A number of sexual assault and harassment survivors, including Rose McGowan, Terry Crews, Patricia Arquette, Olivia Munn, and Mira Sorvino penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times defending vocal #MeToo participant and fellow assault survivor Asia Argento after she received backlash over the suicide of her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain.
Since Bourdain’s death, the op-ed reads, Argento “has now found herself on the receiving end of vicious cyberbullying and repulsive slander at the hands of internet trolls who hold her responsible for Anthony’s death.”
“She has been accused of everything from causing her boyfriend’s suicide to trying to use her ‘survivor status’ and the #MeToo movement to advance her career,” the op-ed, titled “An open letter to anyone who loves Anthony Bourdain and what he stood for,” continues.
The op-ed explains that Bourdain was an active supporter of the #MeToo movement and women in general, and uses that framework to back the authors’ rejection of the “traditional narrative of blaming, vilifying and martyring courageous women” — Argento in particular. The signatories write that coming forward as a victim of sexual assault is “a highly difficult, sometimes traumatizing and humiliating experience,” and not “a badge of honor or career booster.”
It goes on to ask those mourning Bourdain to direct their sadness and grief elsewhere.
“We are here to ask those who are angry and grieving the loss of Anthony to find a healthy outlet for their pain. Asia is a survivor, just as we are, and her fame and outward show of strength does not make her any less vulnerable. Asia is not a headline — she is a human being, and she is in horrific pain.”
The op-ed concludes by expanding their wish for Argento to all survivors of sexual assault: “Our standing up for her is standing up to any and all bullies. We implore you to be kind to each other, to believe survivors, to stand up for survivors, to encourage, support and sympathize with them.”