INXS guitarist criticised for saying he misses when “you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment”

Kirk Pengilly said life was "so simple" in the '60s and '70s

Former INXS guitarist Kirk Pengilly has been criticised following comments he made in the wake of sexual harassment claims in the entertainment world, saying that he misses a time when “you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment”.

Pengilly – a founding member of the Australian band – played rhythm guitar, saxophone and provided backing vocals for INXS from 1977 to 2012, when the group parted ways.

He was recently asked about the wide-ranging sexual misconduct allegations making headlines in recent months and said: “I really loved the ’60s and ’70s when life was so simple and you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment, not as sexual harassment”.

Attending a Movember charity event in Melbourne when he made the comments on Thursday (November 30), Pengilly also said that men were starting to feel like they couldn’t compliment a women without it being seen as sexual harassment.

Pengilly’s comments have been roundly criticised online, with one Twitter user writing: “Sorry my asking to be treated like a human being and not a piece of meat has infringed on your right to slap my ass”.

Another wrote: “So either kirk pengilly lies about his age or he was 12 in 1970, which is absolutely the creepiest thing about his [comments]”.

Pengilly has not yet responded to the criticism.