In a Season 3 episode of “Gilmore Girls,” Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) trade remarks about Luke’s (Scott Patterson) butt as he’s bent over fixing a stove. When he finally turns around, he tells the girls to “stop talking about my butt” and says their conversation is “in bad taste.” Apparently the actor himself shares similar feelings, as Patterson recalled feeling like “some kind of meat stick” while filming the scene.
“Objectifying somebody’s body part? Yeah, that was disturbing,” Patterson said on Wednesday’s episode of his “I Am All in With Scott Patterson” podcast (via Entertainment Weekly). “It is infuriating because you’re being treated like an object. And it’s disturbing, and it’s disgusting, and I had to endure that through that entire scene and many takes… It was the most disturbing time I have ever spent on that set. I couldn’t wait for that day to be over.”
Patterson added that “it’s as disgusting for women to objectify men as it for men to objectify women, and it’s as harmful.”
“Stand there in front of all those people filming and this is how the creator of that show sees that character,” he said. “That you can humiliate him and take away his dignity that entire scene and that’s okay. That’s the one thing I hate about this episode is that scene.”
The “butt scene” appears in the 19th episode of Season 3, titled “Keg! Max,” which first aired in April 2003.
Patterson continued: “Just because it was 2003 didn’t mean it was okay. It’s never okay. And I didn’t feel comfortable doing it and it pissed me off. I never said anything, so I was angry at myself for never saying anything but, you know, I had this job and I didn’t want to make waves and all that.”
While Patterson does not look back on the scene with fondness, he clarified that his co-stars and their performances are not to blame.
“It’s set up where you’re going to almost have to giggle because you love these characters so much. Everybody’s doing their job within the scene and performing it so well, and the timing’s there and you can’t help but laugh, but I’m just pointing out how incredibly small it made me feel doing it,” Patterson said. “And I think it really reduces the character and it really reduces their characters as well to be involved in something like that.”
Patterson added: “I get this big break on this show, right? And you want to rise to the top of your profession if you have any kind of competitive drive. Everybody does. They just want to rise up. They want to be respected. They want to be feted. They want to win awards. They want to be recognized for their work, and I end up doing a [censored] scene where people are talking about my butt? What are Academy members gonna say when they see this scene? ‘Oh, we’ve gotta nominate him. That butt scene was amazing. Best Butt.’ I mean, really, what am I involved in here? It really questioned why I was doing the show at the time.”
Concluding his thoughts, Patterson said, “Somebody had to pay the price for that. And I’m still paying the price for it.”