×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Me Too Founder on the Path Forward After Harvey’s Arrest (Guest Column)

A chorus of voices spoke truth to power, and this moment is the result

The arrest of Harvey Weinstein feels like the beginning of what justice should look like for his accusers. It’s also symbolic for survivors of sexual violence everywhere that a person of his stature has to answer for his actions. It provides hope for other people that they might have some recourse in their everyday lives. That’s one of the most powerful things about this moment.

I don’t think, however, that this is a moment to revel in how the mighty have fallen. It’s really about the power of community and the power of survivors of sexual violence raising their voices and standing together. It wasn’t one claim. It wasn’t one singular voice. It was a chorus of voices that started rising little by little and crescendoed into this massive chorus. It resulted in what we saw today. And let’s not forget to say the names of those who came forward as much as we speak Weinstein’s name: Lucia Evans, Annabella Sciorra, Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Paz de la Huerta, Lupita Nyong’o, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and the dozens and dozens more are the real heroines.

It is easy to connect what happened to Harvey Weinstein to the Me Too movement, but this movement is more about that chorus of voices — those survivors — than it is about the Harvey Weinsteins of the world. It’s about making sure the chorus of voices is always heard and seen and listened to, more so than it is about targeting anybody or having an agenda that’s about taking on powerful men.

What this case, as well as the Cosby case, also does is mark the dawn of a new understanding and a new way to talk to and engage survivors. Ronan Farrow, my friend, the journalist, often says that his work is not about believing all survivors but listening to all survivors. That is a really salient point. At the very least, we should be listening to all claims and taking seriously all claims of sexual violence and giving them as much credence as possible, as much interrogation as possible. When that happens, this can be the result.

The story that [Farrow] wrote [for The New Yorker] and what Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey wrote for The New York Times wasn’t about them having the agenda of taking down Harvey Weinstein. They had the agenda of digging into the claims of numerous women who had similar accusations about one person. There was a story there to be told, and there were people who were telling it who were worthy of listening to. That’s what their journalism showed us. When you listen to survivors, we can maybe have an outcome like we saw today.

Lastly, it’s also really important for us to take a step back and not just look at the individuals. It’s not just about Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby. It’s about these men in positions of power who abuse their power and their privilege and use it to strip away the humanity of people. What we’re also seeing is not just the fall of individuals; we’re starting to chip away at the power structures that protect them by speaking our truth. These women who are standing up are literally what speaking truth to power looks like in action.

— As told to Ricardo Lopez

Tarana Burke is the founder of the original Me Too movement, begun in 2006.

More Film

  • David Picker dead

    David Picker, Studio Chief Who Acquired James Bond Novels for UA, Dies at 87

    David Picker, who headed United Artists, Paramount and Columbia’s motion picture divisions and was known for forging relationships with groundbreaking filmmakers and material, died Saturday in New York. He was 87 and had been suffering from colon cancer. MGM tweeted, “We are saddened to hear that a member of the United Artists family has passed [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content