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.