“I could never imagine this, I could never have envisioned something that could change the world,” Burke told “Today” alongside actress Alyssa Milano, who says she was also sexually harassed and helped bring the #MeToo hashtag to a wider audience.
“As women we have to support each other and stand up and say, ‘No more,'” Milano said.
Time’s cover story features some of the women who spoke out against Weinstein, the former Hollywood movie producer who resigned from his studio in October and faces more than 80 sexual misconduct allegations dating back to the 1970s.
Rose McGowan, who settled with Weinstein in 1997 after accusing him of rape, has said she wanted to expose how Hollywood propagates a culture of silence in order to protect the powerful. And it’s not just the entertainment industry, but assault occurs in boardrooms and the corridors of Washington.
“The number of people sharing their stories with me is so intense, especially since all of this is incredibly triggering for me as well,” McGowan told Time. “People forget a lot that there’s a human behind this, someone who is very hurt.”
Weinstein has denied all allegations that he engaged in non-consensual sex with women, and no criminal charges have been brought against him.
Burke told Time that the stigma for sexual assault victims has long been a badge of disgrace, but now the tide has shifted.
“Sexual harassment does bring shame,” Burke said. “And I think it’s really powerful that this transfer is happening, that these women are able not just to share their shame but to put the shame where it belongs: on the perpetrator.”
The women who broke their silence were selected for Time’s annual honor, ahead of last year’s Person of the Year, President Donald Trump, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.