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It’s been almost 5 years since #MeToo, and we still haven’t figured out what to do with abusers

February 10, 2022, 1:40 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Susan Collins will be the first Black woman to lead a U.S. Fed, Hollywood is leaving women of color behind when it comes to directing jobs, and in year five of #MeToo, we still haven’t figured out what to do with abusers. Have a reflective Thursday.

– Five years later. Can you believe this fall will mark the five-year anniversary of #MeToo?

The movement’s certainly not over, but it’s no longer the center of culture the way it once was. Among other things, that’s meant that some of the thornier questions it raised have also slipped off people’s radar.

One of those questions—which remains unresolved—is what should happen to those who’ve been outed as harassers or abusers of women. There are situations where that decision rests with the courts, but more often, there’s no single arbiter who makes the call. And in those cases, we watch as offenders choose a path: apologize or deny; vanish from the public eye forever, or lie low, then attempt to creep back into some version of their old life.   

This fascinating and complicated Buzzfeed piece from Katie J.M. Baker asks whether there could be a different way. She tells the story of years’ worth of conversations between Eric Schneiderman and Anna Graham Hunter. Schneiderman is the former New York attorney general, who in 2018 was the subject of a New Yorker story accusing him of brutal physical and mental abuse of a number of women he’d been sexually involved with. Hunter in 2017 accused actor Dustin Hoffman of sexual harassment, prompting other women to come forward with similar stories. (At the time, Hoffman apologized “for anything I might have done.”) The two had a friendship that predated either set of accusations. When the New Yorker story came out, Hunter, who believed Schneiderman’s accusers, decided that rather than cut him out of her life, she would try to push him to truly comprehend and account for what he’d done.

Did it work? That’s a difficult question to answer. And it’s worth noting that some of those victimized by Schneiderman don’t think it’s something we should even be considering. (Michelle Manning Barish, who told the New Yorker Schneiderman hit and otherwise abused her during their relationship, told Baker that “anything Schneiderman had to say could be instructive was ‘part of a PR strategy to resurrect a perpetrator’s career.’”) But whatever you think of Hunter’s attempt, this story is worth your time. It’s a reminder that #MeToo may no longer dominate the headlines, but the misogynist behavior and beliefs the movement exposed still exist, and we aren’t done reckoning with them yet.

Kristen Bellstrom
kristen.bellstrom@fortune.com
@
kayelbee

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Fed first. Susan Collins (not that one!) will be the first Black woman to lead a U.S. central bank. The University of Michigan economist is the new president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Fortune

- Olympics alert. Chloe Kim won gold in the snowboarding halfpipe. Skier Mikaela Shiffrin didn't finish again, this time in her second race—an unexpected and heartbreaking outcome for the athlete's return to Olympic competition. South Korean athletes are starting to push back against abusive training tactics, inspired by the "Garlic Girls," or women's curlers (nicknamed for the produce grown in the region they're from) who medaled in 2018 and later accused their coach of verbal abuse. 

- Direct progress? This year's study from USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative finds that women of color are being left behind as studios aim to hire more diverse directors. While the year's films were helmed by a more diverse group, those gains largely went to white women as well as to men of color. Streaming services, however, have hired more women of color for directing jobs. Indiewire

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Jennifer Morgan, an American who is the executive director of Greenpeace International, will be Germany's special envoy for climate policy. Silicon Valley Community Foundation hired Gihani Fernando as VP of strategy and board affairs. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- After the 9-5. There's a new job perk for Dollywood employees: tuition. Dolly Parton's resort will now provide its workers with $5,250 a year to study to advance their careers, at Dollywood or outside of it. NPR

- Court case. Rumored Supreme Court candidate Leondra Kruger argued the 2012 Supreme Court case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The court's decision was a win for religious organizations seeking exemption from some anti-discrimination employment laws and a loss for the Obama administration (which Kruger represented). It's now getting a second look with Kruger on President Biden's shortlist. Washington Post

- Social media statementA new sports bra ad campaign by Adidas features photos of 25 women's breasts, images meant to normalize women's bodies and promote breast health. The campaign, however, only launched on Twitter because other social platforms don't allow female nudity. Adweek

ON MY RADAR

Eileen Gu is not your political pawn MEL Magazine

The women of the metaverse Forbes

'I've chosen myself:' Inside Kim Kardashian's new world Vogue

PARTING WORDS

"I was always really interested in playing a journalist because I just kind of admired the ability to ask whatever you want."

-Anna Chlumsky on her role in the new Netflix series Inventing Anna

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