Although you might sob at the thought of watching This Is Us, it’s safe to say that almost everyone who isn’t emotionally detached is a fan of the NBC hit series. Whether you’re a fan of a particular character or a fan of the fandom itself, most stans want the best for their beloved characters (and the actors who portray them). However, it appears sometimes fans forget that actors are regularly existing people, and they should be respectful of their boundaries. Unfortunately, Justin Hartley, who plays Kevin Pearson, says that a particular fan perverted those boundaries.
Hartley claims he was sexually harassed by the fan, telling Good Housekeeping that he was kissed without his consent, which is sexual harassment according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and basically every other legal organization.
The This Is Us star explained to Good Housekeeping that he wasn’t "afraid" to share this fan-encounter “because I think she should be ashamed of herself." If Hartley’s accusations are true, then she should be—because it’s never acceptable to sexually harass anyone for any reason.
“This woman—who I don’t know, a stranger to me—recognized me and started screaming, going crazy. She ran over and started kissing me,” Hartley added. "I said, ‘You do not walk up to people that you do not know and put your mouth on their face. If I did that to you, I would be in prison. Please do not do that. And not that I’m trying to teach you life lessons, but I feel like this is a really good one for you. Don’t do that to anybody ever again."
Honestly, you shouldn’t abruptly put your mouth (or any other part of your body) on another person’s face, even if you do know the person. After all, consent is vital to any healthy, respectable interaction (regardless of how brief that interaction might be) with any human being.
Though the fan seemed to recognize that her actions were problematic after Hartley explained it to her, the
fan aggressor continued to push Hartley. Shortly after the woman allegedly sexually harassed Hartley, she did quite catch onto his cues that he wanted to be left alone. Teen Vogue reports that the fan then asked for Hartley’s permission to take a photo with him.
Although she may have practiced her new lesson on consent when she asked to take a pic with Hartley, she apparently didn’t respect Hartley’s right to decline the photo-op. Hartley told Good Housekeeping that, after he declined the picture, she walked away and allegedly called the This Is Us star an unsavory word.
Nevertheless, Hartley isn’t the only celeb who has experienced people who invade their privacy. Late last year, Riverdale star Lili Reinhart took to social media to explain that fans aren’t entitled to unsolicited photos with their favorite celebrities. A fan isn’t entitled to invading a star’s privacy, just because they support their professional endeavors—just like a fan isn’t entitled to kiss a celebrity just because they’ve binge-watched every episode or made a stan-Twitter account (or for any reason, really).