Is the #MeToo movement coming apart just as it was getting off the ground?
Journalist Ashleigh Banfield appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Friday, where she criticized the reporting behind a recent article that accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct.
The HLN host slammed Babe.net writer Katie Way for allegedly failing to perform due diligence for its piece, in which an unidentified 23-year old New York photographer accused the “Parks and Recreation” star of pressuring her into sexual activity against her will.
“We work for reputable organizations. We vet these things so meticulously,” Banfield told Kelly. “That [article] would never have seen the light of day in our news organizations, but the conversation you’re talking about is important.”
Banfield also questioned Way’s credibility in light of her previous work for Babe.net.
“Let’s be clear: We need to consider the source here, as well,” she said. “Just a month prior, the headline from this organization and this writer was ‘Your drunk food choices and what kind of hoe they make you.'”
The journalist stopped short of declaring herself a defender of Ansari.
““I am not Aziz Ansari’s defender, and I have said from the beginning I am not his defender,” Banfield asserted. “I said it was disgusting what he did.”
In a statement, Ansari said the sexual encounter was “by all indications was completely consensual.”
Due to the allegations, Ansari skipped Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. His nomination for the Netflix series “Master of None” was met without applause.
Banfield first took aim at the Way-authored piece on Monday, calling the accusations “reckless and hollow.”
“You had an unpleasant date. And you didn’t leave. That is on you. And all the gains that have been achieved on your behalf and mine are now being compromised by allegations that are reckless and hollow.”
After Way responded by insulting Banfield’s appearance, the HLN host fired back.
“We do not attack people for their age, or their highlights or their lipstick because it is the most hypocritical thing a woman who says she supports the women’s movement could ever do and that’s the caliber of the woman who was given all of this power and was able to wield this power.”
Can the #MeToo movement survive the infighting, or has it fallen flat?