American actress and #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano has moved to support former Vice President Joe Biden after he was accused of inappropriately touching and kissing women several years ago.
In a series of tweets, she wrote that she was “proud to call Joe Biden a friend”, touting him as “a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years”.
“I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathised with them, and comforted them,” Milano noted.
I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. pic.twitter.com/cI0jsKlu3P— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) 2 апреля 2019 г.
She added that Biden's response that he never meant to make anyone uncomfortable is “exactly the leadership we need to build a culture where women are heard and are equal”.
Milano pointed out that she respects Lucy Flores' decision to share her story and that she agrees with Biden that “we all must pay attention to it”.
“But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women's experiences are the same,” she wrote, adding that she believes that “Joe Biden’s intent has never been to make anyone uncomfortable, and that his kind, empathetic leadership is what our country needs.”
Her remarks left Twitter users divided over the issue, with some arguing that there was nothing “remarkable” about Milano’s tweets, which they described as an April Fools' Day joke.
Happy April 1!— Katalin Pota — BERNIE2020 (@katalin_pota) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Is it still April Fool's over there— Chris Szitovszky (@stofsk) 2 апреля 2019 г.
April Fools?— Joanne Shea (@jmshea09) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Is this an April Fools joke?— Lea Schweitzer (@startobe) 2 апреля 2019 г.
April Fools?— therealsarahoc (@sarahoc) 2 апреля 2019 г.
I have deep compassion for @JoeBiden and the healthcare circumstances he has endured in his family, no one should ever know.— Peter Morley (@morethanmySLE) 2 апреля 2019 г.
But he's been an inspiration to me, he just keeps going after all the personal tragedies. I'm in awe, & I am grateful for his work for America. 💜
😂😂🤣— southernsmartass (@gypsie626) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Many others, however, accused Milano of hypocrisy, with one user claiming that the actress is “minimising the uncomfortable experiences of vulnerable women who needed Biden for their jobs”.
I taught w a guy who was so kind…a compassionate, hardworking teacher who students LOVED.— TrekkerTeach (@trekkerteach12) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Turned out he'd been molesting girls for over a decade in his classroom.
Your personal experience w Biden does NOT mean he is not guilty of misogyny & inappropriate touching.
This is so disappointing. There goes all the trust you built up around #metoo— Maggie/Athena (@maggieathena) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Hey Alyssa! Listen up! People usually have more than one side! They usually have the capability to behave both in a good and in a bad way.— Amy Lind 🌹Class comes first! 🇸🇪🇮🇹🇺🇸 (@KanskeBra) 2 апреля 2019 г.
And we have eyes, there are numerous photos of Biden behaving in a bad way. Really, you can't empathy?
The hypocrisy I've seen in the last few days from dems is amazing and disgusting.— Joe (@joe505alb) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Sit down, @Alyssa_Milano 🙄🙄🙄— McLNeuro (@McLNeuro) 2 апреля 2019 г.
You’re minimizing the uncomfortable experiences of vulnerable women who needed Biden for their jobs.
Now I know who I'm definitely NOT gonna support.— Fred Nezami (@FredNezami) 2 апреля 2019 г.
Are you serious right now? I’m absolutely devestated to hear he would do something like this. I genuinely liked Joe BUT, as you’ve said before, we believe victims. Period. The fact that you’ve flipped on it b/c he’s a friend is disgusting and disappointing. What a hypocrite.— Jessica Haggy (@jessica_haggy) 2 апреля 2019 г.
The Twitterstorm came after Lucy Flores, the former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor of Nevada, claimed in an essay for The Cut, a New York magazine publication last week that Biden had made her feel “uneasy, gross, and confused” during a 2014 campaign rally in Nevada, when he allegedly kissed her on the back of her head.
Following Flores' story, Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide, told The Hartford Courant that Biden had touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 fundraiser for Democratic Rep. Jim Himes.
“It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head. He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth,” she claimed.
He pledged to remain “the strongest advocate” for the rights of women, promising that he “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”.