Tony Robbins Apologized for Saying #MeToo Stories 'Won't Make You Better'

After a video of him accusing survivors of playing the victim went viral.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Photo by Jim Spellman/Wireimage

Back in March, VICE reported that self-help guru Tony Robbins chimed into the #MeToo conversation with a controversial take—saying, in a nutshell, that some survivors who've spoken out are just looking for "significance" through "victimhood." The comments divided his followers and were slammed as misogynistic after footage of what he said went viral over the weekend.

On Sunday, Robbins apologized for essentially accusing some survivors of sexual harassment, assault, and rape of playing the victim, issuing a statement calling the #MeToo movement "a beautiful force for good."


"My comments failed to reflect the respect I have for everything Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement has achieved," he wrote. "I apologize for suggesting anything other than my profound admiration for the #MeToo movement."

The moment that sparked the fiasco came during a March 15 seminar in San Jose, California, where a fan called Robbins out for his comments. Robbins responded to her by saying, among other things, that coming forward with stories of survival "won't make you better."

"If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else, you haven’t grown an ounce,” Robbins said. “All you’ve done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good."

Tarana Burke, who coined the hashtag "#MeToo," went after Robbins after she heard his tirade, accusing him of misrepresenting the movement and calling the footage of his comments "gross."

Robbins's comments already seem to be turning some fans off to the world-renowned, multimillionaire life coach's dogma. Logan Wick—who attended the March seminar and has followed Robbins for eight years—told VICE he wouldn't give the motivational speaker another dime "until he makes changes to actually empower women."

"The spell has been broken," Wick said.

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Related: Will #MeToo Change the Rampant Harassment in Hollywood?