On Sunday night’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver sat down with Anita Hill to talk about the #MeToo movement and the changing views of sexual harassment. The Brandeis University professor told the host that despite the progress that has been made, men needed to “step up” if they were going to help eradicate the situation.
“You are needed,” Hill told Oliver of men. “We need you to step up. There are no innocent bystanders.”
In 1991, Hill testified in front of the Senate while the body was deliberating over whether to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Hill accused Thomas of sexually harassing her when he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Ultimately, Thomas was confirmed by a 52-48 margin, which was the closest vote since the 19th century.
“Oh, there’s been a tremendous amount of change,” she told Oliver of the impact of the #MeToo movement in the last year. “There’s been a change in public attitude. And there’s been a change in the amount of information that we have about sexual harassment. And there’s certainly more awareness after the #MeToo movement.”
Hill also said that while progress has been made, much of the burden to report and face harassment still falls on women.
“One of the questions I get that just sort of sticks out with me is, ‘How do we raise our daughter to make sure that she doesn’t set herself up to be a victim of sexual harassment?’ These are the kinds of things that we’re thinking. If we fix her, then she won’t encounter this problem. In reality, she is not the problem.”
As the movement continues to grow, however, Hill said harassers should fear that they too will be found out.
“If you are a harasser, then you should be terrified,” she said.
You can watch the rest of Oliver’s interview with Hill beginning at the 17:52 mark of the video above.