It's a tale as old as time: Woman says something impactful and is heard by few; man says the same thing and receives the praise of many. While the act may be unintentional, it can still sting, especially since women are still paid less than men, represented less in many major industries, and often feel the need to work at least twice as hard as their male counterparts to succeed.
So, it was quite a welcome surprise when Vulture reported that Keegan-Michael Key admitted on Twitter that a particularly hilarious and poignant comment he made about how to ensure you never sexually harass someone in public had actually been taken from comedian Anne Victoria Clark.
According to Vulture, Key encouraged viewers of the morning talk show to picture themselves interacting with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson before they made any inappropriate comments or gestures. Taking this approach, he suggested, would likely curb the amount of sexual harassment on the streets and in the workplace. If you got a good chuckle thinking about someone picturing you as a beefed-up former-wrestler-turned-movie-star, you're not alone. People loved the comment! Well, all except for Clark, who tweeted a reminder that she was actually the joke's mastermind, which she published on Medium back in October.
Key responded the following day with a plea for forgiveness and confirmed "all credit is rightfully" hers.
Key, who is more well-known than Clark, could have ignored the tweet, but he made the right decision in addressing his error. Part of being an ally is acknowledging when you're wrong, even if it's difficult. An even bigger part is how you take those learned lessons and apply them in the future. Hopefully, Key won't be deterred from praising others' work in the future — after all, who doesn't want to be promoted by someone they admire? — but will instead be more conscious of honouring their efforts and originality.