Comedian Jack Whitehall is known for his outrageous sense of humour, but has he gone one step too far at this year’s BRITs?
Serving as the music awards host, Whitehall branded Little Mix’s live act as ‘raunchy’ and joked that dads watching at home nationwide would be grasping for their sofa’s cushions following the girl group’s performance:
“Dads up and down the country awkwardly fumbling for a scatter cushion right now,” he said.
Receiving a lukewarm chuckle from the audience at the O2, many users took to Twitter to accuse the comedian of crossing the line with the gag.
Many wrote that the joke was sexist, while others said he was demonstrating double standards, as he encouraged and talked to male performers about sex, including Shawn Mendes.
little mix’s performance at #brits was amazing but the fact that the first thing that was said about their performance was “raunchy” is so completely irrelevant. why do people (moreso men) feel the need to only focus on how “hot” performances are and not the talent? @BRITs
— jennifer (@xjennababexx) February 20, 2019
so jack whitehall calls little mix “raunchy” but tells shawn mendes there’s nothing wrong to “rock out with your jock out” hmmm can we get a female host next year @BRITs #brits pic.twitter.com/h6E6T4V0kB
— brad (@typicalbrad) February 20, 2019
that joke Jack Whitehall made about dads across the country hiding their hard on’s from watching Little Mix’s set just after Matty from the 1975 had addressed misogyny in the music industry is literally disgusting.
— Ryan 🅴 (@RyanHarrry) February 20, 2019
An incredible powerhouse performance by @LittleMix and all Jack Whitehall can come up with is ‘raunchy’. ‘Dads will Be searching for a scatter cushion’. The sexism is just ridiculous.
— Anthony (@ant_917) February 20, 2019
Disgusting how the host called them “raunchy” after their incredible performance. It’s 2019 guys. Let’s stop with the misogyny.
— Beth Drader (@BethDrader) February 20, 2019
Little Mix, who won X Factor back in 2011 and have gone on to sell 45 million records worldwide, were overwhelmingly praised for their BRITs performance of their hit song ‘Woman Like Me’ with rapper Ms Banks.
— nina loves little mix (@jadesbiscuiit) February 20, 2019
— 풍경 || marilva (@jinswasabi) February 20, 2019
In fact, several viewers were so impressed with their routine that they claimed the BRITs didn’t deserve their presence or indeed performance.
little mix really give their best performances at the brits .. an for what? the brits DONT deserve little mix pic.twitter.com/BsZMfUdtut
— shelbs is proud of little mix (@perriesgem) February 20, 2019
The Brits do not deserve Little mix pic.twitter.com/l5nsVhSJso
— 🌹 (@LittleMixAfrica) February 20, 2019
Rather ironically, Whitehall’s ‘sexist’ joke came after The 1975 singer Matthew ‘Matty’ Healy, read out a passage against misogyny while accepting the group’s win for Best Group.
Healy said: “I just want you to listen to me for one sec… just a couple of sentences.
“A friend of ours, Laura Snapes, said, this and I just thought that we should think about it.
“She said, ‘In music, male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits for difficult artists, whilst women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art’.”
Some of his fans interpreted his words as his way of recognising that Little Mix, who have outsold the rock group by millions of records, deserved to win the award.
the 1975 really won and used their moment to talk about misogyny within the music industry. i am really proud of them and even though i love little mix i will say they deserve this one #BRITAwards
— anna | vote for liam (@dialednine) February 20, 2019
While others linked the quote to the irony of Whitehall’s follow-up ‘cushions’ joke.
#thebritawards @ThebritawardsUk @the1975 1975 making a political statement about the fair treatment of women in music.@jackwhitehall saying dads up and down the country need cushions after watching @LittleMix #misogyny
— Certainly Uncertain (@char_hanson) February 20, 2019
The girl band, who have been notoriously snubbed in past BRITs ceremonies, lost out on Best British Group to The 1975, but they went on to take home the Best British Video of the Year.
Whitehall had also joked about the group earlier that evening, taking a brutal swipe at Simon Cowell in the process.
Little Mix split from their long-term manager and mentor Simon Cowell back in November of last year, with Little Mix claiming they wanted more artistic freedom over their work.
And Whitehall couldn’t help but make reference to the fallout as well as Cowell’s alleged recent cosmetic surgery at this year’s BRITs. The stand-up comedian joked:
“Yes… Simon Cowell will be asking his surgeon to put brave face on him if they win big tonight.”
Their performance of course came after Hugh Jackman’s show-stopping tribute to his hit movie The Greatest Showman. The 50-year-old actor and performer opened the show with a medley of the 2017’s film’s hits.