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John Oliver interviewed Anita Hill about the #MeToo movement on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, which aired just two days after CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves became the most recent prominent figure to be accused of sexual misconduct.
In 1991, Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment and gave testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee for eight hours.
Oliver talked both about the #Metoo movement and Time’s Up, comparing them to similar feelings in the past, such as after Hill’s experience, before showing their interview.
“There has been a tremendous amount of change in public attitude and there has been a change in the information we have about sexual harassment,” Hill told Oliver. “Even a few years ago, people were ambivalent about what the consequences should be concerning behaving incredibly badly in the workplace.”
Olice asked if men are needed in the movement to stop sexual harassment.
“You are needed,” she said. “We need you to step up. There are no innocent bystanders.”
The host also asked about men who turn a blind eye.
“Then it is the same as participating in it,” she responded.
The two also talked about “intent” and how that plays into the argument, for some, over what constitutes sexual harassment
“If you’re a victim, it doesn’t matter so much if they intended,” Hill said.
Oliver then asked if men need to be afraid, which he highlighted by playing clips from assorted Fox News males personalities saying they, or others they knew, were afraid to be alone with women.
Oliver asked if that was normal.
“Not if they are not harassers,” Hill said. “If you are a harasser, then you should be terrified.”
Oliver then asked how she was feeling now about the movement.
“I am feeling more optimistic than I was 27 years ago,” Hill said. “If we do nothing, then change is not going to come.”
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