Tarana Burke, founder of 'Me Too' movement, comments on Harvey Weinstein's conviction
After disgraced entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted on Monday, the civil rights activist who founded the 'Me Too' movement had a lot to say about the court's decision.
Tarana Burke, the 46-year-old creator of Just Be Inc., began using the phrase 'Me Too' on social media in 2006 as a way to increase awareness of the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and assault.
In 2017, survivors of abuse followed in Burke's footsteps and #MeToo went viral as a hashtag. At this point, it gained international attention as well-known women began using it to tweet about the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
According to Variety, Burke issued a statement following Harvey Weinstein's conviction on Monday. Burke began by saying, “Today, a jury confirmed what we all know: Harvey Weinstein committed sexual assault.”
She then criticized the “incredibly narrow and unjust set of laws governing sexual assault,” blaming these laws for the fact that Weinstein was not convicted on all the charges he faced.
Burke then asked, "How many careers were derailed? How many entry-level assistants were fired or silenced? How many jobs were lost? How many news stories, that could have exposed Harvey sooner, were censored?”
The remainder of Burke's statement is as follows:
"How many people could have spoken up, but didn’t? All in the name of protecting a violent sexual predator.
This case reminds us that sexual violence thrives on unchecked power and privilege. The implications reverberate far beyond Hollywood and into the daily lives of all of us in the rest of the world.
Whether you are an office worker, a nanny, an assistant, a cook, a factory worker— we all have to deal with the spectre of sexual violence derailing our lives.
And, though today a man has been found guilty, we have to wonder whether anyone will care about the rest of us tomorrow. This is why we say MeToo.”
As a survivor of sexual assault, Burke continues to advocate for individuals who've experienced abuse.
After her 'me too' movement gained traction and became a hashtag, a Pew Research Center revealed that in only one year the hashtag was used over 19 million times on Twitter alone.
In 2017, Time magazine named Burke Person of the Year for her work with survivors.