I listened to Armie Hammer's podcast episode so you don't have to

  • Post Author
    by Talk
  • Post Date
    Tue Jun 18 2024

The opinions in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of WSUM, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, or its Board of Regents. 

Written by Ray Kirsch

Content warning: this piece contains brief descriptions of sexual assault, cannibalism, and abuse.

Alternative title: Armie Hammer tries to gaslight listeners into forgetting his allegations for an hour. 

Just as we were so close to forgetting about Armie Hammer, he is attempting to revive his name and return to Hollywood. 

Armie Hammer, who starred in “Call Me By Your Name” (2017) with Timothée Chalamet, recently appeared on “Painful Lessons” podcast to talk about the allegations that led to his “career death.” 

For those who aren't obsessed with Chalamet and watching all of his films, who exactly is Armie Hammer and what did he get accused of?

In 2021, multiple women claimed that Hammer had shared violent sexual fantasies in messages to them — some containing cannibalism references. (Cannibalism, for those who don't know, is when someone eats another person.) That same year, a woman who went by “Effie” claimed that Hammer violently sexually assaulted her for over four hours in 2017. She also accused him of physical, emotional and mental abuse. 

Previously, Hammer had gotten divorced from his ex-wife Elizabeth Chambers in 2020. 

As these allegations surrounding cannibalism and assault rose, Hammer was dropped from his talent agency and left two film projects. Later on, Disney+ made a documentary series about him and the allegations called “House of Hammer.” Hammer's lawyer denied the allegations, and Hammer was never formally charged. 

As of February of 2023, Hammer was still living in the Cayman Islands after exiting a treatment facility in December of 2021. 

However, Hammer seems to be trying to make a comeback with his new appearance in the “Painful Lessons” podcast. According to Hammer, the allegations against him led to him hitting “rock bottom.” 

“It killed me. It killed my ego. It killed all the people around me that I thought were my friends that weren't. All of those people in a flash went away, but the buildings were still standing. I'm still here. I still have my health, and I'm really grateful for that,” he said. 

Hammer also said that he found the accusations “hilarious.”

“People called me a cannibal, and everyone believed them. They're like, ‘Yep, that guy ate people'… Do you know what you have to do to be a cannibal? You have to eat people. How am I going to be a cannibal? It was bizarre,” he said. 

He also mentioned that he was grateful for everything that happened.

“Even in the discrepancies, even in the whatever it was that people said, whatever it was that happened, I'm now at a place in my life where I'm grateful for every single bit of it,” Hammer said. 

Now, it's worth exploring what exactly “Painful Lessons” is — amidst the rise of podcasting (especially amongst influencers), examining the credibility and background of a podcast host is necessary. 

“Painful Lessons” is hosted by Tyler Ramsey and Ben Goldhirsh. While Goldhirsh's Instagram account remains private, Ramsey is decently known with over 11 thousand followers. Through a brief scroll of his social media, here's what I discovered: he creates art (mostly with paint), stands with Israel and their genocide against Palestine, talks about mental health a lot on his platform and started his podcast in March of 2024 (or started posting, at least). According to Ramsey, the podcast aims to showcase inspiring stories from painful lessons. 

When Ramsey released the episode with Hammer, he called Hammer his “terrific friend.” Although they have never been seen on social media together prior to the promotion for the episode, it seems that Ramsey is standing confidently at Hammer's side. He even mentioned that Hammer's mother helped him get closer to God. 

At the beginning of the episode, Ramsey states that Hammer fell to “rock bottom.” 

“The way I saw it, I had two options: I can either let this destroy me, or I can use this as a lesson,” Hammer said. 

The two talked about their experiences with sobriety and recovery, as both participate in recovery programs. According to Ramsey, they both entered rehab at the same time. 

Hammer then discussed how his fall from fame made it possible for him to spend more time with his family, such as being there for his father when he was dying. 

Generally speaking about the overall themes of the episode, it seems that Ramsey and Hammer are discussing how to deal with hard times and loss. But, in my own opinion, it was a lot of nothing. 

There's a looming vacancy from the episode. Hammer does not take accountability or even address any of the sexual assault allegations, nor does he really seem to take any of the accusations seriously. Listeners are wondering where Hammer's PR team was for this recording. Hammer did say, however, that he thinks he will share “his side” eventually. 

Was Armie Hammer “canceled” for the cannibalism accusations or more so because of his sexual assault allegations? For some, the cannibalism claims seemed to be either actually eating people or a taken-out-of-context BDSM kink. But for others, the main problem is the sexual assault claims. 

Regardless of the cannibalism claims, there still are sexual assault and abuse claims for Hammer to address. Was he really addressing any of the claims in seriousness, though? Rather than actually speaking about the claims and making any attempt to dispel them, Hammer sat down in his cancellation hole and made it his space. 

While some fans are excitedly waiting for a “Call Me By Your Name” sequel, which I desperately hope never happens, many listeners are still hesitant to trust Hammer again. 

Can one ever really rise to fame for a second time, especially after serious allegations such as the ones he faced? Did Hammer really learn a lesson? We'll just have to wait and see.