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"Gilmore Girls" Star Calls Out Show's "Most Disturbing" Scene: "It's Disgusting"

Scott Patterson, who played Luke, did not approve of one Season 3 moment.

During Gilmore Girls' seven-season run, there were countless times when Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and Luke Danes (Scott Patterson) had sassy or sarcastic exchanges—often because they were flirting and usually because Lorelai was giving Luke a hard time. According to Patterson, however, one of these moments went too far to the point that he found it "infuriating" and "disturbing."

Patterson opened up about the scene on his Gilmore Girls podcast, I Am All In with Scott Patterson, which documents him watching all of the episodes for the first time and then discussing them with his co-hosts. It was during his recap of the Season 3 episode "Keg! Max!" that the actor opened up about a scene that upset him at the time—and still bothers him today. Read on to find out why Patterson felt one moment was "disgusting."

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The scene in question focuses on Luke's body.

Scott Patterson on "Gilmore Girls"
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

On the podcast, Patterson and his co-hosts discussed a scene in which Lorelai and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) make comments about Luke's butt.

"That was disturbing," Patterson said. "I realized it wasn't OK, and it didn't make me feel comfortable at all. It made me feel really embarrassed, actually."

He continued, "It's infuriating to be treated that way. It is infuriating, because you're being treated like an object. It's disturbing and it's disgusting. And I had to endure that through that entire scene and many takes. It was all about the butt, the butt, the butt, the butt. When we weren't filming, we were sitting down, people were still talking about the butt, the butt, the butt. It was the most disturbing time I have ever spent on that set, and I couldn't wait for that day to be over."

He added, "It's as disgusting for women to objectify men as it for men to objectify women, and it's as harmful."

There are several mentions of the character's behind.

Lauren Graham on "Gilmore Girls"
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

In the scene, Luke's butt is mentioned when Sookie tells Lorelai that she accidentally touched it while Luke was doing a repair at the inn where they work.

"So, how was it?" Lorelai says. Sookie responds, "His butt? It's got a nice shape to it." Luke then interjects, "Will you two stop talking about my butt?"

As the scene continues, Lorelai jokingly inserts more comments about his butt into their conversation, such as, "We just wanted a guy with a good butt's opinion," and, "It's my way of saying thanks for parading that nice butt around here." At one point, Lorelai says the comments are "all positive" and Luke replies, "And in bad taste."

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Patterson thinks the scene is a poor representation of his character.

Scott Patterson at the Kiehl's LifeRide for Amfar 10th Anniversary Party in 2019
DFree / Shutterstock

"Just put yourself in my place," Patterson continued on the podcast. "Stand there in front of all those people filming and this is how the creator of that show sees that character. That you can humiliate him and take away his dignity that entire scene and that's OK. And it wasn't OK with me and I hated that scene. That's the one thing I hate about this episode is that scene."

At another point in the podcast, he said, "I think it really reduces the character [of Luke] and I think it really reduces their characters [of Lorelai and Sookie] to be involved in something like that."

He was uncomfortable on set.

The cast of "Gilmore Girls" at the 2001 TCA Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Patterson's issue isn't just with the content of the scene, but with the fact that he had to keep experiencing it outside of just shooting the scene. He mentioned also having to learn the lines and rehearse at the table read. "You don't want to be treated like you're some kind of meat stick," he said.

Ultimately, the butt jokes made Patterson doubt his career. "What are Academy members going to say when they see this scene?" he wondered. "'Oh, we got to nominate him. You know that butt scene was amazing. Best butt.' I mean, really. I really questioned why I was doing the show."

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Patterson felt guilty about not speaking up.

Amy Sherman-Palladino and Scott Patterson at the "Gilmore Girls" 100th episode party in 2004
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Patterson said that he didn't speak up at the time about his feelings. "I never said anything, so I was angry at myself for never saying anything," he explained. "But, you know, I had this job and I didn't want to make waves and all that."

The actor said he has spoken to Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino about his podcast in general, because he wondered if he should go lightly when it came to criticism of the show. She told him to share his true opinions.

Of the butt scene, he concluded that eventually, "I got over it," but he added with a laugh, "Apparently, maybe I haven't."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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