Hundreds of people have marched in Hollywood in support of victims of sexual assault and harassment, inspired by the #MeToo social media campaign. The march was led by Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo hashtag.
The march follows a torrent of assault and harassment allegations against public figures, set off by revelations about the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. People participated in the protest march in support for survivors of sexual assault and to raise awareness of the still taboo subject of harassment at public places.
The marchers started on Hollywood Boulevard and walked along the “Walk of Fame” to CNN’s headquarters. They were predominantly women with a few men in attendance, all of whom held placards supporting the survivors who had spoken otu.
Tara McNamarra, 21, of Los Angeles, told Reuters news agency that the march felt cleansing after years of not being taken seriously about abuse.
“I’ve been sexually assaulted multiple times throughout my life,” she said. “It’s affected me in every aspect of my life.”
The #MeToo hashtag was first used by social activist Tarana Burke and popularised by actress Alyssa Milano in the wake of the Weinstein allegations.
“For every Harvey Weinstein, there are a hundred more men in the neighbourhood who are doing the exact same thing,” she wrote on Facebook ahead of the event.
She further stated, “What we’re seeing, at least for now, is a unity of survivors, a community of survivors that have grown out of this #MeToo viral moment, that I’m just hoping and praying that we can sustain.”
Actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis CK are also among the high-profile figures accused of sexual harassment over the past few weeks.