Source: Screenscap/"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"/YouTube

Watch: Kristen Stewart's Jockstrap Rolling Stone Cover a Hit on Colbert

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Oscar-nominated actor Kristen Stewart made an appearance, together with her instantly famous March Rolling Stone cover, on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," where she had a simple two-word message for hate-spouting trolls.

"Now there's a lot of buzz about this Rolling Stone cover," Colbert noted about four minutes into the chat, holding a photo of the cover so that its blank side was toward the camera.

His prelude may have been intended as a warning for those who find playfulness around gender in art and fashion to be triggering.

The iconic image shows Stewart in a leather jacket and a jockstrap, with her fingers tucked into the undergarment's waistband. The cover sparked furious backlash from conservatives.

Indeed, Colbert suggested he was acting against the orders of network execs in showing the controversial cover on air – though he did so anyway, while saying he didn't get what the problem was.

"Now before I show this cover, I just want you to know and the audience to know that I think it's a perfectly lovely cover," Colbert explained to the audience.

"Lovely!" Stewart agreed.

"We were asked by CBS not to show it," the comedian and host told her.

"They thought that would be not a good idea for us to show this, and I don't understand why," Colbert went on to say, before mischievously adding, "Because there's the cover, right there," turning the image around so it could be viewed.

The studio audience whooped and cheered as the camera zoomed in on the cover.

The late-night host wisecracked that Stewart looked "better in a jockstrap than I ever did," and puzzled over social media trolls who responded to the cover with accusations that Rolling Stone was attempting "to push gender ideology on its readers."

Stewart noted the cover is no more explicit or revealing than what might be seen on magazines showing similarly posed male figures.

"I feel like I've seen a lot of male pubic hair on the cover of things," the actor, who has said she identifies as bisexual, pointed out. "I've seen a lot of hands in pants and unbuttoned [garments]," she added.

"I think there's a certain overt acknowledgment of a female sexuality that has its own volition in a way that is annoying for people who are sexist and homophobic," Stewart went on to say, before agreeing with Colbert that the root of the vitriolic response might be expectations – by men, chiefly – around female desire.

Stewart noted that "female sexuality isn't supposed to actually want anything but to be had. And that feels like it's protruding in a way that might be annoying. But," the "Spencer" star promptly added, "fuck you."

The studio audience burst into cheers once again, as Stewart and Colbert shared a handshake.

"But I never will," the actor said with a giggle. "I think that's the problem" that those who were outraged with the image had.

As previously reported, Stewart gave an interview to Rolling Stone to accompany the photo shoot. Among her comments was a recollection of how the male cast members of the "Twilight" films, in which she starred, were treated in ways that female co-stars were not.

"If I got through the entire 'Twilight' series without ever doing a Rolling Stone cover, it's because the boys were the sex symbols," the "Clouds of Sils Maria" actor told the magazine. "If I could grow a little mustache, if I could grow a f------ happy trail and unbutton my pants, I would. Guys – I'm sorry – but their f------ pubes are shoved in my face constantly, and I'm like, 'Ummmm, bring it in.'"

Stewart was on the show's March 12 episode to talk about her new queer thriller "Love Lies Bleeding." Watch the exchange below.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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