Motivational speaker Tony Robbins has apologized for his comments on the #MeToo movement in a statement released on Sunday. "I apologize for expressing anything other than my profound admiration for the #MeToo movement," the statement says. "I teach that 'life happens for you, not to you' and what I've realized is that I've dedicated my life to working with victims of abuse all over the world, I need to get connected to the brave women of #MeToo."
On Friday, ThisNow posted a video on Twitter of Robbins at his March 15 “Unleash the Power Within” seminar, which showed the motivational speaker listening as an attendee named Nanine McCool spoke. She started to say, "I think you misunderstand the #MeToo movement," and Robbins immediately interrupted her and mansplained with a ridiculous response.
"If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else," he said, "all you’ve done is basically use a drug called ‘significance’ to make yourself feel good."
He continued to talk about one of his "powerful" friends. "I was just with someone the other day, very famous man, very powerful man," he said. "He's saying how stressed he is because he interviewed three people that day—one was a woman, two were men. The woman was better qualified, but she was very attractive, and he knew, 'I can’t have her around, because it’s too big of a risk.' And he hired somebody else. I’ve had a dozen men tell me this."
McCool stood up to Robbins and said he was misusing his platform and not doing a thing to help the #MeToo movement. His response? "This is what so many people are doing—they're just saying they're sorry…I'm not here to comply."
Tarana Burke, who first used the phrase "me too" in 2006, responded to the video at length on Twitter. She tweeted, "This moment is so damaging especially with how influential @TonyRobbins is. We have a hard enough time trying to shift the narrative about what this movement really is and he stands in front of thousands of his followers and completely misrepresents the @MeTooMVMT."
Head over to Burke's Twitter to read the rest of her thoughts.