opinion

'The man who tried to kiss Kim Kardashian's bottom is not a 'prankster', he's the worst type of bully.'

Last week, he wrapped his arms around Gigi Hadid as she left a fashion show in Milan. He trapped her limbs, and lifted her up on the street.

Yesterday, he dodged Kim Kardashian’s security as she walked the streets of Paris to try and kiss her oh-so-famous backside.

This is the same man who crawled under America Ferrera’s dress at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

The same man who, last year at Paris Fashion Week, crept up behind Miranda Kerr and planted a kiss on her cheek like a regular seedy creep.

But we keep calling Vitalii Sediuk a “prankster”.

The “notorious celebrity prankster“. The “practical joker star“.

He’s a 27-year-old entertainment journalist from Ukraine that makes a habit of physically accosting female movie stars.

LOL HAHAHA. SO Funny… You know the type.

He is the “clown” in every schoolyard or workplace or group of friends who gets his laughs, or proves his point, through the discomfort of others.

He’s the “harmless” guy. People excuse his behaviour because “Oh that’s just Joe, you know him”. People laugh, sometimes a little uncertainly, but they still laugh because if they don’t it proves they don’t have a sense of humour. Hey, it’s all in good fun, right?

This is a man who has touched and man-handled women without their consent. He lifted them up. Sneaked up behind them and kissed them on the cheek or buttocks. But we’re still making light of his behaviour.

It doesn’t matter that these women are in the public eye. No woman, in any role or situation, should be touched or lifted up or kissed on the cheek without their consent. Imagine that happening to you at work; kissed without your consent by a male colleague. It’s terrifying. The fact that he is laughing or trying to prove a point or is labelled the class clown does not make this behaviour better.

There is no excuse, because women in these situations have nowhere to go. If they show how they really feel – from angry and uncomfortable to shaken and violated, they will be dubbed “humorless” and “over-reacting”, a woman who needs to “lighten up”.

If you’re a man, like Brad Pitt, you might be able to “crack him twice in the back of the head” and get it over with. That’s what he did to Vitalii when he tried to “bury his face” in Pitt’s crotch in 2014.

If you’re a woman, you’ll cop backlash for the same reaction with headlines that read:

Not model behaviour. Gigi aggressively lashes out and elbows fan in the face after he tries to pick her up

The supermodel angrily hit an unknown man before running to her car

ADVERTISEMENT
YOU GO GIRL. Image via imgflip.

Vidalii says his "pranks" are done to prove a point. He was trying to show Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour that Gigi is not a model worthy of high-end fashion. He was trying to prove Kim K's backside is not "newsworthy".

A joker with an agenda is not smart or funny, he's dangerous.

The best thing about this situation? The reaction of both Hadid and Kardashian.

They have both reacted strongly and swiftly. Hadid hit him in the face with her elbow like a bad-ass before chasing him down the street. Kardashian has made an official complaint to authorities in France.

Their reaction is a win for all of us.

For schoolgirls who are scared to talk to their teacher or headmaster about being bullied, because maybe they just need to "laugh it off" and "take a joke". They're keeping their discomfort inside because calling it out will make it worse.

For women who've been out with friends and been hit on, or laughed at, or even pushed around, because "it's all in good fun" and "this is what a good time looks like".

For any woman who's ever spoken about her discomfort to a friend or colleague and have received the tired, old "don't take it personally, he's just a joker" bullshit response.

No, he's not "just a joker". He's a bully and his pranks aren't funny.

It's time to stop calling him a "prankster". Serial assaulter is more like it.