Alyssa Milano has a message for her daughter, and she shared it with the world Monday morning. On the first anniversary of her #MeToo tweet, the actress and activist posted a video on Twitter in which she explains to her daughter, Elizabella, why she went public with her sexual assault story.
“One year ago I recorded this for my daughter, explaining why I shared my story of sexual assault,” she captioned the video. She goes on to say that although she had not planned to release the video publicly, now she feels it’s “too important not to share.”
She begins by setting the scene. “Donald Trump is president — crazy,” she notes. “More importantly than that, women everywhere are sharing their stories of sexual harassment and assault, and they’re saying phrases like ‘Me Too’ and ‘Time’s Up.’”
Milano goes on to explain that she was inspired to tweet her original #MeToo message one night after looking down at her 4-year-old. “I got really scared, I got scared for you, and I sent out a tweet asking for women to stand in solidarity, and a lot of people replied.”
The Insatiable star is referring to her now-famous tweet, which set off the #MeToo movement. She posted it exactly one year ago today, and it went viral.
In August, Milano explained to Yahoo Lifestyle that working with women on Insatiable when the Harvey Weinstein news broke also pushed her to share this personal anecdote. After having conversations about sexual assault at work, she came home to her two kids and it hit her. “I looked down at my daughter on a Sunday night and I just lost it. She was sleeping in my bed. I get weepy just thinking about it. … I just prayed to God, ‘Please let this never be my daughter’s reality.’ This is hurtful, this is horrible,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.
That night, she checked her direct messages and saw the screenshot of the anonymous tweet that read, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” which originally came from the founder of #MeToo, Tarana Burke.
“So in a way, I wanted to make this video for you, because in a way all of this is because of you, because you gave Mama the strength,” Milano says in the video.
She tells her daughter that she wants her to grow into a woman who “knows her worth and is valued for her brain; and beautiful, big heart; and her sweet, sweet soul and her talents; and not her body.”
The actress and activist promises Elizabella that she’s fighting to make changes for her. “I want you to know that I’m working very hard, a lot of women are working very hard, to make sure that silence is not the norm for your generation.”
Meanwhile, Milano is urging people to vote in the upcoming midterm elections. Below the video, she wrote, “This Election Day, I’ll be voting like my rights, your rights, and my daughter’s rights depend on it,” and included a link to the ACLU.
Through tears, she concludes, “my biggest hope for you is that you never have to say ‘Me, too.’ But if you do, God forbid if you do have to ever say, ‘Me, too,’ I want you to know that you will be heard and that you should speak your truth and that Mama’s always here for you. … I’ll keep fighting.”
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