#MeToo’s creator Tarana Burke is confident the movement will persist despite Johnny Depp’s win.
On Wednesday, a seven-person jury found both Depp and Heard liable for defamation but sided mostly with Depp. He was awarded $10.35 million in damages, while she got $2 million.
Some people on social media, in their reactions to the news Wednesday afternoon, claimed the verdict signaled an end to the #MeToo era. However, activist/author Burke, who founded the movement back in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence and abuse share their stories, said in a statement on Twitter that it’s “very much alive” still.
“The ‘me too’ movement isn’t dead, this system is dead,” she wrote. “This is the same legal system that y’all have been relying on for justice and accountability for decades to no avail. When you get the verdict you want, ‘the movement works’ – when you don’t, it’s dead.”
“When [Harvey] Weinstein went to jail it was, ‘me too is winning!’ When [Bill] Cosby came home it was, ‘What a blow, me too is losing!’ ” she continued. “In the meantime – millions of people who have never been able to utter the words ‘it happened to me’ have released the shame that wasn’t theirs to carry in the first place, we have built the country’s first political agenda created solely by Survivors, and for the first time since Anita Hill took the stand three decades ago we’ve had a sustained national dialogue about, not just sexual harassment, but the spectrum of sexual violence in this country.”
She added, “That’s in addition to various laws and policies passed, etc. This movement is very much ALIVE.”
Burke said it’s become “sport” for some to try to halt the movement and or minimize it simply to a hashtag. “You all want to play ping pong and have your way with the hashtag because it doesn’t mean anything to you so you try to kill it every few months. But it means something to millions and millions of folks. It means freedom. It means community. It means safety. It means power.”
“You can’t kill us. We are beyond the hashtag,” she concluded. “We are a movement.”