Last week the Advocate published an interview with #MeToo leader Alyssa Milano titled, “Why #MeToo Activist Alyssa Milano Will Not Speak at Next Women’s March.” The interview recounts a moment at Politicon, a recent political convention in Los Angeles, where Milano was confronted by right-wing reporter Laura Loomer about her connection to Linda Sarsour and the Women’s March. Loomer wanted Milano to denounce Sarsour for her alleged support of Sharia law. Milano rejected that but now says she has decided to separate herself from the Women’s March because of their support for Louis Farrakhan:
“Any time that there is any bigotry or anti-Semitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” Milano says now, referring to leaders of the Women’s March who’ve refused to denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic statements.
Women’s March cochair Tamika Mallory sat in the audience while Farrakhan gave a hateful speech in March in which he said, “The powerful Jews are my enemy,” She also received a shout-out from him and posted about the event on social media.
Linda Sarsour strongly defended Mallory against accusations of being complicit in bigotry…
Milano has noticed the silence from the Women’s March regarding Farrakhan’s hatemongering and won’t stand for it; nor will she speak at the next Women’s March if it’s still led by Sarsour or Mallory, if asked to make an appearance.
“I would say no at this point. Unfortunate that none of them have come forward against him at this point. Or even given a really good reason why to support them,” she says.
When Milano announced last month that she didn’t think Bill Clinton deserved the benefit of the doubt regarding sexual assault, I took that as a completely partisan statement. Milano was throwing Clinton under the bus because a) Bill isn’t the powerful figure he once was, and b) it was an easy way to claim her opposition to Brett Kavanaugh was principled rather than partisan. In short, I gave her zero credit for her belated, self-serving take on Bill Clinton.
That said, I think Milano does deserve some credit for standing up to the Women’s March. Unlike Bill Clinton, the Women’s March founders still have some political juice at this moment in time. And the fact that almost no one else on the left wants to take Farrakhan seriously means Milano isn’t just following the herd on this one. Has anyone else in Hollywood distanced themselves from the Women’s March over this? If so I missed it.
So while I still think Milano is an obvious partisan playing partisan games, I think she deserves credit in this instance for actually taking a stand. This interview with the Advocate was published several days ago and I would bet there have already been dozens of entreaties from women on the left begging her to reconsider her statement for the cause. We’ll have to wait and see if Milano folds or actually sticks to her guns (so to speak).
Alternatively, Milano really is seen as a leader of the #MeToo movement at this point. So I guess it’s possible that the Women’s March leaders could decide to bend the knee, i.e. they could resolve this by denouncing Farrakhan to Milano’s satisfaction. The fact that they haven’t done that yet is probably an indication that’s not how this little drama is going to end.