People Mag Fails To Credit Tarana Burke For #MeToo Movement

Tarana Burke

This week, People magazine released a report with the headline “Alyssa Milano Reveals How She Found the Confidence to Send the First #MeToo Tweet.”

Full stop. Record scratch. No.

The report revealed an interview with Alyssa Milano on People Now in which the entertainment magazine says Milano launched the #MeToo movement in October 2017.

Screen Shot 2018 08 07 At 12.21.20 Pm

Credit: Snapshot / People Now. 

The actress goes on to talk about her idea of sending the now-famed tweet while on set of her upcoming Netflix show Insatiable

“We were all commiserating and it was that Harvey Weinstein week and all of the actresses were talking about how there was no one that they had known that hadn’t gone through some sort of either sexual harassment or abuse or assault,” she told People Now, “and, it was such a sisterhood moment but also, so heartbreaking to hear that, and that’s what sort of came up — I came up with the idea of that tweet through that camaraderie.”

Did People completely forget about Tarana Burke? The Black woman created the #MeToo campaign long before hashtags in 2007. I guess we’ve also completely forgotten about the many women of color who came before Milano with little to no support from white feminists. No surprise there. White feminists have shown a longstanding history of failing to support their intersectional sisters.

On Oct. 20 2017, The New York Times reported an interview with April Reign, a digital media strategist and creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Seeing the disparity in how women of color were treated when they reported abuse, Reign said in the interview, “White women have not been as supportive as they could have been of women of color when they experience targeted abuse and harassment.” She added, “Women of color are demanded to be silent and are erased. Like with Tarana.”

Since Milano's first #MeToo tweet in 2017, she's continuously supported Burke and gives her credit when it's due. But the failure to credit the courageous Black woman who started it all is a huge blow — and an obvious one. 

UPDATE August 9, 2018: Milano reached out to Chill in response to the story: "I learned of Tarana’s Me Too the day after I sent the initial tweet," she says. "And was incredibly blown away by her empathy, support and love. It was a happy coincidence that has blossomed into a friendship that I honor and cherish. She is in the trenches making sure the movement continues to move. She is the heartbeat of Me Too and I’m forever grateful to be by her side in this journey." 

Tags: Activism

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