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Samantha Bee hosted a #MeToo-themed Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday’s episode of Full Frontal.
In honor of the two-year anniversary of the movement sparking a “trash fire that’s still burning Matt Lauer’s pubes,” as Bee put it, the host sat down with founder Tarana Burke to discuss how the movement has evolved.
Burke noted that many people view the #MeToo movement differently than what it actually stands for, which is “to support survivors and to end sexual violence.”
“There were 12 million people who responded to the hashtag in 24 hours,” said Burke about the movement going viral in 2017. “Imagine if we woke up tomorrow and 12 million people came forward and said they had some rare disease. Our whole world would stop.”
Burke added that she recently turned down a number of interview requests because the outlets wanted to discuss “the road back for the men who had been accused in the last two years.” Bee responded, “Is there a pathway back for the journalists who keep asking you those questions?”
The movement founder also said that many survivors have been forgotten, while the men accused are still popular discussion topics. “We should be thanking survivors and the people who support this movement,” said Burke.
Inspired by Burke’s comment, Bee hosted a dinner, dubbed “Sam’s Food Day of Gratitude,” to thank survivors and supporters of the movement. “We could make a pie out of pumpkins,” she said as she planned the event. “I’m gonna kill a bird.”
The dinner included Harvey Weinstein-, Bill O’Reilly- and Mario Batali-themed turkey dinners. Bee was joined by New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor; Chanel Miller, who recently revealed her identity as the woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner; and domestic workers organizer June Barrett.
Kantor spoke about how she and Twohey questioned if anyone would care about the allegations against Weinstein before they published their piece. “I think that one thing we have all felt in the last two years is the incredible potential for these stories to matter more than any of us have ever dreamed,” she said.
Miller later opened up about remaining anonymous when she first came forward. “My anonymity was protected and I felt like that was really good for self-protection in the beginning, but over time it was really suffocating,” she said. “I want the end goal not to be that I stayed hidden, but that I was finally able to live fully and let go of my story and be able to transcend it.”
For Barrett, she didn’t begin to heal until she came forward with her experience of being raped. “I made the decision then that I was going to empower other women to come forward,” she said.
Twohey added that while the #MeToo movement has inspired many to speak out, the system is still rigged. Many men have paid women to stay quiet about being assaulted, which Twohey hopes to expose.
The women also noted that it’s important to be vocal and support the movement because federal sexual harassment laws are still weak. “That’s why it’s important that we continue to fight, so that not one woman, especially marginalized women, will be left behind,” said Barrett.
Following the dinner, Bee returned to her interview with Burke to discuss how the movement can continue moving in the right direction. Burke shared that she started the hashtag #MeTooVoter to elect a presidential candidate “that will legislate to protect people from sexual violence and also provide resources for people who experienced it.”
After Burke noted that none of the current candidates have spoken about sexual violence, Bee responded, “That seems like something that Joe Biden would really like to grab by the shoulders and discuss.”
Watch the full segment below.
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Jamie Lee Curtis