Trump's 'Access Hollywood' Tape Played On Loop Next To White House By Women's Rights Group
Tourists to the nation's capitol today will be in for a treat as they stroll down Constitution Avenue near the White House. On Friday, Oct. 6, a women's rights group is playing a 12-hour loop of the Access Hollywood tape that made its way into headline news one year ago. The video, on which President Donald Trump can be heard making vulgar references to women, was a sticking point in the 2016 election.
The screening is part of a larger demonstration by the group UltraViolet, which together with other advocacy groups will host a "Rally to Grab Back" in Lafayette Square at noon ET. As to the motivation for the demonstration, UltraViolet co-founder Shannon Thomas says in a statement,
Per the organization,
The video heard 'round the world is from a 2005 clip from Access Hollywood. The Washington Post initially published the video and an accompanying article on Oct. 8, 2016.
In the video, Trump and fellow TV personality Billy Bush can be heard conversing on a tour bus off-camera. Trump describes a failed attempt to bed down an unnamed married woman. He goes on,
Both Trump and Bush later apologized for the content of the tape. Trump chalked up his behavior to "locker-room banter" less egregious than Bill Clinton's behavior, and deemphasized the episode, saying that the story shouldn't be a focus for people.
But the damage was clearly done. Among with numerous others, Planned Parenthood Action Fund in a statement said the actions Trump described amounted to sexual assault.
UltraViolet describes itself as an online community of both men and women whose aim is to expose and combat sexism and assaults on women's rights, whether in the world of politics or pop culture.
Even if it didn't cost him the election, the footage sure cost Trump respect. The tape's release prompted numerous members of his own party to speak out against him, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said he was "sickened" by the president's speech.
It also aided a groundswell of movement for women's rights and anti-sexism campaigns, the Women's March being one of them. The phrase "pussy grabs back" became a buzz term for everything from memes to merchandise to art exhibits.
Following the tape's release, numerous women also came forward with experiences of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by the president over the decades, including reporters. Aside from denying the veracity of many allegations, the president also threatened to sue the New York Times for its reporting.
Friday's demonstration also comes just after it was reported that Trump's healthcare directive would further jeopardize the reproductive health of millions of 62 million women.
Friday marks one year since the tape's going public — and viral.