Too little, too late?
Stassi Schroeder is on a major apology tour after losing 4 of her podcast sponsors and getting major backlash over a controversial podcast episode.
In the now deleted podcast episode, Stassi tackles the growing sexual harassment epidemic and the current #metoo movement. Despite her best intentions, the episode didn’t go over well with fans; forcing her to take it down.
The backlash over Stassi’s podcast forced the reality star into apologizing but it seems that not everyone is buying it. In fact, many see Stassi’s apology as a PR move to save face.
The Vanderpump Rules star started her apology on Saturday, posting a message to her Twitter account.
Stassi backed up her apology with support from her BFF Kristen Doute.
And to prove her point further, Stassi even explained her side of things more in a quick interview with DailyMail.com, telling the site “We are supposed to be living in a world where women are listening to and supporting each other and everyone has a free voice. However, four sponsors have dropped me without listening to my podcast or contacting me because of what they have seen on Twitter.”
“It’s only 40 seconds of a 2-hour episode, so there is no context. Every 10 minutes in the episode I said ‘this is about the victims, I want this to be all about the victims.’ What I actually care about is sexual assault victims, not someone who had their ass grabbed 20 years ago. I’m not calling anyone a liar.”
Adding, “I’m not questioning why we are condemning people without any investigation at all, those people are then immediately fired. With Weinstein there are over 80 women, there is no questioning it. Everyone’s individual experience is their own, and I feel I made a mistake in lumping them together and for that I really am sorry.”
If you haven’t heard or don’t know any of the things Stassi said on her podcast here’s a breakdown of just a few of her statements.
“A lot of them are more than willing to go to that hotel room. I’m sorry, no one can make me suck someone’s dick. I don’t understand. My opinion on a lot of these…there are ways to get out of it. It’s the easiest thing to just be like no no no. But I’ve been reading all these stories of women who they were making out with this person and then they were forced to go down on him. That sounds like he thought you liked it right because you were making out with him but now years later when it’s now a trend to say #metoo you’re going to come out and say that you were sexually assaulted because you felt embarrassed that you did that.”
“Half the things are true, half these people are actual victims, but then there are all these little [illegitimate stories] because they want publicity.”
“How is that sexual harassment? You could say no, or you could push them away.”
“Men are terrified right now.”
“So now what, if a girl goes and touches some guy’s private parts, is he gonna come out and say ‘You sexually harassed me'”?
“We’re all saying it in private.”
Just report it!
“Where the fuck were your parents?”
“They might as well be the Salem Witches hanging from trees.”
“Just push them off” “Adopt a resting bitch face” etc
However, after continuing to get backlash from fans, Stassi took things a step further and wrote an open letter to her fans on her website JustStassi.com.
I need to share my thoughts with you regarding my most recent (and deleted) podcast episode.
I am someone who has always been pro-women. My whole podcast was built around this notion, a notion revolving around women supporting women and having a safe space to discuss whatever we wanted in the most uncensored way possible. I’ve spent 3 years now discussing the fact that as women, we should feel comfortable to express ourselves/feelings/thoughts without feeling ashamed. I feel motivated and inspired to help women & express the importance of exposing abuse. I feel motivated to be honest in the face of unjust actions, whether it be by a man or a woman. I have ALWAYS been about justice. I have had the great fortune of being an example to young women & my honesty is what got me to that point; therefore, my honesty is something I am not willing to compromise.
The idea of anyone being sexually assaulted horrifies me. The fact that I’ve upset women who have been sexually assaulted horrifies me. And for that I am truly, truly sorry.
My intentions with this latest episode got lost with some of the comments I made that were insensitive and thoughtless. Before I explain my intent, I want to WHOLLY apologize for the flippant remarks where I said that no one could make me go down on someone, where I said it is easy to say no, and where I said it’s easy to not go to someone’s hotel room alone. I don’t know what each individual woman was being put through in each instance. That was inexcusable and reckless of me.
I’ve read countless emails from you where you’ve shared your stories with me. Some of your stories have shown me just how sorry I am for lumping sexual assault victims into one category and making those ignorant remarks. Other stories have made me realize that there still is a dialogue that people are having privately, a dialogue that we might not be ready for publicly. It was the one I inarticulately tried to have.
The comments I’ve apologized for were 40 seconds of a two-hour long episode, that very few people have heard. What is really unfortunate is that this backlash has made me the story, when the whole purpose of the episode was to bring attention to real victims of sexual assault. I have a point of view that reflects the way a lot of women are feeling, because I spoke to many victims prior to and after the podcast came out. There are many women who feel that so many of the stories we are hearing now in the media are incomparable to real sexual assault. While we all have a different level of what we deem assault, a story about a man touching a woman’s backside isn’t the same as being sexually raped. And I have felt that these stories have taken away from the women who have truly been violated.
The attack on Al Franken is one of the stories that really inspired me to bring up this sensitive topic. A man, who I believe has been doing great things, might see his life/work/family go down in flames. And then, I continued to research. And I read about men who were fired within hours of one allegation. Without any investigation whatsoever. This doesn’t just affect the men, it trickles down to, not only their families, but also their colleagues. Movies and television shows that are now being canceled are putting artists and people out of work. What about the screenwriter of the show? Or the set director? Or the sound technicians? All because of one uninvestigated allegation. (I use the entertainment industry as my example because that is what I know).
The reaction to my podcast has really shaken me. I should be able to express what I think and feel. Should I not? I made mistakes with some inappropriate comments, but does that discredit everything else I stand for?
I’m now torn. Truly torn. I was never trying to hurt anyone. I was trying to express my opinion and start a dialogue that I think may have come too soon. And I have been condemned for it. Is that not the opposite of what we stand for? I would NEVER protect a sexual predator. I would find ways to burn sexual predators alive in boiling oil. And I would NEVER shame a victim. I am a woman, after all. I am one of you. And I have very close people around me who have experienced being raped. I’ve been put in some very compromising positions that I was lucky enough to fight my way out of. I was one of the lucky ones, and I should have realized that not everyone has the same luck.
I believe there is a strong message behind what I said and I didn’t explain it properly because of my flippant, ignorant remarks. I have felt that there have been opportunistic people who have used this time to gain attention, fame, money etc. and that frustrates me. There are real victims out there, and they are being put in the shadows. I am proud of ANYONE who is brave enough to come out with her/his story.
This shouldn’t be about men vs women. This could happen to me. This could happen to my best girlfriend, my sister, my mom. One allegation, one accusation… and everything you’ve worked so hard for is over. This is about an abuse of power. Men have abused their power, and women have abused their power. And now with social media, the abuse of power is rampant.
I’ve now realized just how big this issue is and it’s something I can’t even begin to tackle. When the dialogue becomes acceptable, I hope to be a part of it. It’s about the victims. And it’s about justice in the right way. I only care about what is just and right. If people misconstrue my message because of some ignorant comments, I cannot control that. But I can control the consistency of my message, and I have always been that way with my podcast. My hopes moving forward are for women (and men) to always feel they have a safe place to come out with their stories, but for us to not condemn people immediately and blindly without question. I am someone who wants true equality. I don’t want hand outs JUST because I am a woman.
Thank you to everyone who emailed me their stories.
I am truly sorry to anyone I hurt.
Meanwhile, several of Stassi’s VPR co-stars have also chimed in on Stassi’s controversial podcast, including her ex-boyfriend Patrick Meagher.
If you don’t know I listen and transcribed Stassi’s entire podcast, which you can read here. My biggest issue with Stassi right now is that she keeps contradicting herself. People are not up in arms over 40 seconds of a two-hour podcast – people are upset because the two-hour podcast was full of horrific and uneducated statements that put the blame on victims. More importantly, Stassi thinks fans and her sponsors didn’t hear the podcast, and that they are basing their opinions on one quote but at this point, practically everyone has listened to the podcast because it’s all over the internet. People recorded it and uploaded because they were THAT offended by her remarks. I really like Stassi and have always been a fan but she needs to stop making excuses at this point.
Thoughts on Stassi’s apologies and statements? Do you think Stassi is truly sorry for her comments? Sound off below!
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