Alyssa Milano, the actress and liberal activist who pioneered the #MeToo Movement, has distanced herself from the Women’s March, saying in a recent interview that she does not intend to support the initiative so long as its leaders defend “bigotry or anti-Semitism.”
Milano blasted Women’s March organizers Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory for supporting notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, the leader of Nation of Islam, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported .
“Any time that there is any bigotry or antisemitism in that respect, it needs to be called out and addressed. I’m disappointed in the leadership of the Women’s March that they haven’t done it adequately,” the actress said in an interview with the LGBTQ publication The Advocate.
Asked if she would participate in the Women’s March again, Milano said she would not, so long as Sarsour and Mallory were at the helm. “I would say no at this point,” she answered. “Unfortunate that none of them have come forward against him at this point. Or even given a really good reason why to support them.”
Milano spoke at last year’s Women’s March in Washington, D.C.
The criticism stems from Mallory’s close links to Farrakhan, whom she praised as “GOAT” or “Greatest of All Time.” Mallory was criticized earlier this year for not speaking out, after she attended an event during which Farrakhan said, “The powerful Jews are my enemy.” Her fellow co-chair, Linda Sarsour, later defended her against claims that she was tolerating anti-Semitism.
“I will not sit back while a strong, bold, unapologetic, committed Black woman who risks her life every day to speak truth to power and organize and mobilize movements is questioned, berated and abused,” Sarsour wrote on Facebook. “I stand with Tamika Mallory every day, with every fiber of my being because she has so much of what we need in the movement right now to win.”
Carmen Perez, another leader of the Women’s March whom Milano didn’t explicitly mention, has also voiced support for Farrakhan.
The hate preacher has a history of promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The leader of Nation of Islam has called Jews “the synagogue of Satan” and most recently compared  them to termites, among other anti-Semitic slurs.
In the wake of last month’s massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, Sarsour claimed to speak on behalf of her “Jewish brothers and sisters.” However, in an op-ed  published this week in The Tower, Karen Bekker argued that “as long as Sarsour and the Women’s March stand with annihilationist anti-Semitism, they cannot also stand against it.”
“In a just world, criticism of Sarsour wouldn’t be about identity politics anyway,” Julie Lenarz, a senior fellow at The Israel Project, observed  last year. “She would be condemned by left and right as a matter of principle – a united moral opposition to her amoral views.”
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