Alyssa Milano has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement — the former child star is often credited with popularizing the hashtag, though activist Tarana Burke is the movement’s true founder. And while the actress has spoken out against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct, she’s switching gears in the case of Joe Biden.
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The former vice president and potential 2020 candidate has been accused by former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores of making her feel uncomfortable by touching her shoulders and kissing the back of her head at an event five years ago, saying she felt “powerless” at his “intimate behavior.”
While his opponents have seized upon the allegations, Biden has received support from the likes of Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski as well as The View‘s Whoopi Goldberg. Brzezinski called Biden “extremely flirtatious in a completely safe way,” while Goldberg described him as a “hands-on guy” and suggested that Flores should have said something to him before making her discomfort public years later.
Now Milano has added her two cents. In a series of tweets posted late Monday evening, the star called Biden a “friend” and a “leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years.”
She went on to praise the politician’s statement addressing Flores’s complaint.
“In my many years on the campaign trail and in public life, I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” Biden said in a statement. “If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully.
“But it was never my intention. I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.
“I will also remain the strongest advocate I can be for the rights of women. I will fight to build on the work I’ve done in my career to end violence against women and ensure women are treated with the equality they deserve.
“I will continue to surround myself with trusted women advisers who challenge me to see different perspectives than my own. I will continue to speak out on these vitally important issues where there is much more progress to be made and crucial fights that must be waged and won.”
According to Milano, Biden’s statement is “exactly the leadership we need to build a culture where women are heard and are equal.”
She went on to discuss Flores herself.
“I respect Lucy Flores’s decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it,” Milano tweeted. “But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same.”
But Milano’s defense of Biden in light of her activism has critics accusing her of having “double standards” because of politics. Many pointed to the Kavanaugh hearings and Milano’s support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Milano has not yet addressed the backlash, though she did later retweet this message about Biden’s credentials.
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