Actor T.J. Miller (“Deadpool,” “Silicon Valley”) is the latest Hollywood star to be accused of sexual harassment. He is also one of the first to push back against the allegations.
Variety reports that Miller has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman when he was in college. The woman claims that “Miller became violent with her during a sexual encounter back in 2001.” Her story is quite disturbing, alleging that Miller began choking her until she couldn’t breathe while they were fooling around.
Miller says none of it is true.
In a joint statement issued with his wife (who also went to George Washington University with the accuser), the accuser is said to have been “plotting for over a year” to break up him and his wife while they were dating back then. The Millers posted the full statement on Instagram, which Miller tweeted a link to here:
Kate & T.J. Miller’s statement:
We met this woman over a decade ago while studying together in… https://t.co/s0zJJR6V5M
— t.j. miller (@nottjmiller) December 19, 2017
This story is awful no matter who is telling the truth. If Miller did actually do this, it’s unconscionable. However, it is equally horrific to accuse someone of such a thing if it didn’t really happen.
As these myriad sexual harassment scandals have come to light in recent months, the tendency has been to err on the side of the accusers. That’s been a no-brainer for the most part because most of the situations have involved multiple accusers who tended to come forth in waves once the first victim spoke up.
Some have worried whether the current climate could lead to false accusations, however. The statement from Miller and his wife implies that is what motivated this particular accuser.
This is a very delicate conversation no matter who is having it, but even more so if you’re a male.
Matt Damon has recently been excoriated for attempting to have a discussion about what is and is not sexual harassment.
There is, of course, a conversation to be had about due process as well. This is still America, after all. The focus on sexual assault on college campuses the last few years all but threw due process protections for male students out the window, opting for “guilty upon being accused” kangaroo court justice.
In a less emotional world, we could talk about the history of sexual abuse and harassment that women have endured as well as proper legal procedures. Alas, that is not the world we live in. Nuance is anathema to social media “debates” right now and it is unlikely to calm down anytime soon.
Fox News’s Martha MacCallum tweeted this earlier today:
People are waking up to the fact that we need due process in sexual harassment cases. I've been saying this all along. Bad behavior knows no gender.
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) December 19, 2017
She makes a most valid point. There are some bad women out there too.
Anyone (either gender) who has dated more than one person as an adult knows that it isn’t outlandish to think that a disgruntled ex could come out of the woodwork and wreak havoc in one’s life. Just as it is important to take the momentum from the Weinstein scandal to make sure that nothing like that happens again, it is equally important to make certain that the environment doesn’t encourage dishonest people who are merely out for revenge.
Sadly, I’ll probably be called a monster for even suggesting that.