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Anthony Bourdain has made no secret of his opinions on what is now known as the Me Too movement. He was outspoken from the beginning when the Harvey Weinstein story broke, given that his girlfriend Asia Argento was among the first accusers, fiercely supporting her on Twitter, and coming after any perceived non-allies — including Hillary Clinton. He’s also used the moment to discuss the restaurant industry’s shady history when it comes to treatment of women — think Mario Batali and a slew of others — and express deep regret for any role he played in it, even by remaining silent when silence amounted to complicity.
Now he’s speaking out again about the restaurant industry in plain terms — and he is "not in a forgiving state of mind."
“I came out of a brutal, oppressive business that was historically unfriendly to women,” Bourdain said on The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. “I knew a lot of women, it turned out, who had stories about their experiences — about people I knew — who did not feel I was the sort of person they could confide in.”
And that realization has been painful to him — especially now that he’s in a relationship with Argento. “I started speaking about it out of a sense of real rage. I’d like to say that I was only enlightened in some way or I’m an activist or virtuous, but in fact, I have to be honest with myself. I met one extraordinary woman with an extraordinary and painful story, who introduced me to a lot of other women with extraordinary stories and suddenly it was personal,” he said.
Indeed, he’s shared in that same sentiment in the past, posting earlier on social media that he “ain’t woke” but “lucky” to have met her.
“To the extent that I ever woke up, that certainly had an effect. So I think, like a lot of men, I’m reexamining my life,” he told Noah. “I look back, like hopefully a lot of men in that industry and think, not necessarily ‘what did I do or not do?’, but ‘what did I see and what did I let slide? What did I not notice?’”
Watch the full clip here:
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