On Tuesday, actress and activist Alyssa Milano appeared on CNN with host Chris Cuomo and proceeded to declaim that if Congresswoman Katie Hill, who resigned from Congress after allegations of sexual impropriety with a staffer had been lodged against her, were a man, “this would be a very different outcome.”
Milano focused on the three-way affair that Hill had with her husband and another woman, rather than the substantive issue, that Hill had allegedly had sexual relations with a staffer, a kind of relationship which Congress has expressly condemned. The Daily Wire has reported, “the House of Representatives prohibited lawmakers from having sexual relationships with members of their staffs and campaigns in response to the #MeToo movement.” Hill has admitted that she had relations with a subordinate but said it was not a staffer; radio host Joe Messina reported on his Monday program “The Real Side,” that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded Hill’s resignation after learning that staffers in Hill’s office confirmed her affair with Legislative Director Graham Kelly.
Cuomo said to Milano, “Obviously, the #MeToo movement [is] very important to you, very important in our country. Congresswoman Katie Hill, decided to resign once there was an ethics investigation announced into her alleged inappropriate, or whatever you want to call it, relationship with a staffer. She denied that it was a congressional staffer. Was the resignation the right move and what does it mean for the #MeToo movement?”
I don’t feel it was the right move. I feel that there is incredible hypocrisy that goes on and if Katie Hill were a man who was in a consensual relationship with another man and a woman that this would be a very different outcome. I mean, there’s indicted criminals in Congress on the Republican side. People like Duncan Hunter who still have a seat and yet we have accepted a resignation from a really, really good congresswoman, a really bright woman for what she does in her private time that was consensual. So I don’t feel it was fair and I really — I really appreciate Katie Hill and where she was coming from in resigning but I do wish that she would have fought a little harder. I would have fought by her side.
Milano’s remarks fly in the face of history. There have been numerous resignations of men from Congress just since the #MeToo movement began over the last two years. As Roll Call reported in April 2018, “Rep Pat Meehan announced his resignation from Congress Friday following reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former aide.” Senator Al Franken (D-MN) resigned after allegations of sexual misconduct; Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) resigned after allegations of inappropriate behavior toward female staffers, and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI), resigned from the House after allegations from eight women that he had behaved inappropriately.