Milano, who is a prominent supporter of the #MeToo movement, posted a series of posts on Twitter expressing her support for the possible 2020 presidential candidate, along with a photo of Biden and herself.
“I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend,” Milano wrote on April 1. “He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them.”
I am proud to call Joe Biden a friend. He has been a leader and a champion on fighting violence against women for many years, and I have been fortunate to accompany him to events with survivors where he has listened to their stories, empathized with them, and comforted them. pic.twitter.com/cI0jsKlu3P
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 2, 2019
In a subsequent post, Milano described Biden as a “warm, generous individual who believes its [sic] on all of us to pay attention to women’s stories and experiences.”
Biden has been accused of kissing Lucy Flores, a former Nevada state representative, on the back of the head, an alleged encounter which Flores has recounted in an article titled, “An Awkward Kiss Changed How I Saw Joe Biden,” published in the New York Magazine.
“I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice president of the United States touching me?’” Flores stated. “I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified.”
“He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head,” she added.
“It wasn’t sexual, but he did grab me by the head,” Lappos told the Courant. “He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth.”
Biden’s spokesperson, Bill Russo, issued a response on April 1, addressing the allegations.
“The Vice President has issued a statement affirming that in all the many years in public life that he has shaken a hand, given or received a hug, or laid his hand on a shoulder to express concern, support; or reassurance, he never intended to cause discomfort,” Russo wrote.
Biden spokesman Bill Russo with a lengthy response to coverage around the Lucy Flores accusation: “These smears and forgeries have existed in the dark recesses of the internet for a while.” pic.twitter.com/OtkUFnBeBi
— Matt Viser (@mviser) April 1, 2019
Milano also commented on Flores’s accusation, saying that she respects the former state rep’s decision to share her story but added that “we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same.”
5. I respect Lucy Flores’ decision to share her story and agree with Biden that we all must pay attention to it. But, just as we must believe women that decide to come forward, we cannot assume all women’s experiences are the same.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 2, 2019
Her reaction to the accusations is in stark contrast to how she reacted to allegations of sexual misconduct against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in 2018. In a video posted to social media, she called for people to “bang down [senator’s] doors” to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
In an op-ed published on Variety, she described Kavanaugh as “entitled, aggressive, predatory, toxic” even though there was a lack of evidence to corroborate California professor Christine Blasey Ford’s decades-old allegations.
Milano wrote that Kavanaugh’s confirmation “continues to institutionalize sexual violence while setting the stage to remove many of the rights that generations of women who came before have won in hard-fought battle after battle.”
Like Milano, Meghan McCain, who is a columnist, also voiced support for Biden on social media.
“Joe Biden is one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics. He has helped me through my fathers diagnosis, treatment, and ultimate passing more than anyone of my fathers friends combined. I wish there was more empathy from our politicians not less,” she tweeted.
Joe Biden is one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics. He has helped me through my fathers diagnosis, treatment and ultimate passing more than anyone of my fathers friends combined. I wish there was more empathy from our politicians not less.
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 2, 2019
Social Media Backlash
After writing the series of posts showing support to Biden, many social media users criticized Milano for the posts.
“Oh Alyssa no. You can count someone as a friend, have had nothing but positive interactions with them- & they can still have had harassed or assaulted other people. Being an impactful advocate means listening to & believing others ESPECIALLY when it’s out of your comfort zone,” one social media user wrote.
“Soooooo….. are his two accusers not to be believed? Or are we supposed to listen to all women??? I can’t keep all the hypocrisy straight,” another wrote.
#metoo champ until it’s someone you like? Just because YOU have only had positive interactions w/ him doesn’t mean everyone has been fortunate enough to have the same. His intent doesn’t [expletive] matter,” another wrote.