Students at Yale University had been working on a video addressing campus sexual assault for months after a high-profile incident on campus last year. But when a 2005 video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talking about groping women was published in The Washington Post last week, the project suddenly felt urgent.
“One of the disturbing things about the Trump video that people haven’t talked about as much,” said Helen Price, a junior at Yale, is that “Billy Bush is kind of encouraging him, laughing with him, rather than calling him out as he should have done.
“People need to hold each other accountable, and call each other out on their behavior.”
In the video, Trump brags about kissing and grabbing women to TV host Bush, saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.” Trump has since said that he was wrong to say that, and apologized, but when he seemed to dismiss it as just “locker-room talk,” many objected.
The student group Unite Against Sexual Assault Yale released the video Thursday hoping to send a message that sexual assault is everyone’s problem — not just women’s.
The video begins with a student who belongs to a fraternity saying, “There have been too many times when we’ve stayed silent.”
A member of the Yale Men’s Crew Team says, “There have been too many times when we’ve thought, ‘This isn’t our problem.’”
Last spring, the issue of sexual assault — an issue of concern for colleges nationally — intensified at Yale when the then-captain of the men’s basketball team was expelled for sexual misconduct. He maintained the sex was consensual and sued the university.
Stephan Riemekasten, a Yale varsity athlete in the video, said in a statement that Trump’s recent comments showed the importance of taking a stand. “In times when sexual assault is waved aside as ‘locker-room talk,’ I believe it is especially important that athletes speak up. That type of talk is never acceptable. Progress begins with yourself, especially if you are male and believe this is not your problem.”