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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 11 December 2018

Alyssa Milano's 'me too' hashtag sets social media alight

Women the world over have been sharing their own anecdotes of overcoming sexism or unsafe situations

Thousands of women responded to Alyssa Milano’s call to tweet “me too” to raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault following the recent revelation of decades of allegations of sexual misconduct by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. John Shearer / Invision / AP.
Thousands of women responded to Alyssa Milano’s call to tweet “me too” to raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault following the recent revelation of decades of allegations of sexual misconduct by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. John Shearer / Invision / AP.

Me too.

Just two simple words - a call to arms from a Hollywood actor - quickly became a global movement.

You may have noticed the hashtag #metoo trend on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram today, but you probably didn't know you've got Alyssa Milano to credit.

What started as a simple plea to the public in the wake of one of Hollywood's biggest-ever scandals, quickly became an outlet for aggrieved women the world over to share - sometimes shocking - anecdotes.

Ms Milano set social media alight after she posted a suggestion from a friend on Twitter, asking women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to post 'me too' as their status, to "give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem".

In the hours since, hundreds of thousands of tweets, statuses and updates have appeared from women, famous or not, who have recounted their stories of feeling unsafe under the male gaze - whether it be out for a run, in the workplace or in other seemingly ordinary situations.

Ms Milano's initial tweet has garnered over 36,000 replies in the 17 hours since it was posted. Among the chorus of voices from the public, celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Debra Messing, Anna Paquin and Sophia Bush, voiced their support.

Ms Milano was one of the earliest supporters of her Charmed co-star Rose McGowan's #WomenBoycottTwitter protest on Friday, after Ms McGowan was temporarily suspended from the social media site in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

It's not just the women shining the light on sexual assault either, with men calling on their peers to "do better", too.

In the latest in the saga, British police recently announced they were investigating three more allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood mogul Weinstein.

The UK claims follow a string of allegations against Mr Weinstein of harassment, abuse and rape made by actors in the US, including Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Police in America have launched investigations into several of the allegations, including rape and sexual assault. Mr Weinstein denies ever having non-consensual sex.

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Read more:

British police investigate more allegations against Weinstein

Twitter to revise rules after suspension of Weinstein accuser triggers boycott

Oscar board expels Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein

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