What Comes After the Media Men List? ‘A Lot of Hard Work’

Vice Media Statement on Harassment Allegations and Workplace Culture

2018-01-19 14:30:51

“I actively tried to avoid this,” said Moira Donegan, sitting in the headquarters of The New York Times on Wednesday.

Just over a week ago, she had identified herself for the first time as the creator of an online spreadsheet that allowed women to list men in the media industry who they accused of sexual misconduct. Now, Ms. Donegan was sitting down for her first on-camera interview since revealing her identity.

“I was watching the spreadsheet fill up. It became clear to me that a problem I had already understood as widespread was in fact, much, much broader,” she said.

Ms. Donegan, a New York-based writer, spoke with Ainara Tiefenthäler, a Times journalist, about the #MeToo movement, the fear of being outed as the spreadsheet’s creator, and the hard work ahead. Below are excerpts from the interview. Some comments have been edited lightly for brevity and clarity.

On how it all began:

DONEGAN: “The idea was that women could use it to name somebody who had behaved badly toward them, whether through sexual assault or rape or harassment. I shared it with some women colleagues and friends in my industry, whom I knew had stories. From there, they sent it to people they knew had stories — and they sent it to people they knew had stories.”

Yousur Al-Hlou / New York Times

On the spreadsheet’s impact:

DONEGAN: “So much of the conversation after the spreadsheet was made public was about the methodology of the spreadsheet, and sort of the tactics that anonymous women were using to try and keep each other safe. People were more worried about a hypothetical man whose reputation might be damaged than real women who were really raped.”

TIEFENTHÄLER: “It’s not a hypothetical man, right? There were men who were named on this who had to suffer repercussions in their real life.”

DONEGAN: “Some companies decided to conduct investigations. Not all, but some of them did result in men leaving their jobs or being fired, because they were found to have committed wrongdoing. I think it’s their responsibility that they acted that way.”

On what comes next:

DONEGAN: “There are a lot of conversations to be had about sex. We’re not done talking about sex. There’s #MeToo in 2017 and 2018. In 2014, there was #YesAllWomen. And in 1991, there was ‘I Believe Anita.’ It can feel like we’ve been defeated … but I think that every time we get a little louder, and we get a little closer to making the changes that actually need to be made.”

You can watch the full video here.

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