GRETCHEN CARLSON: “BE FIERCE”

Gretchen Carlson exposed the secret world of workplace sexual harassment before Harvey Weinstein dominated global headlines, and in doing so, she took down one of the biggest media titans in the world.  In the process, she  became a voice for every woman to be fierce!

Aired October 19, 2017. 

TRANSCRIPT

> FORMER FOX NEWS ANCHOR GRETCHEN CARLSON'S PUBLIC ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HER BOSS, ROGER AILES, THE LATE CEO AT FOX NEWS CREATED TURMOIL AT THE COMPANY AND ALSO THE CREATION OF A MOVEMENT.

HER STORY AS A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY WOULD FOCUS THE PUBLIC'S ASCENSION TO THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND HELPED PAVE THE WAY OF THE ACCUSERS OF HARVEY WEINSTEIN TO SPEAK OUT.

THE DISGRACED HOLLYWOOD TITAN STANDS ACCUSED OF TWO DECADES OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT TOWARDS THE WOMEN HE WORKED WITH, INCLUDING ANGELINA JOLIE AND GWYNETH PALTROW.

ALLEGATIONS ARE STRETCHING BACK TO 1990 ABOUT HARVEY WEINSTEIN'S TREATMENT OF WOMEN.

HE WAS FIRED FROM THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY AND UNDER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION IN NEW YORK AND LONDON AFTER SEVERAL WOMEN CAME FORWARD TO ACCUSE HIM OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, INCLUDING HARASSMENT AND RAPE.

WHILE HARVEY WEINSTEIN HAS DENIED ANY ALLEGATIONS OF NONCONSENSUAL SEX, HE'S BEEN PAYING OFF HIS ACCUSERED FOR DECADES IN EXCHANGE FOR THEIR SILENCE.

NOW GRETCHEN CARLSON IS SPEAKING OUT AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND THE SETTLEMENTS SHE SAYS ARE FUELLING A QUOTE SILENT EPIDEMIC.

HER QUOTE, SHE SAID, ONCE AGAIN WE HAVE THE REVELATION THAT FOR 30 YEARS A POWERFUL MAN HAS HARASSED WOMEN AND THE COMPANIES THEY RUN HAVE ENABLED IT, COVERED IT UP AND SHUT UP THE VICTIM.

THIS HAPPENS IN ALL INDUSTRIES AND IT MUST STOP.

MOST DISTURBING IS THE FACT THAT THIS COMPANY REQUIRED EMPLOYEES TO AGREE TO SECRECY BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN HIRED SO THE HARASSERS ARE FREE TO HARASS AGAIN SOMETIMES FOR DECADES.

AND THE WOMEN ARE FOREVER SILENCED, END QUOTE.

I RECENTLY SAT DOWN WITH GRETCHEN CASUALSON TO DISCUSS HER NEW BOOK, 'BE FIERCE, STOP HARASSMENT AND TAKE YOUR POWER BACK.'

I BEGAN BY ASKING HER IF SHE EVER ANTICIPATED BEING THE FACE OF THIS ISSUE.

NEVER.

EVER DAY REALLY HAS BEEN A SURREAL EXPERIENCE FOR ME.

WHEN I MADE THE BIGGEST DECISION OF MY LIFE IN JULY, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING TO BE IN FRONT OF ME.

SO EVERY DAY HAS BEEN SOMETHING NEW AND I HAVE TO SAY EVEN LISTENING TO YOUR INTRODUCTION THERE, IT'S LIKE WOW, SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE.

IS THAT ME THAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT?

OFTENTIMES IN OUR LIVES WE FIND OURSELVES THRUST INTO A POSITION THAT WE NEVER ANTICIPATE AND WE CAN EMBRACE IT OR WE CAN REJECT IT.

YOU'VE CHOSEN TO EMBRACE IT.

WHY?

I GET ASKED THAT A LOT.

WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST GO HOME AND CONCENTRATE ON BEING A MOM TO YOUR TWO KIDS.

WHILE I STILL LOVE DOING THAT, I'VE ALWAYS APPROACHED CHALLENGES WITH A MISSION.

LIKE I NEED TO MAKE SURE I PUT ALL OF MY EFFORT INTO IT.

AND IT WAS MAINLY ALL OF THE WOMEN WHO STARTED REACHING OUT TO ME.

AND ALL OF THEIR STORIES WERE SUCH A CROSS SECTION OF SO MANY DIFFERENT SECTIONS, WAITRESSES TO FLIGHT ATTENDANTS TO LAWYERS, JOURNALISTS, TO WALL STREET BANKERS, TEACHERS, OIL RIG OPERATORS.

IT'S EVERYWHERE.

AND I FELT A SENSE OF DUTY TO BE A VOICE FOR THEM.

IN SO MANY CASES THEY HAD NEVER TOLD THEIR HUSBANDS THEIR OWN PERSONAL STORY.

I FELT A SENSE OF DUTY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, TO PUT THE ISSUE IN THE FOREFRONT, TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT IT BECAUSE WOMEN ARE SO FEARFUL TO DO THAT.

I'M STRUCK BY, IN READING THROUGH THIS, THE VAST ARRAY OF PROFESSIONS.

YOU'VE HEARD FROM SO MANY PEOPLE.

ON THE SURFACE WE THINK THERE ARE CERTAIN PROFESSIONS THAT HAVE BEEN LABELED IN ALL OF THE WORST SENSE OF THE TERM BOYS' CLUBS.

STORIES FOR DECADES ABOUT INAPPROPRIATE, MUCH MORE THAN BOARISH BUT HARMFUL AND DESTRUCTIVE TREATMENT OF WOMEN.

WHY DO YOU THINK IT'S SUCH AN EXPANSE OF PROFESSIONS, THAT IT'S NOT LIMITED JUST TO THE FEW THAT PEOPLE WOULD SUSPECT?

BECAUSE I THINK THAT CULTURAL SHIFTS TAKE TIME TO CHANGE.

IF WE LOOK AT RACE RELATIONS IN OUR COUNTRY, IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU SWITCH ON A LIGHT AND IT'S SUDDENLY FIXED.

IT'S VERY SIMILAR IN NATURE.

BUT WHAT I'VE UNCOVERED IN MY RESEARCH FOR 'BEFIERCE' IS THAT WOMEN SEEM TO BE THE LAST GROUP THAT IT'S STILL OKAY TO MAKE FUN OF OR MAKE JOKES ABOUT.

WE WOULDN'T DO THAT WITH OTHER GROUPS OF PEOPLE.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

I DON'T --

I'M CURIOUS.

IT'S WHAT I'VE DISCOVERED NOW AND IT CHANGES THE WAY IN WHICH I SPEAK TO MY CHILDREN AT HOME.

I'LL SAY TO MYSELF, WOW, I PROBABLY SHOULDN'T SAY HEY GUYS TO MY DAUGHTER.

MY DAUGHTER IS 14, SHE SAID WHY DO YOU CALL ME A GUY.

I CALL EVERYONE A GUY.

MAYBE THAT'S A SMALL LITTLE THING.

BUT WHY IT'S SO PERVASIVE, I THINK IT'S GOING TO TAKE AN ENTIRE CULTURAL SHIFT.

ME DOING WHAT I DID AND THAT'S WHY THIS BE BOOK IS STARTING THIS NATIONAL DIALOGUE.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT IF WE HAVE ANY HOPE OF FIXING IT.

I'M CURIOUS ABOUT AN OBSERVATION THAT PEOPLE WOULD PROBABLY GENERALLY THINK OF OKAY, THE HR DEPARTMENT, HUMAN RESOURCES, THEY'RE MY FRIEND, MY ALLY.

THAT'S NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.

WHY DO YOU THINK?

I THINK THERE ARE GREAT PEOPLE MO WORK IN THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT AND THEY ARE THE PLACE WHERE YOU GO IN MANY CASE TO FILE THESE KINDS OF COMPLAINTS.

BUT IN MY BOOK I ADVOCATE FOR A NEW APPROACH WHERE WE MIGHT HAVE AN OMBUDSMAN IN COMPANIES THAT YOU COULD GO TO THAT WOULD BE IMPARTIAL AND NOT SPECIFIC A PAYCHECK FROM THE COMPANY WHERE THIS ACTIVITY MAY BE GOING ON.

ALSO, I'D LIKE TO SEE CHANGE IN THE WAY WE'RE DOING SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING IN THE COMPANIES.

HOW DO WE EMPOWER THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WITNESS THE BEHAVIOR TO NOT FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF BEING AN ENABLER, BUT FALL INTO THE CATEGORY OF ALSO THE COURAGEOUS BYSTANDER WHO DEFENDS THE PERSON IT'S HAPPENING TO.

IF WE COULD DO THOSE TWO LITTLE TWEAKS I THINK THAT WE WOULD HAVE TREMENDOUS, TREMENDOUS SUCCESS IN TRYING TO STOP THIS PROBLEM.

LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

HAVING GONE THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH AND DOING WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW, ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

HAVE YOU SEEN ANY SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS OR MIGHT THERE BE SOME SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON THE HORIZON, DO YOU THINK?

I AM A REALLY OPTIMISTIC PERSON.

MY LIFE MOTTO IS CARPE DIEM.

I DO SEIZE EVERY DAY AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

IT'S ONE OF THE REASONS I SET UP GIFT OF COURAGE WHERE I FINANCIALLY EMPOWER ORGANIZATION TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIRLS.

AND I'M PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THE GRETCHEN CARLSON LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE, A NINE-CITY TOUR KICKING OFF THIS NOVEMBER TO HELP UNDERSERVED WOMEN.

YES, I'M OPTIMISTIC BECAUSE I'M ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR ALL OF THE WOMEN WHO REACHED OUT TO ME AND ALL OF THE WOMEN AND MEN WHO WANT TO FEEL EMPOWERED IN ANY ASPECT OF THEIR LIFE WHERE THEY MIGHT BE BEING PUT DOWN.

THIS BOOK ISN'T JUST ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

IT'S ABOUT BULLYING IN SCHOOLS, IT'S ABOUT NOT BEING PAID FAIRLY, NOT GETTING THE PROMOTION YOU DESERVE.

SO IT'S REALLY FINDING THE COURAGE INSIDE YOUR SOUL TO STEP UP TO STAND UP AND TO SPEAK UP.

I SAW THAT YOU DEDICATED THIS BOOK TO YOUR CHILDREN.

YES.

THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN THEY SIT BACK AND SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, MOM WAS A CHAMPION.

I REALLY APPRECIATE THAT.

THEY WERE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN MAKING THE BIGGEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

AND I'M PROUD TO SAY 15 MONTHS LATER MY CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BRAVE.

WE LEARN THROUGH EXAMPLE AND YOU ARE CERTAINLY AN EXAMPLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.

GRETCHEN, A DELIGHT TALKING WITH YOU.

YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

TAKE CARE.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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