Internships can be invaluable, but we all know they can also be brutal. The tasks are often tedious; unpaid internships can be particularly exploitative, and they privilege wealthy students who can afford to skip a salary. But if you think those problems are bad, here’s a way to get some perspective: Ladies and gentlemen, the worst internship of all time. Two female interns at a conservative advocacy group were “recruited” – asked nicely? ordered? — to make a video that portrayed a panda bear having sex with “Hillary Clinton.”
According to a report in Mother Jones, the 2012 promotional video for FreedomWorks featured a scene in which an intern in a panda suit “simulates performing oral sex on Hillary Clinton.” I feel like I need a shower after simply cutting and pasting that phrase. Here’s the full story:
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, [executive vice president Adam] Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently fellating the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers.
When the video was shown to staff members, most were appalled. ”How was that not some form of sexual harassment?” one former FreedomWorks official asks Mother Jones. An excellent question.
The executive overseeing — and appearing in! — the video defended it as creative and funny. It was made to be shown at a June conference last year, but the plan was nixed. An internal investigation is ongoing. And no word on what happened to those poor, poor interns.