Tony Robbins is apologizing for offensive comments he made about victims of sexual abuse and the #MeToo movement in one of his self-help lectures.
The life coach came under scrutiny after a video of him speaking to a crowd in San Jose, California, spread online. In the video, Robbins criticized some of the women who are a part of the movement, saying some victims of sexual abuse do not take responsibility for themselves.
“If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else… all you’ve done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good,” Robbins said.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 6, 2018
Tarana Burke, who created the #MeToo hashtag, blasted Robbins for his remarks, calling them “gross” and “damaging.”
Sunday, Robbins mentioned Burke specifically when releasing an apology on social media.
“At a recent Unleash the Power Within (UPW) event in San Jose, my comments failed to reflect the respect I have for everything Tarana Burke and the #MeToo movement has achieved,” he wrote. “I apologize for suggesting anything other than my profound admiration for the #MeToo movement. Let me clearly say, I agree with the goals of the #MeToo movement and its founding message of ’empowerment through empathy,’ which makes it a beautiful force for good.”
Robbins continued, saying he wants to be a part of the solution in this world, not the problem.
“I am committed to helping to educate others so that we all stay true to the ideals of the #MeToo movement. I will never stop examining my own words and actions to make sure I am staying true to those ideals,” he said. “That begins with this brief statement but will not end until our goals are reached.”
But Burke’s statements to Robbins weren’t the first time the life coach had been confronted about his thinking. During the seminar itself, Robbins was directly called out by audience member, Nanine McCool.
“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,” McCool said. “So that they don’t have to feel unsafe.”
Robbins doubled down.
“Look at these people and see what is empowerment,” Robbins said. “Anger is not empowerment. What you’re seeing is people making themselves significant by making somebody else wrong.
Read Robbins’ full apology below:
— Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins) April 8, 2018
Photo credit: Instagram/Tony Robbins