upside down, and bury her face in a toilet bowl? I wanted to have something floating in there,’ he adds. Apparently, he was vetoed. ‘They thought it was my typical Schwarzenegger overboard,’ he says. ‘The thing is, you can do it, because in the end, I didn’t do it to a woman – she’s a machine! We could get away with it without being crucified by who-knows-what group.’”
And now he says to Arianna Huffington, “I would just like to say that I just realized I have a perfect part for you in ‘Terminator 4″‘?
I’m on record as not being too terribly concerned about Arnold’s past orgies with men and/or women. As a former candidate for governor, I wouldn’t want people to hold my past sexual excesses against me, either. Some stuff I don’t even remember, but I’m pretty sure someone took pictures, so there’s a glass-house thing going on here.
And in fairness, I’m sure lots of people at one point or another have wanted to shove Arianna Huffington’s face into a toilet. And I’m not saying these private fantasies are, per se, wrong, in one’s own head. There are no thought crimes. Whatever floats your boat, as long as it stays in your boat.
But this guy wants to be the governor of California. And he said this during a public debate.
Even if you find Arnold Schwarzenegger’s casual misogyny amusing (I personally find it frightening), isn’t there a fatal judgment problem here for a would-be governor?
CNN suggests Arnold made this statement in a time specifically allotted for rebuttal:
Allowed to rebut what Statham ruled was a personal attack, Schwarzenegger said, “I would just like to say that I just realized that I have a perfect part for you in ‘Terminator 4.’” He also suggested that she might need “more decaf.”
I’m dying to know the inside story here. Was it:
a) A planned line approved by his boy’s club of advisors?
b) A planned line that he composed but didn’t run by his advisors?
c) Something Schwarzenegger thought of in the moment?
I’m guessing b). It’s hard to imagine that even an all-male team of advisors would fail to realize how awful that laugh line would be in the aftermath. And given that Arnold did obviously prepare zingers to use against Huffington, it’s just unlikely that he thought of the line in a few seconds in the debate rather than in the hours of prep.
This needs to get Trent Lotted. Arnold’s degrading zinger is just like Trent Lott’s pro-segregation comment. It’s the kind of statement that makes you shake your head when it happens, and then move on…
Except…when you think about it…did he really effing say that?
The more I reflect on it, the more it seems insane. Could a candidate for governor who is desperately trying to turn around his deservedly poor image with California women have said anything more stupid?
Does he have a compulsion to say things like this?
I’m not a political pundit, but I play one on the Web from time to time. And this faux-pundit predicts that Arnie is cooked. As a result of those 20 words, he’s gonna get Code Pinked back to Hollywood.
And, in T4, when he shoves a red-haired Greek actress’s face into a toilet, I bet he will have “something floating in there.”
[Also posted to Brian Flemming's Weblog]
[Entry corrected 9-25-03. Entertainment Weekly quote mistakenly attributed to Esquire magazine.]