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Alyssa Milano Laments Bill Clinton’s ‘Weak Reply’ to Lewinsky Questions

Actress Alyssa Milano speaks during a news conference at the House Triangle on the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment on June 6, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

WASHINGTON – Actress Alyssa Milano, an activist for the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment and abuse, criticized former President Clinton’s answers to questions about his handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Clinton was asked recently if he had ever apologized to Lewinsky personally. Clinton told NBC News he has “apologized to the world” about his behavior.

Milano, who supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for president, said Bill Clinton delivered “a weak reply.”

“I think we all owe Monica Lewinsky and Anita Hill and all of those that came before us apologies,” Milano said last week after speaking on Capitol Hill in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Milano also weighed in on the Miss America pageant’s decision to eliminate the swimsuit portion of the competition.

“What took them so long? I think it’s a great idea. I can’t believe it took this long. We’re in 2018 and we’re really objectifying women up on a stage in a bathing suit; it’s crazy to me but, yes, I’m thrilled about that,” she told PJM.

Addressing the mixed reaction to the decision from current and former pageant contestants, Milano said, “I think anytime you have a cultural shift it might take a little bit for people to get used to, the new idea of what it’s going to be like in the future. So I would say in the long term it’s what’s best for women, in general, and I think they’ll see that eventually.”

Milano, who has appeared in movies such as Fear and television shows including Who’s the Boss? and Charmed, was asked if she thinks women should stop appearing nude on camera in films.

“I think that’s a personal choice and I think context is really important, and depending on what the film is and the context around it, what story you’re telling,” she said. “Again, you can’t rip sexuality out of life and, as storytellers, we tell stories of life.”

As a result of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Milano predicted that there would be more women in Hollywood “telling the stories so that the stories will be told in a more emotional, heartfelt level rather than just to exploit women and get them naked.”

Milano appeared at a press conference with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who re-introduced the Equal Rights Amendment.

“Many people today take for granted that equal rights between men and women are enshrined in the U.S. Constitution – and are shocked when they learn that they are not. To this day, the right to vote is the only right guaranteed to women in the constitution, even though women make up more than 50 percent of the population,” reads a statement on Maloney’s website. “The ERA passed Congress in 1972, and was sent to the states for ratification. Unfortunately, by the time the deadline passed in 1982, the ERA was just three states shy of the thirty-eight necessary.”

Illinois ratified the ERA last month.

While Democrats have been receptive to the ERA, Milano described the outreach to Republicans as going “not well.”

“My message is that women want protection under the Constitution and we don’t feel like this is a partisan issue. This should be a bipartisan issue and hopefully they will come on board,” she said.

Milano explained how she would pitch the Equal Rights Amendment to President Trump.

“I think he’s a lot of talk as far as a lot of issues go, and this would be a great way for him to actually put concrete action behind the talk that’s already drawn out and legislated on,” she said. “And hopefully we’ll get that 38th state ratified, and a very easy thing for him to do that would make him actually look heroic.”