'Vanderpump Rules' Star Stassi Schroeder Apologizes for Controversial '#MeToo' Remarks: 'It Was Irresponsible'
By Tina Smithers Peckham
Stassi Schroeder has had a "sobering" few days after facing backlash following a recent episode of her Straight Up with Stassi podcast.
An episode titled "Are We on a Male Witch Hunt?" aired on Friday, in which the 29-year-old Vanderpump Rules star reportedly made several controversial comments about sexual abuse victims who have come forward as a result of the empowering #MeToo campaign.
The episode, which included Schroeder's friend and Pucker & Pout co-founder Jennifer Hoffner, was quickly deleted, though the outspoken star did defend her comments by tweeting a Vanderpump Rules GIF and stated she would be "recording a follow-up episode."
About 5 ppl heard this podcast & everyone else read ONE quote without the backstory or context of a TWO hour episode. pic.twitter.com/23EMPZpcMU
She then quickly changed her tune with a heartfelt apology after fans voiced their disdain, writing that her comments mocked both the victims and the #MeToo campaign.
"My podcast is an outlet for me to share my unfiltered opinion with my listeners; but on my latest episode I crossed a line," she posted in a Twitter statement on Saturday afternoon. "It was irresponsible for me to make generalized statements about a very serious topic, such as sexual harassment, as it is not my place to speak about anyone else's experiences. I apologize. I will continue to speak my mind on my podcast, but will put more thought behind my dialogue moving forward."
Schroeder later confessed to a "sobering" 24 hours and encouraged both those accused of sexual assault and those victimized to come forward and tell their stories.
These 24 hours have been sobering: I want to share your stories on my podcast: on either side, being accused of something you didn't do or being victimized & left helpless. Let’s discuss it all. Stassi@juststassi.com
At least three Straight Up with Stassi advertisers -- Rent the Runway, Simple Contacts and Framebridge -- announced that they will be no longer be working with the reality star after her alleged comments.
We’re shocked by @stassi's comments re the #metoo campaign. It goes against everything RTR stands for as a company and has publicly advocated. Our 1st ads were slated to run on Mon but effective immediately we’ve terminated our relationship with her podcast.
In no way do @stassi's comments about the #metoo campaign reflect our beliefs. We are ending our relationship with the Straight Up with Stassi Podcast effective immediately. We will always stand by brave women sharing their stories.
This isn't the first time Schroeder has made light of sexual abuse -- in a previous podcast episode, she went so far as to compare herself to Harvey Weinstein.
"It might be too soon, but I'm more of the Harvey Weinstein in relationships," she joked. "I'm more of the aggressor. It's not like I'm forcing anyone to do something they don't want to do, but I initiate things because I just like it."
The #MeToo campaign, started by Alyssa Milano, encourages survivors of sexual abuse and harassment to raise awareness by sharing their own experiences. Celebs who have spoken out on the movement include Ellen DeGeneres, Debra Messing, Lady Gaga, Sophia Bush, Anna Paquin and Rosario Dawson.