Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct and harassment that some readers may find upsetting.
Emily Atack has spoken out about the "disgusting" sexual harassment she receives on a daily basis, saying that it left her "questioning everything" about the way she was making her new sketch show.
The Emily Atack Show features the actress and comedian performing a combination of stand-up comedy and scripted sketches about life as a young woman, including dating and sex.
"I was questioning everything and ringing the producer of my show saying maybe we needed to take certain bits out that were 'too much'," she reflected.
"I was talking to my sister about whether I should start putting a different version of myself out there, stop talking as much about sex and change how I dress. I have big boobs and sometimes my cleavage is on show and so I was questioning all of these things... was I asking for it? I was blaming myself."
But Emily, who came second on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, decided that she wasn't going to change her content or her image as a result of other people's behaviour.
"Then I thought: no. Because it's not difficult not to be a disgusting pervert, is it?" she continued.
"When I go out with a short skirt on does that mean I am asking to be raped? Why can't a stranger control himself to not send me a video of him wanking? If he can't control that then that is on him and he has serious problems."
Emily added that she feels it is important to speak out about this type of harassment because it is "a blind spot, real under-the-radar stuff".
"I had accepted this was my reality," she continued. "I'm a young woman who lives by herself and having men constantly sexually harass you in that way makes you feel so isolated.
"We know that public trolling is out of control, but this is something else. It's a blind spot, real under-the-radar stuff."
Emily added: "There's something about this sort of harassment that feels intangible, like it doesn't exist. But it's very real and very dangerous.
"This is happening every single day. If I was flashed at every time I went outside the house, it would destroy my life, it would be awful. But it has become a thing that it is happening to me every day via messages and it's something I have completely built a tolerance to, which is really sad."
The Emily Atack Show will feature comedy skits and stand-up routines covering a range of topics, including everything from sex and dating disasters to one-night stands, and Emily explained that she wants the programme to encourage more women to talk openly about sex.
"I want to scream from the rooftops that girls can talk about this shit as well! It doesn't make us disgusting or slags – it is part of life," she said.
"Men are allowed to talk about it until they're blue in the face, and they get legendary status the more they do."
Emily also spoke about a moment in the series which she included purely to get a reaction out of her parents, Kate Robbins and Keith Atack, in the hope that it would provide some much-needed laughter.
"There is this one episode where I admit something to my mum and dad, something so mental, and it was purely to get their reaction," she said. "There's stuff your mum and dad really don't need to know, but the audience were screaming.
"I just want to give people watching a sense of escapism. It's coming at a time where we all need to laugh at naughty things – there's no reference to COVID whatsoever because I wanted people to be reminded of life and all the things we usually talk to our mates about.
"We will have that again, eventually."
The Emily Atack Show begins on Wednesday (November 4) at 10pm on ITV2.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland's helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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