Comedian Praised On Social Media After Taking All-Male Panel To Task On Sexual Harassment

Jo Brand wasn't going to let the 'Have I Got News For You' panel pretend like it's not a serious issue.

An English comedian is being applauded on social media for standing up for women in a major way Friday. During an appearance on the BBC One TV show Have I Got News For You, Jo Brand was the only female on the show's five-person panel and later found herself to be the only member of the panel who wasn't going to let an off-the-mark joke about sexual harassment slide by. The comedian's comments were short but still an effective reminder that all instances of unwanted sexual advancement should be taken seriously. 


The moment came during a discussion of recent allegations of sexual harassment in Parliament. After journalist Ian Hislop brushed off the accusations, declaring them not a "high-level crime," Brand quickly took control of the conversation.  

"If I can just say, as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it's not high level, but it doesn't have to be high level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons," she said. "And actually, for women, if you're constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up and that wears you down."

Brand's passionate explanation of how sexual harassment — no matter how overt or serious others perceive it to be — still substantially influence to a woman's experience in the workplace struck a chord with many, some of whom took to social media to share their support.

As women have continued to come forward in recent weeks to disclose their own stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood and other industries, in the U.K, Parliament has turned its own eyes inward. A list of 40 members who have had sexual harassment complaints filed against them in the past five years has been circulating, and the British Defense Secretary resigned Wednesday amidst harassment allegations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has stated sexual harassment in the British government will not be tolerated and encourages others who have been put in inappropriate situations to come forward.  

"Any allegations that may come to light will be taken extremely seriously," May's spokeswoman said last week. "All parties, all employers in any walk of life including politics must take this seriously. No industry or area is immune to that, including politics."


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