ACTOR Russell Crowe told a freaky anecdote about "sodomising" a female co-star at last night's Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
But the Gladiator star's joke received a frosty reception in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal that has rocked the film industry.
In comments that were cut from the ceremony's televised broadcast but reported by The Guardian, Crowe acknowledged the need for "sensitivity" in the industry - but then linked that need to a cringe-inducing story about "sodomising" co-star Jacqueline McKenzie during a sex scene on the set of their 1992 film Romper Stomper.
"I was sodomising Jacqui McKenzie on the set of Romper Stomper, and I didn't actually intend to do that", Crowe said.
"And it was actually my desire to keep the bits apart".
However the co-star in question, Jacqueline McKenzie, leaped to the actor's defence on social media. It wasn't until the opening night of the film that it was pointed out by none other than Jacquie McKenzie's attractive late mother that we were in fact, in her mind, engaged in sodomy. "Anyway that was just a story about sensitivity!" he continued.
Crowe has since apologised for his remarks, saying in a statement: "Actors and actresses by the nature of our job get thrown into some embarrassing, weird and extreme circumstances".
"It's an ironic combination that the sensitivity required for the job has to be coupled with the ability to put aside your embarrassment and fears and cope with the humiliation".
"The way I delivered the story was to elicit that half cringe/half laugh reaction..."
"Obviously I was only intending to make people laugh, especially Jacquie, and she did. I didn't mean any offense to anyone and it wasn't a comment on other issues".
McKenzie said she was in her 20s when the misconduct began, and reported it on two occasions, only to be ignored.
She told The Australian, 'The people involved were protected, the behaviour was ignored or swept under the rug. "Geoffry Write, the wardrobe department and the crew dealt "sensitively" with the both of us as we all navigated a confronting scene in an extraordinary breakout film that won awards all over the world", she wrote.