×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alyssa Milano on #MeToo Campaign: ‘I Wanted to Take the Focus Off the Predator’

It all started with a tweet late Sunday night. Within 20 minutes, it had gotten 10,000 replies. As of Tuesday, it has 61,000 — and counting.

With her #MeToo campaign, actor Alyssa Milano launched a movement, encouraging survivors of sexual assault and abuse to come forward. “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” she tweeted.

“It’s definitely overwhelming, but I feel like the time was right for this to happen and the fact that I could be a vessel to create change is really special,” Milano tells Variety.

Milano says she wasn’t surprised by the outpouring. “There are so many people that have faced this kind of harassment or abuse in their lifetime that the numbers are not really surprising to me at all, sadly,” she says. “What is surprising is how people are surprised by the numbers. It’s a testament to the fact that people have been shamed into feeling that this is a discussion that they can’t have. Or that they shouldn’t have. Or that they’re blamed or shamed for.”

Her goal, she says, was to get the numbers to a point where people couldn’t ignore it anymore. “I wanted to take the focus off the predator and put it back on the victim,” she says. “We’ve been hearing a lot about those who caused this kind of hurt and heartache and not enough about the victims who have to overcome and heal. I feel like to be able to do that, you have to know you’re part of a community that can support and stand beside you. This is a community that is very large.”

But she hopes this isn’t just a “hashtag movement,” she says. “I hope this is a shift in the way we look at each other and our coworkers. This is not just a Hollywood issue. This happens every day. This happens everywhere. I’m hoping that by putting this focus on giving the power back to the victims, more women can move forward and won’t be shamed or blamed. Predators will realize they won’t be able to get away with it anymore.”

And yes, she has her own #MeToo story — “too many to count,” she says. She’s not open to revealing details, but says she will when the time is right. “I think just to stand in solidarity and say ‘me too’ is what I can give right now,” she says.

She points her finger to the White House as a reason sexual harassment is so pervasive. “I do think there is an element we have allowed in this society and culture of ‘locker room talk’ that seems to be acceptable somehow,” she says. “We have to shift that dynamic of it being so permissible, so allowed into normalizing it on the victims’ behalf.”

“The fact that he is the president and stripping women of their rights are really giving women a feeling of urgency that they need to change things,” she says. “I’ve always said since the day he was inaugurated that women will be the ones who take down this presidency. This movement is just one step, one piece of this puzzle.”

Milano says she’s working with the Creative Coalition on next steps to ensure that the conversation continues — focused on empowering people to feel like they can come forward. “It doesn’t matter if you have 5 million people following you on Twitter or six people at your dinner table,” she says. “It’s your job as a productive member of society to educate and empower. I think that’s the only way to change the conversation.”

More Biz

  • IWC Schaffhausen store opening, Rodeo Drive,

    8 Luxury Gifts That Industry Leaders Are Spending Their Paychecks On

    Whether you’re celebrating a new launch, a new business venture, or toasting to the end of another successful year, here are eight gift ideas to reward yourself — and to impress the company you keep. 1. Saint Laurent Perforated Leather Tote Bag If you work in the industry, you need a good bag, and you’ve [...]

  • best airlines ranked inflight entertainment

    Holiday Travel Survey Reveals Airlines With Best In-Flight Entertainment

    There are many ways to pass the time if you’re in the air, but for most people, settling in with a glass of wine and a movie is the preferred way to fly. But not all airlines share the same script when it comes to entertainment offerings. A new survey from the website, CableTV.com, ranked [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Bragged of Sex With Jennifer Lawrence, Lawsuit Claims

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. According to the suit, Weinstein pushed her to the ground during a meeting in his office in 2013. He then [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content