Irulan: Rudy Archuleta
Josh Wolk
October 10, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sleazy sexual harassment dominates the workplace

Every year I pity the boss who has to put up with a ”Real World” cast’s immaturity in his or her workplace. Frankly, up until the Oct. 8 episode, I didn’t think an employer existed who deserved this thankless position: I’d feel sympathy for a sweatshop owner if a group of roomies were parked behind his sewing machines. But this year, against all laws of science and human behavior, MTV has uncovered the one supervisor who deserves to be tethered to seven irresponsible strangers: He is Marc, the Vegas party planner.

While the ”Real World” roommates all act as if they’re auditioning for a late-night Cinemax movie, Marc acts like he’s auditioning for a sexual-harassment instructional video. He even dresses the part, with his doo-rags, tank tops, and tinted glasses. I expected the episode’s credits to include a line that read, ”Marc’s wardrobe provided by 1992.” Every word that comes out of his mouth is shellacked with a thick coating of sleaze: In Vegas, if you’re a woman, the over-under for Marc ”accidentally” touching your ass after you meet him is 34 seconds.

Marc spent a night flirting with Irulan, who said that even though she didn’t find him attractive, she felt a weird pull toward him, perhaps because he was so nice to all of them. How nice? He offered to stick his vibrating cell phone down Irulan’s pants, tickled her feet, and asked her to sit on his lap. Is that the Las Vegas equivalent of giving a ”World’s Greatest Employee” mug?

But let’s give credit where is due: When it comes to party planning, Marc is the gold standard. The reason is clear: persistence. When you hire Marc for your bachelor party, and you ask him to find a stripper with triple-D breasts who shoots tennis balls out of her most private of spots, does he show up with a double-D’er who can only handle ping-pong balls? Not Marc: He puts in the extra time, and dammit, he will find you your girl. Because he’s a professional, baby.

And it’s just that persistence that made him pathetically paw at Irulan until 6 a.m., hoping she’d finally sleep with him. Plus, he kept on pushing no matter how many times she rejected him, not caring that this depressing tableau was all being taped. Of the Seven Habits of Highly Successful Scumbags, Marc’s mastered five of them.

Marc got Irulan into his bed (he lured her there with the offer of porn; little does he know she can get that at home for free just by giving Brynn a six-pack of Schlitz), and then, after she finally escaped from under his covers, invited himself up to her bed. Mind you, Irulan was not exactly protesting, even if she later described the whole thing as ”shifty.”

That’s nothing: Even Brynn had said Marc was too flirty. And if Brynn thinks you’re a little grabby, you DEFINITELY have a problem. And it got pretty creepy: He actually said to Arissa, ”Is that any way to talk to your boss?” while hitting on her. On the sleazy scale, that’s right up there with saying ”Who’s your daddy?” to a woman when you really are her daddy.

Stephen warned Marc to stop flirting with the women, and his clue-free response was, ”Because they’re starting to talk?” He wasn’t any more enlightened when Irulan told him his advances made her uncomfortable. ”Give me the benefit of the doubt,” he said reassuringly. ”Just talk to me if you have a problem.”

Sure, that faux-caring catchphrase works in a professional environment, but suggesting a private meeting for a complaint about how you make someone feel uncomfortable in private just doesn’t have the placating effect he expected.

The rest of the show was dedicated to Arissa’s snit after Frank joked that she was a ”black bitch.” But she got even angrier when Alton confronted Frank before she could, because she felt it was her issue: That’s right, she was less mad at Frank’s racist comment than she was that Alton had robbed her of her chance to grandstand for the cameras.

Hmmm. Arissa is irrational, a credit hog, and snippy… Now SHE’D make a hell of a boss.

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