Tarana Burke ‘deeply offended’ by Lee Daniels plan to create a #MeToo comedy

When #MeToo founder Tarana Burke heard about director Lee Daniels making a comedy based on the movement she created, she was livid.

Tarana Burke Lee Daniels thegrio.com
Tarana Burke is letting her thoughts about director Lee Daniels be known. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence) (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for BET)


Even though Tarana Burke created the #MeToo movement more than 12 years ago, it’s only been one year since its global rise that has led to women from across the globe speaking out publicly against assault.

While her brainchild didn’t reach the masses until it was endorsed by rich white women, Burke is now reflecting on the impact it’s had.

Monday, Burke wrote on Twitter that her work supports all sexual assault survivors, but it “has always centered on Black and Brown women and girls. And it always will…” she maintains.

Which is why when she heard about director Lee Daniels making a comedy based on the movement she created she was livid.

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“That’s exactly why it’s important to get in the writers’ rooms now and to connect with Hollywood now,” she explained to the New York Times. “Before it gets to be such a catchall phrase that they dilute its meaning, that we help people understand the gravity behind the words and that it’s not just used as, ‘Oh, look who got Me Too’d, ha-ha,’ like a punch line.”

“I just read something the other day that said Lee Daniels is making a Me Too comedy. The hair stood up on my arm. To put Me Too and comedy in the same sentence is so deeply offensive and not because I’m uptight and I don’t see comedy in things. We’re not ready for a comedy and it’s just so offensive that you think in this moment when we’re still unpacking the issue that you can write a comedy about it. And that’s the type of thing I’m talking about. We have to get out in front of that,” said Burke.

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While she is disappointed, she’s not surprised and doesn’t think the media really cares about the stories of Black women and other women of color.

“We can’t wait for white folks to decide that our trauma is worth centering on when we know that it’s happening,” she explains.

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“We know that there are people, whether they’re in entertainment or not, who are ravaging our community. We have to be proactive, unfortunately without the benefit of massive exposure. That’s our reality, but it always has been.”