Motivational speaker Tony Robbins bullied a woman during one of his “Unleash the Power” events in San Jose, California, on March 15.
Nanine McCool, who is a sexual abuse survivor, defended the movement to Robbins who claimed some are using the movement as a “drug” to “try to get significance” by “attacking and destroying someone else,” notes Mediaite.com.
Robbins claimed he wasn’t “knocking the #MeToo movement,” but rather “knocking victimhood.”
Robbins insisted “anger is not empowerment,” and then got angry and dropped the F-bomb:
Who should throw the stone? You shouldn’t throw that stone if you live in a f*cking glass house. Is there any one of us that hasn’t done something that we prefer we’d not or that we’re embarrassed by or that was hurtful even if we didn’t intend it to?
The #MeToo movement has protested intentional sexual harassment and sexual abuse. not accidental incidents as Robbins tried to imply.
McCool held her ground, and said Robbins was “mischaracterizing the #MeToo movement”:
Certainly there are people who are using it for their own personal devices, but there are also a significant number of people who are using it not to relive whatever may have happened to them, but to make it safe for the young women. So that they don’t have to feel unsafe.
In response, Robbins chose to engage in a physical confrontation by pressing her fist against hers, and pushing her back through the crowd in a bullying manner.
McCool described the incident to VICE:
I thought, “OK, we’re going to fist bump.” Then he started pushing me. I thought he wanted me to show how strong I could be and push back, but that’s not what he wanted. He wanted me to move backward.
[I was] thinking he’s going to transform it into some kind of awareness. I don’t know, it’s Tony Robbins, there’s going to be some lesson here that’s gonna be useful to me. I initially started pushing back but he immediately pushed back harder.
There was no way. He was going to knock me on my ass if I didn’t step backward so I quit pushing against him, I just started walking backward. As long as he was pushing me, I was moving.
Witnesses told VICE that Robbins seemed to be “almost intimidating” McCool during the incident.