Joseph Gordon-Levitt says ‘a lot of pop culture is pornographic – we put labels on people and objectify them’

Actor, who rose to fame as a child star in films such as ‘A River Runs Through It’ and ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’, says modern culture often only examines people on a surface level

Roisin O'Connor
Sunday 14 June 2020 09:15
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 7500 trailer

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has suggested that the way much of pop culture only portrays the surface level of its subject is “pornographic”.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the actor discussed a number of topics including his latest projects and his views on US president Donald Trump.

Referring to a comment he made when he was 14 and on the press tour for 3rd Rock from the Sun, seemingly about the vapidness of everything outside of the film itself, he commented: “A lot of pop culture is pornographic.”

“We don’t see people as people,” he continued. “We see them as things, and when we watch pornography we don’t see the people in the video as people either. We don’t think about who they are or what their lives are like. We just see them as a thing.

“We do that to each other in general. We put labels on people and objectify them, rather than trying to understand them as a whole person.”

Gordon-Levitt also said he was “guarded about not putting myself out there for that sort of consumption of objectification”.

Earlier on in the interview, he had spoken about his understanding that the public can react negatively when entertainers comment on political or social issues.

Referring to Trump's background as an entertainer from The Apprentice, he pointed out that the US president “is not good at any of the things a president is supposed to be good at”.

Gordon-Levitt’s latest project, 7500, is available to stream from Friday 19 June on Amazon Prime Video

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