Hundreds of people, including victims of sexual assault and harassment as well as their supporters, took the streets of Los Angeles Sunday to march in the #MeToo rally to shine light on the campaign.
The march, named after a social media campaign that encouraged victims of abuse to share their stories, follows a series of allegations by men and women against powerful figures in entertainment and other industries.
It began on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and proceeded down to CNN’s Los Angeles bureau on Sunset Boulevard, where Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo social media campaign, adressed the crowd.
“I’m really happy to come here, because really it’s Hollywood that opened this floodgate,” Burke said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It’s really symbolic to have this march happen, not with Hollywood stars, but in Hollywood.”
Some people wore “Me Too” shirts, and others held up signs that read: “No more sexual abuse,” and “Rape is not a joke,” according to the Times.
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, and comedian Louis C.K. are among those accused of abusing multiple victims.
Burke, who founded Just Be Inc., an organization focused on helping young women of color, created the #MeToo campaign to encourage victims of sexual harassment to come forward with their stories.
Ex-Fox News reporter Lauren Sivan, a Weinstein accuser, also attended the march and spoke to the crowd.
“You are all brave,” Sivan said. “Bravery comes in many different forms. You don’t have to wear a flak jacket to make America a better place to live and to work and you’re all doing it by being here today.”
Actress Alyssa Milano encouraged victims to use the “MeToo” hashtag after the allegations against Weinstein surfaced.
Brenda Gutierrez decided to organize the rally after victims’ stories flooded the internet.
“This goes beyond Hollywood,” she said at a press conference in Beverly Hills on Wednesday.
“I think it’s time that we’re no longer silenced, no longer shamed and that we can end the stigma and I think that’s a big message of this march.”
With News Wire Services
With ELIZABETH ELIZALDE