Megyn Kelly says women everywhere are in the middle of an “empowerment revolution” and there’s only one way forward: Keep speaking out.
The NBC talk show host issued a powerful call to action Tuesday: Women need to “get comfortable” standing up for themselves and holding “the powerful” accountable amid the current outpouring of sexual misconduct allegations against entertainment, media and political personalities.
“The time has come,” Kelly said during her show. “We are in the middle of an empowerment revolution in this country, and the only way forward is for women to... get comfortable throwing some sharp elbows, making waves and taking risks and holding the powerful to account.”
The emotional invocation came just moments after Kelly discussed her personal experience with veteran journalist Charlie Rose, who was the subject of an explosive Washington Post report Monday detailing sexual harassment allegations against him. CBS News fired Rose on Tuesday, effectively ending his role as a longtime contributor to “60 Minutes” and co-host of “CBS This Morning.”
Kelly, who alleged in a 2016 memoir that she was sexually harassed by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes during her time at the network, said Rose made her “angry” when he interviewed her last November during an event promoting her book. She said Rose grilled her on the Ailes allegations, making her feel as though she was being “cross-examined.”
“I felt defensive in the exchange with Charlie and wound up angry about how he handled my book event,” Kelly said. “Obviously, now, his behavior makes more sense.”
But, Kelly said Tuesday, it’s what she did after the event that inspired her to shine a light on an “underlying dynamic” between men and women that allows sexual harassment to go unaddressed. She said she gave Rose a bottle of wine and a thank-you note after the event, despite feeling upset with his actions.
“I believed it better not to express my anger,” Kelly said. “I believed it was better to brush it off and pretend it hadn’t happened. But I think it’s time to express our upset ― for us to not worry about being nice.”
“As hard as it is for women, like those that Charlie allegedly harassed, to stand up for themselves in the moment and thereafter,” she continued, “the time has come.”
This story has been updated with information about Rose’s firing.