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WATCH: Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins Called Out By Survivor For Slamming #MeToo Movement

During a seminar in San Jose, California last month, famed motivational speaker Tony Robbins was confronted by a sexual abuse survivor when he heavily criticized the #MeToo movement and claimed women were using it as a “drug” to “try to get significance.”

After Robbins made his critical comments about the movement that arose in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, audience member Nanine McCool stood up and told Robbins he had gotten it all wrong. This led Robbins to state that he wasn’t “knocking the #MeToo movement,” he was “knocking victimhood.” He addressed the crowd, asking them to consider the impact of it while saying “anger is not empowerment.”

“Who should throw the stone? You shouldn’t throw that stone if you live in a fucking glass house,” he exclaimed. “Is there any one of us that hasn’t done something that we prefer we’d not or that we’re embarrassed by or that was hurtful even if we didn’t intend it to?”

McCool countered, telling the celebrity life coach that he was “mischaracterizing the #MeToo movement.”

“Certainly there are people who are using it for their own personal devices, but there are also a significant number of people who are using it not to relive whatever may have happened to them, but to make it safe for the young women,” she continued. “So that they don’t have to feel unsafe.”

The two engaged in a back-and-forth that included Robbins asking McCool to hold out her fist. The much larger Robbins then used his fist to push against hers, causing her to move backward rapidly while he said “when you push someone else it doesn’t make you more safe, it just makes them angry.”

McCool talked about the exchange with VICE last month, recounting the physical encounter as follows:

Of the pushing, McCool said, “I thought, ‘OK, we’re going to fist bump.’ Then he started pushing me. I thought he wanted me to show how strong I could be and push back, but that’s not what he wanted. He wanted me to move backward.” She went on: “[I was] thinking he’s going to transform it into some kind of awareness. I don’t know, it’s Tony Robbins, there’s going to be some lesson here that’s gonna be useful to me. I initially started pushing back but he immediately pushed back harder. There was no way. He was going to knock me on my ass if I didn’t step backward so I quit pushing against him, I just started walking backward. As long as he was pushing me, I was moving.”

Other attendees told VICE that Robbins seemed to be “almost intimidating” McCool during the fist bump exercise, noting he is much larger than McCool.

While the seminar occurred on March 15, the exchange between McCool and Robbins drew widespread notice this weekend when Now This posted a video clip on Friday that quickly went viral.

Below are some of the reactions on Twitter to the video:

Watch the entire exchange at the top, via McCool’s YouTube channel.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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