The #MeToo movement sweeping Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with stories from sexual assault survivors was picking up steam Monday morning as thousands of people, mostly women and some celebrities, declared their solidarity in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The movement began Sunday evening after actor Alyssa Milano, who starred in the hit series “Charmed” with Rose McGowan, put out a call on Twitter for more awareness to expose the scale of sexual assault worldwide. Her tweet said, “Suggested by a friend: 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.”
“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” she added.
Some users simply wrote back “Me too,” while others wrote more elaborate messages about their experiences.
A number of men have participated as well, including Javier Munoz, who played Alexander Hamilton in Broadway’s hit musical “Hamilton.”
On Oct. 5, the New York Times reported that Hollywood kingmaker Weinstein had been accused by several women of sexual harassment or rape over the course of three decades, with McGowan the most vocal, and in some instances he’d paid them off. Since then at least 30 women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have come out with their own stories of abuse at the hands of the renowned producer, and Hollywood has condemned him.
The #metoo movement isn’t the first time a hashtag has been used to spread awareness of the issue of sexual assault. After the leak last fall of the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging he could “grab [women] by the pussy”, Twitter lit up with a #NotOkay hashtag and just like Sunday, thousands of stories of survival came pouring in.