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Sigh. Just when we thought Cuba Gooding Jr. was flawlessly executing one of the most surprising comebacks in recent memory, he goes and does something like this.
Cuba joined his American Horror Story: Roanoake co-stars for a PaleyFest panel over the weekend, and for some reason, he thought it would be a good idea to hoist Sarah Paulson’s skirt as she welcomed Kathy Bates to the stage.
Yeah, we wish there were some context to make that act seem even slightly less insane, but there isn’t.
For reasons that will continue to defy explanation and common sense, Cuba Gooding Jr. decided to sexually harass his co-star in front of an audience of hundreds.
Paulson and Gooding are friends, and those in attendance say she quickly brushed the incident off (after recoiling in horror upon realizing a man was lifting her skirt in front of hundreds of onlookers, of course), but none of that makes this even remotely okay.
Let’s say Gooding and Paulson are number one besties, and they playfully engage in this sort of behavior behind closed doors.
This would still be wildly inappropriate behavior on Gooding’s part.
If he were a greeter at Wal Mart and he behaved this way with one of his co-workers, he would be fired on the spot.
There’s a good chance that Paulson was was appalled and baffled by Gooding’s behavior as the rest of us, but downplayed her disgust simply because she wasn’t sure of what else to do.
We may never know for sure, but even if she was cool with it, what Cuba did on that stage is 700 kinds of not okay.
Sadly, this is just the latest in a recent string of questionable behavior from Gooding.
Last year, Gooding’s wife, Sarah Kapfer, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage.
Rumors that Gooding had driven her to the brink with years of heavy drinking and erratic behavior seemed to be bolstered in the final years of their relationship, particularly when police issued a warrant for Gooding’s arrest after he allegedly assaulted a bartender in New Orleans.
Shortly thereafter, a very intoxicated Gooding unleashed a string of expletives at an award show, an incident that seemed funny at the time, but is a bit troubling when viewed in hindsight.
We don’t pretend to know exactly what’s going on with Gooding, but here’s hoping he gets the help he needs.