- Alyssa Milano has doubled down on her impassioned defence of Joe Biden, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct.
- Milano told INSIDER that, while she “totally believes every woman,” she also believes “rehabilitation is possible” within the #MeToo movement.
- “I think realistically we can’t just cast aside or throw away good men for not knowing how to behave right now in this time,” she said.
- “If they come forward and say, ‘I’m willing to learn,’ then I think it’s our responsibility to teach them,” she continued. “I feel like he’s worth it. Let’s teach him. He might not get it, and then f— him.”
- She also clarified that she wouldn’t apply this opinion to someone with “criminal behaviour.”
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Milano told INSIDER that, while she “totally believes every woman that’s come forward about Joe Biden” and they have “super valid concerns,” she also believes “rehabilitation is possible” within the #MeToo movement.
“I think realistically, we can’t just cast aside or throw away good men for not knowing how to behave right now in this time,” she said. “And if they come forward and say, ‘I’m willing to learn,’ then I think it’s our responsibility to teach them.”
Milano – who spoke to INSIDER at Safe Horizon’s 24th annual Champion Awards Gala, where she was honored for her work with abuse victims – said she believes the #MeToo movement has given us the language to discuss and assess these accusations with nuance and understanding.
My friend, Joe Biden.
“I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.” pic.twitter.com/VWE4LwC4TQ
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 3, 2019
“I think it’s really about reestablishing what interactions mean, and connections mean,” she said.
She added that she believes this to be true for all people, not just men.
“I know for me, I culturally was raised in a very touchy-feely household. I’m in a very touchy-feely business,” she said. “I’m also very aware of what it means to be a victim of an abuse of power. But, like, I walked on set the other day, and I kissed my prop guy on the arm, and I was, like, ‘Oh, I should probably rethink that behaviour,’ even though it’s so common for me.”
Milano clarified that she sees a distinct difference between the behaviour she describes and “criminal behaviour.”
But she does believe that, when it comes to the sort of behaviour that Biden is accused of, women’s stories should be used as teaching moments.
“All of these people are going to reenter the workforce. They have to. They have to support families and wives,” she said. “We can’t just put them on an island somewhere and forget about them. That’s not fair.
“But in these grey areas of having a relative reaction to something, relative to your experience in your life, we need to talk about them. We need to teach men that it’s not OK. And someone like, Joe Biden, who’s basically dedicated his entire life to women’s issues – I feel like he’s worth it. Let’s teach him. He might not get it, and then, f— him, but right now I’m not willing to say ‘f— him.'”
Milano initially received backlash for speaking out in defence of Biden in a long thread on Twitter.
“I respect Lucy Flores’ decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it,” the actress and activist wrote on Twitter. “But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same.”
I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. pic.twitter.com/cI0jsKlu3P
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 2, 2019
Critics accused of her being a hypocrite after her emphatic support of sexual assault survivors – particularly Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Other Democraticofficials and activists have come to Biden’s defence, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.
“Social norms have begun to change – they have shifted. And the boundaries of producing personal space have been reset, and I get it,” Biden said in a statement. “I hear what they’re saying. I understand it. And I’ll be much more mindful. That’s my responsibility. My responsibility, and I’ll meet it.”
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