John Oliver Talks Sexual Harassment and #MeToo With Anita Hill: ‘There Are No Innocent Bystanders’

During last night’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver spoke about the #MeToo movement with a woman who is familiar with what happens to women who come forward with workplace harassment complaints against men: Anita Hill. When Oliver asks her what men’s role is in fixing the issue, Hill says, “You are needed. We need you to step up and realize at this point in time there are no innocent bystanders. If you are aware of something, you acknowledge it, you know it’s wrong, but you don’t do anything about it, then it’s the same as participating in it.”

Oliver also asked Hill about false allegations. “That really hasn’t manifested itself. That doesn’t mean that it never happens, but they’re so rare. And it seems to me that we don’t need to make rules around the things that rarely happen until we finish up making the rules around the things that are happening regularly,” she says. “There are men afraid that, if they’re accused, they’re just going to wind up being dragged in front of some kind of tribunal with their whole private life up for review against people who think they’re lying no matter what they say, and in the process of that their life could be completely turned upside down,” Oliver replies. “Can you, Anita Hill, even imagine what that might feel like?”

Later in the interview, Oliver echoes a sentiment that Fox News host Tucker Carlson and other men have expressed publicly: “We’ve seen a lot of men say they’re absolutely terrified to be alone with a woman now. Should they be scared?” Hill’s answer? “Not if they’re not harassers.”

John Oliver and Anita Hill Talk #MeToo on Last Week Tonight