Joseph Gatt, a British actor who appeared in the 2011 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Thor and the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, has been arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly engaging in sexually explicit communication with a minor. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Juvenile Division, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested Gatt on April 6 after it had reportedly received word that he had “engaged in online sexually explicit communication with a minor across state lines.” A statement from the LAPD indicated that they are currently looking to identify any other potential victims of the alleged behavior. Joseph Gatt was released on a $5000 bail. The actor released his own statement on social media channels, stating his innocence in the matter and that he was fully cooperating with law enforcement. Here is his statement in full:
The particular allegations against Joseph Gatt will no doubt be proceeding in the weeks to come. The actor most famously appeared in the MCU film Thor as one of the titular Norse god’s (Chris Hemsworth) ancestral opponents, a frost giant. He also featured in three episodes of the hit HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s high fantasy series, Game of Thrones. In that show, he portrayed Thenn Warg, one of the leaders of the Free Folk fleeing the frost villains of that particular story. Perhaps in part due to Gatt’s alopecia universalis (which causes him to be completely hairless), he has often been cast in villainous roles in his career. In 2019, he starred in Tim Burton’s remake of Disney’s Dumbo, as Neils Skellig, the enforcer and right-hand man of Michael Keaton’s central antagonist. Joseph Gatt has also appeared in numerous other television series like HBO’s True Detective, the NBC comedy-thriller Chuck, and Showtime’s Ray Donovan.
Joseph Gatt’s arrest comes at a time when national fears of grooming and sexual manipulation of minors are particularly at a high point. While the alleged actions of Gatt’s in this case that led to his arrest will have to be determined by the legal system and are hopefully unfounded, many states around the country are passing legislation under the auspice of them being “anti-grooming.” Florida House Bill 1557 (also known as the Don’t Say Gay Bill), which critics claim is designed to intimidate educators through the threat of personal lawsuits into removing LGBTQIA+ material from curriculum, has been described by its proponents as “anti-grooming.”
In particular, Walt Disney Studios, which is behind various child-friendly entertainments like the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and the recent slew of live-action remakes of classic films like Dumbo has come under pressure from all sides to take a stance on essentially every issue that might be adjacent to the word “grooming.” Conservative elements in America have long used the specter of a “liberal Hollywood” that is working to corrupt and molest children, which makes stories like the one involving Joseph Gatt particularly troubling to hear about. We will update you with any further information that we receive on the case.