Your damn right I’m angry @TonyRobbins-if you were met with powerful men who couldn’t step out of their own experience to understand the systematic abuse we suffer in every day life, you’d be rightfully angry too. Your perspective only comes from YOUR own fear. SHAME. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/k9KUKwh4I6— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) April 7, 2018
Life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins apologized after his comments regarding the #MeToo movement sparked outrage.
During a March 15 "Unleash the Power Within" seminar in San Jose, California, Robbins was confronted by a woman named Nanine McCool. While talking about the #MeToo movement and how it’s being used, Robbins made a movement with his fist to physically demonstrate to McCool what he believes some people are using the movement for.
“If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else, you haven't grown an ounce. All you've done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good,” Robbins said.
During the event, Robbins also told McCool that anger is not empowerment, adding that "what you are seeing [within the #MeToo movement] is people making themselves significant by making somebody else wrong.”
I had a fair amount of respect for @TonyRobbins before watching this video. It only took 90 seconds for that respect to pretty much disappear. This is incredible toxic, no?! #MeToo pic.twitter.com/OMWujzfCOk— Nick Laparra (@NickLaparra) April 7, 2018
McCool, who’s reportedly a survivor of sexual abuse, tried explaining to Robbins that the movement is trying to make the world safer for women.
"You're a leader and an influential man and you are doing a disservice, in my opinion, to the #MeToo movement," McCool then told the speaker.
The video ended up going viral Friday, forcing Robbins to issue an apology due to the backlash.
"My comments failed to reflect the respect I have for everything Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement has achieved," he said in the statement. “I apologize for suggesting anything other than my profound admiration for the #MeToo movement.”
Burke, the activist known as the originator of the #MeToo movement responded, saying that she didn't need an explanation.
I was made aware of this video BEFORE I ever saw it because Tony Robbins people reached out to do damage control within 24 hours. They wanted to “give me context” apparently. I don’t need any. I have eyes. The full video is 11 mins. And it’s gross. Bravo to this woman. https://t.co/gjbm9GF1Mz— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) April 7, 2018
After Robbins issued the apology, McCool used her YouTube account to say that she did not want her exchange with the speaker to become the subject. Instead, she said, she wanted it to be an inspiration.
"If we're all agreeing with each other, if we shut down all the people who don't agree with us then we have no discussion and we get nowhere," she told viewers.
"I hope what we can actually do is create a discussion with Tony Robbins instead of at Tony Robbins.”
In the video above, she also said she was “grateful and honored to be the catalyst for this discussion."
In his apology, Robbins added that he’s "committed to being part of the solution." Perhaps, finally agreeing with McCool when she called him out publicly for doing a “disservice” to the cause.
Whether you believe that Robbins should be ridiculed or not for his comments, it is important to take what McCool said into consideration. After all, further expanding the debate by listening and offering a persuasive counter-argument may actually help grow the movement.