Why #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke Initially Turned Down Michelle Williams' Golden Globes Invite

The founder of the #MeToo Movement opened up about her decision to attend the awards show on the DNA of a Maker podcast, hosted by E!'s Lilliana Vazquez

By Allison Crist Jul 06, 2020 4:27 PMTags
Watch: Michelle Williams Talks "#MeToo" at 2018 Golden Globes

A difficult decision. 

Tarana Burke, the longtime activist and founder of the #MeToo movement—which brought scores of sexual assault and harassment claims to light, both in Hollywood and out—is opening up to E! host Lilliana Vazquez about attending the 2018 Golden Globes with Michelle Williams

The conversation takes place on Tuesday's all-new episode of the recently-launched podcast DNA of a Maker, but E! is bringing you an exclusive sneak peek.

During the episode, Vazquez broaches the topic of the awards show by asking Burke about her initial response to Williams' invitation. 

"I said, 'I don't want to be an accessory,'" the 46-year-old creator of Just Be Inc. recalls, noting that she was mainly curious about Williams' reasoning.

"I was like, 'Why?'" Burke adds, chuckling. "And...she started talking about it, and I was like, 'Yeah, I'm not going to be the Black lady that you just drag down the red carpet. I can't be that person.'"

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However, the conversation between Burke and Williams didn't end there. According to the activist, she soon discovered that Williams "doesn't bullsh-t."

"She's real straightforward. And I think people read her to be demure and maybe meek, but she's so not that person. She's such a badass," Burke tells Vazquez. "I just enjoyed her a lot. And she was straightforward with me, and we had a great conversation."

The discussion that the two had, Burke explains, is an example of how she doesn't want "to tiptoe around this thing."

"Because then we'll be having these nicey-nicey conversations," she says. "And then I'll be hanging up and calling somebody else, like, 'Do you think that she wants me to da-da-da?, instead of just talking to her and saying, 'Listen, sis, this is not me. I can sit this one out because I wasn't expecting to go anyway, right?' So."

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When Vazquez asks how the two were able to find a resolution, Burke explains that they simply talked through it. 

"[Williams] explained to me from the beginning to the end how she came to this conclusion," Burke recalls. "She talked about just coming into this sort of work around women. She had gone to the Women's March with her daughter. She talked about her daughter being a really big influence on her life and wanting to do more of this work in that way."

For Burke, everything the 39-year-old actress said felt "very honest."

"It was genuine," she adds. "I felt an authenticity from her that you don't particularly get from people you just meet."

Listen to the complete DNA of a Maker episode on Tuesday.