Barbara Walters died on December 30, 2022. Her interview with Sean Connery will always remain one of the most memorable ones.
In her autobiography, Audition, Barbara Walters discussed her life, career, and success, writing, "and you know what effect all this had on the ladies? I gave them hope." After she died aged 93 on December 30, 2022, this spirit of hers was remembered by many as a video resurfaced on the internet. In this video, Walters is seen questioning actor Sean Connery, over a Playboy interview in which he said he doesn't think there is “anything wrong with hitting a woman”.
Connery, who died aged 90 in 2020, was asked by Playboy in 1965, "How do you feel about roughing up a woman, as (James) Bond sometimes has to do?" The actor, responded, “I don’t think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman, although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man.” The James Bond star also said that an “openhanded slap” is “justified” if “all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning." He added, “If a woman is a b***, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it."
In the resurfaced interview, Walters asks whether Connery recalls making those remarks to which the actor responds that he remembers and stands by his comments. Walters further asks, “You think it’s good to slap a woman?” to which Connery replied, “I don’t think it’s good. I don’t think it’s bad,” adding, “But it depends entirely on the circumstances and if it merits it.” His response prompts Walters to ask what such circumstances would “merit” slapping a woman. “Well, if you have tried everything else – and women are pretty good at this, they can’t leave it alone,” Connery replies.
When Barbara Walters put Sean Connery on blast. Legend. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/KVmLDHv2eU— Don Lewis (@DonLew87) December 31, 2022
He also said, "they want to have the last word, and you give them the last word, but they’re not happy with the last word. They want to say it again and get into a really provocative situation. Then – I think it’s absolutely right.” He added, “seriously, it’s the last resort. He’s not gonna do it because he wants to do it…” Walters replied, “wait until people see this interview. You’re gonna get mail.”
In a 1993 interview with Vanity Fair, Connery claimed that his comments had been taken out of context. “They taped two hours of me and only showed 20 minutes,” he said. “Barbara Walters was trying to get me to say it was OK to hit women. But I was really saying that to slap a woman was not the crudest thing you can do to her. I said that in my book – it’s much crueler to psychologically damage somebody.” Connery continued, “That’s what they’re looking for, the ultimate confrontation – they want a smack.”
Walters interviewed many other important public figures as well. During an interview with US President Richard Nixon, she asked him about the Watergate scandal and said, "are you sorry you didn't burn the tapes?" In another interview with Monica Lewinsky, after nearly 90 minutes of probing about Hillary Clinton and Lewinsky's infamous blue dress, Walters concluded with two hard-hitting questions. One was if Lewinsky was still in love with Bill Clinton, and what she planned to tell her future children about the scandal, per PEOPLE.
Simplest and best tribute to exemplify the Barbara Walters legacy :— Lucas Meyer (@meyer_lucas) December 31, 2022
On her final show on The View, they just brought one female journalist after another to honour her. All ages, races, from NBC to FOX, to say thank you. She’s completely overwhelmed and touched. pic.twitter.com/923BqlU7CG
Thus, Walters was the first woman on broadcast news who asked disarming but important questions to the people in power and this will remain an important part of her legacy.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Larry Busacca