On Wednesday’s hour of Megyn Kelly Today, the host sat down with an array of women who have spoken out about sexual harassment following the reveal that Time elected the “Silence Breakers” as their Person of the Year.
As the discussion inevitably shifted to the president and the allegations he himself has faced, Kelly, 47, recalled the hateful messages she received after she pressed the then-candidate about his controversial comments about women during the first Republican presidential debate in August 2015.
“I understand why Republicans voted for Trump — this isn’t a condemnation of a Republican vote for him,” she said. “But on my voicemail after the Aug. 15 debate where I asked him that question about misogyny, I got all these voicemails saying, ‘You’re a real c—.’ And there was one that said, and I quote, ‘No one gives a damn about misogyny.’ Somebody said that to me.”
“They will now,” responded Rebecca Weir, a 39-year-old lawyer in Washington who has spoken out about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. “I think that we are in the tipping point of a movement, and America is really grappling with this [and] coming to terms with the fact that there is a problem.”
“I think the solution is this, right here — and more,” said actress Alyssa Milano, motioning to the panel of women. “For women, standing up together, and not pitting each other against each other … I mean, we’ve been going to the bathroom together for years! This is exactly why. Because we were afraid to be alone. We have to support each other.”
Kelly, a former Fox News anchor who was with the network for 12 years before moving to NBC this year, also addressed the sexual harassment scandal at her former network that brought down Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly.
“For the record, people always talk about me, or they’ll talk about Gretchen Carlson at Fox News — [but] it was the young women at Fox News who were second-year reporters or on-air talent who had everything to lose, families to support, who went into that investigation once it was launched and spoke out about Roger Ailes and then ultimately about Bill O’Reilly, who deserve the credit, who had jobs to lose in the moment, who will never be acknowledged,” she said. “And it’s not just those at Fox News — it’s people who have chosen to remain anonymous right now who have a lot of skin in the game, who never believed before this moment that here might be accountability. Honestly, to them I tip my hat and I give all my respect and love.”
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Kelly also sat down one-on-one with Milano and Tarana Burke, an activist who created the Me Too movement in 2006 and saw the hashtag go viral this year after Milano tweeted it in October.
“It’s sad — it’s really sad for me,” said Milano, 44. “Just to know that so many women hurt from this pain. But I’m also hopeful that this collective ache can really bring about something that’s meaningful and powerful and we can change.”
Burke said she could never have anticipated the impact of the movement when she first coined the term.
“Not in this capacity, I couldn’t imagine this,” she said. “I wanted to change my community. I wanted to help the girls and the women that I was around who were experiencing sexual violence. I knew it was powerful … but I could never imagine this.”
“To me, it was really a glimpse of the magnitude of this issue,” said Milano, 44. “Because one in five people — men and women — said, ‘Me too.’ That’s just a crazy number, if you think about it.”
“I also think that we’re in a time of wanting women to tell their stories so desperately, but women shouldn’t have to tell their stories if they’re not comfortable,” the Charmed actress added. “I’ve never told my story. I’m not comfortable doing it. But I am comfortable standing in solidarity with women and saying, ‘Me too.’ “