How an Early ‘Casting Couch’ Incident Affected Goldie Hawn’s Career

Academy Award-winning actress Goldie Hawn has had a prolific career in Hollywood, but even she was not immune from a so-called ‘casting couch’ incident. Hawn was just 19 years old when she was sexually harassed by cartoonist Al Capp, and, during a wide-ranging interview with Megyn, the Overboard star recounted how that experience shaped her life and career.

The Al Capp Casting Couch Incident

“We have to talk about that jerk Al Capp,” Megyn said. “This is the ‘Al Capp is an asshole’ portion of our interview.” As Hawn detailed, she was in New York City reading for a potential project when Capp came on to her. “I didn’t know he had a wooden leg, but he did — well, he walked like he had a wooden leg,” she recalled. “He had this insidious grin; it was really ugly.” He told Hawn he would be back in a minute and returned in a robe. “So, now I am freaking out because I am recognizing that something is going on,” she shared. 

At that point, Hawn said she thought: “I better let him know I’m a good girl. I better let him know that whatever he’s thinking, it’s not going to happen.” That led her to tell him that she was religious and her parents wanted her to marry a Jewish dentist in hopes that it would dissuade him. “I wanted him to know that I had scruples,” she said.

During the script reading, Capp directed Hawn to “look stupid” and “look like an imbecile” before asking her to raise the hem of her skirt for a better look at her legs. She initially obliged by lifting her skirt just above the knee, but she refused after he demanded for her to raise it “higher” the second time. Shortly after, Capp ordered Hawn to kiss him. 

“I was shocked, but I expected something like that,” she lamented. “And so I went over to the couch because I wanted him to know that I wasn’t going to run out of the room, I was going to stay calm… and he pulled over his – whatever that robe was – and his whole apparatus, his whole wiener, was literally lying there.” At that point, Hawn said something like, “Oh, Mr. Capp, I’ll never get a job like this,” to which he replied that her career was destined for failure. “He said, ‘Well I’ve had them all, and nothing will become of you,'” she recalled. “And I said, ‘That’s okay, I’m a dancer anyway, but I’ll never get a job like this.'” She proceeded to walk out.

Betting on Yourself

While this story is sadly all too common for women in Hollywood, Megyn noted that it reveals a lot about human nature. As she explained, you have the “young, trusting ingénue” being given shot by the “‘I’ll make you a star’ guy who tries to take advantage of her.” Bit by bit, Hawn learned that she was there for a very different reason than she thought, and that’s when she had a decision to make. “It’s in those flashing moments where morality is questioned, your strength is questioned, and it’s a before and after moment,” Megyn noted. “Some women submit even though they don’t want to and that doesn’t make them immoral, but they beat themselves up.”

In Hawn’s case, she bet on herself, and the tables eventually turned. “It can be so hard, but you walked out and you stood up for your beliefs,” Megyn concluded. “And almost nobody knows who Al Capp is.”

You can check out Megyn’s full show with Goldie Hawn by tuning in to episode 245 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.