#MeToo: From Twitter to TV

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Sept26_6
Courtesy of Ayanna Maxwell

Most people think the #MeToo movement started with Twitter, but it’s been going strong for more than 10 years. This movement went from the community to Twitter and now to television.

PBS is producing a five-part series with 30-minute episodes debuting Feb. 2. This show will enhance the conversation of sexual harassment by not only talking about instances, but also how we got this far and how to create something positive from this issue.

According to a news release, “Topics to be explored include the impact of popular culture on women in the workplace, how race and class factor into the discussion, how men can be engaged in the discussion, and, ultimately, how we begin to chart a path forward.” Zainab Salbi, humanitarian and founder of Women for Women International, will host this series.

For decades, women had been encouraged to keep their encounters with sexual harassment under wraps. It was such a taboo topic that it was usually not even discussed.

In recent months, women who were brave enough to share their stories resulted in the #MeToo movement.

Just a couple of weeks ago, celebrities stood in solidarity during the Golden Globe Awards. Attendees wore black and some wore pins saying “Time’s Up.” “Time’s Up” is a legal defense fund to support those affected by sexual assault and harassment.

Some of Hollywood’s big-name stars on the red carpet included Oprah Winfrey, Anthony Anderson and Insecure’s Issa Rae and Yvonne Orjion. Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox and Angela Robinson took the stage at the NAACP Image Awards to spread the words, “Stand by us, stand for us, stand with us.”

With any issue, there must be some sort of solution. Talking about it is only one part of it.

“The voices from women should be heard because they are often overlooked,” said Najae Williams, a Hampton University junior nursing major and psychology minor from Chicago. “Many people discredit what they say because it’s not common for women to speak about their personal issues.”

Encouraging the dialogue is a crucial step. However, it shouldn’t stop there. To become more engaged in this topic, tune in to PBS on Feb. 2.

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