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Shelley Winters responds in style to an actor's misogynistic comments on 'The Tonight Show'

The 'Night of The Hunter' actor responded to sexist comments most stylishly, and nearly five decades later it still resonates with many.

Shelley Winters responds in style to an actor's misogynistic comments on 'The Tonight Show'
Cover Image Source: Portrait of American actress Shelley Winters (1920 - 2006), seated on a sofa, 1950s or 1960s. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

One of the most interesting parts of show business is the candid drama that often happens between stars. There have been several buzzworthy moments in talk shows that have caused a stir but never failed to impress the audience. One such moment happened on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1975 when American actress Shelley Winters had the most hilarious and sassy response to the misogynistic remarks by British actor, Oliver Reed. Three years ago, the video clip was shared by Johnny Carson on YouTube and nearly five decades after the incident it still resonates with many.

Image Source: Photo of Johnny Carson Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Image Source: Photo of Johnny Carson Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When Winters appeared as a special guest in Carson's show with the "Party's Over" actor, the duo had a lot of things to say about each other. When the host asked Reed as to why most Americans felt intimated by the British, the actor replied, "Most of them, you see, we've made love to," to which the "Lolita" actress snarkily responds, "I would have remembered." However, Reed nonchalantly tells her that she has forgotten. Winters didn't miss her chance to give a witty comeback a while later when the "Curse of the Werewolf" actor speaking about his mustache said, "It proves I'm not terribly virile." The actress instantly quipped, "I remembered."

Image Source: English actor Oliver Reed (1938 - 1999), UK, 3rd August 1977. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Image Source: English actor Oliver Reed (1938 - 1999), UK, 3rd August 1977. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

While the audience lauded the "A Place in the Sun" actress' remarks, Reed seemed too annoyed by her interruptions while he spoke to Carson. He even pointed out while talking about how some Americans behaved themselves and turning to Winters he said, "And some of them are quite loud." At one point, the "Gladiator" actor rudely shushes the actress and asks her to be quiet so that he can talk to Carson. When he asked the audience if he was right to silence Winters, many applauded but one person booed him. He stared at the person and said, "Women's liberation, madam, will never survive! Not while I'm in the kitchen!"

Image Source: Shelley Winters' play One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger. New York: Actress and playwright Shelley Winters seats in the theater during rehearsal of play.
Image Source: Shelley Winters' play One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger. New York: Actress and playwright Shelley Winters sits in the theater during a rehearsal of the play.

The actress even tried to tell a joke which received a cold silent stare from Reed after which she bid goodbye and left the show. The actors jokingly added after Winters left, "She's all right, she can't shout at us now. So much for women's lib. Where's the lady that shouted?" This was the second time he took a dig at the Women's Liberation Movement in the show and he went on with his sexist remarks. "Basically, women are very happy in the kitchen simply because it means that they're feeding their children and looking after their man. I think that when a woman is put out to work and when she comes back and says, 'Oh! I've had a heavy day,' and the husband arrives at the same time, that's a bad deal. Then they're going to fight who's going to cook and who's going to wash up," Reed said.

As he went on with his criticisms against women's liberation, Winters entered the screen space again. However, this time she wasn't taking any more bigotry instead chose to respond to it by dumping her drink over Reed's head. The actor who thought Winters was approaching to greet him stood up but when he realized that she was just settling the score, he just stood there with the drink dripping over his hair. The actress silently made her statement and exited the show in style once again. Though Reeds proceeded to nitpick the feminist movement, this unceremonious incident proved its point. With over 2.3 million views this video still impresses people, particularly Winters's savage response.



 

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