Two words are showing victims of sexual assault and harassment that the problem is much larger than many imagine: “me too.”
The phrase began trending on Twitter after Alyssa Milano took to the social media site on Sunday with an idea she said was suggested by a friend.
“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,” wrote the actress, who starred on Charmed with Rose McGowan, one of the numerous women who recently accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually harassing or assaulting her.
Weinstein has apologized for past sexual harassment, but, through his lawyer, strenuously denied sexually assaulting anyone.
Thousands flooded Twitter with their stories and support, including numerous celebrities.
“Because I was shamed and considered a ‘party girl’ I felt I deserved it,” wrote Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood. “I shouldnt have been there, I shouldn’t have been ‘bad’ #metoo.”
Lady Gaga, Debra Messing, Rosario Dawson, Anika Noni Rose and Anna Paquin all simply responded to Milano’s tweet with, “Me too.”
Hamilton actor Javier Muñoz also tweeted “me too,” sharing that he was a victim of sexual assault or harassment “multiple times.”
By Monday afternoon, more than 500,000 #MeToo tweets were published by Twitter’s count. In response, many supporters tweeted #IBelieveYou, which was also a trending topic Monday morning.
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Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct — which first came to light in an Oct. 5 New York Times exposé and were compounded by a subsequent investigation by the New Yorker — have been brought against Weinstein in the past few weeks.
Following the initial report, Weinstein said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to “deal with this issue head-on.” He has since been fired from his powerhouse studio, the Weinstein Company, and his wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, has announced she’s leaving him.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement of the accusations, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
On Thursday, a source told PEOPLE Weinstein checked into a luxury resort in Arizona after jetting out of Los Angeles on Wednesday.