Every day it seems like there are more reports of sexual misconduct by men in entertainment, politics, and media. Some, Gifford worries, may wonder if there are any good men left.
Kathie Lee Gifford's answer is an unequivocal, "Yes." While on the Michelle Collins Show, Gifford stood up for the “good men” who she thinks are being harmed by the #MeToo movement.
Gifford decried what she considers a culture of "male bashing" that has come with women speaking out against men they say have abused them. She seemed to dislike the way this has reflected on good men.
“Any good, decent, wonderful man’s welcome to be along for the ride, because I hate the male-bashing that’s going on in the world today,” said Gifford, 64. “There are a lot of wonderful men.”
“I hate this whole thing of, ‘I’m not going to be happy until there’s not a good man left standing.’ I hate that,” she continued.
Collins objected, saying that she doesn't “think anyone feels that way.” In other words, she didn't believe that people advocating the #MeToo movement wanted it to hurt good men.
Gifford disagreed. She said, “I do.”
She continued, “Oh gosh, I sense it. I hate it, because there are a lot of great men, great men. And let’s celebrate them, let’s be grateful for them."
Gifford went on to give examples of men in her life who have been good to her. Those included her late father, late husband Frank, and her 27-year-old son Cody Gifford.
“My daddy was one, my husband was one, my son is one,” she added. “And I hope to maybe someday meet another one."
She also detailed how she thinks people—not just men—should work to be a good person. She doesn't think the issue is specific to men. This is backed up by the way that Katy Perry treated a male contestant on American Idol.
“Be a great human being! It’s not gender-specific. Be a great human being. And don’t use sex in an evil way,” she said, noting that “God intended it to be … beautiful.”
During an interview with Andy Cohen, Gifford revealed she is still friendly with Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein after they had each been accused of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment.
She said that isn't because she doesn't have personal experience with abuse. She detailed her experience in Hollywood as a young girl.
“I personally, since I got into this business as a teenage girl, I have been sexually harassed, I have been sexually abused and I have been date raped — and don’t tell me they’re all the same, because they are not,” Gifford said. “They are not the same. Unless you’ve been through it and you can say it’s the same, then fine. If it was the same to you, OK — not the same to me.”
She added, “I don’t want to throw everyone on the same manure pile. Being a jerk is not the same as being a rapist — it just isn’t.”
She said she's spoken to both Cosby and Weinstein since allegations surface against them. She had been friends with each of them for 30 years and the allegations didn't change anything for her.
“I just want people to know I don’t judge them,” Gifford said. “I don’t like what they do, but God knows their hearts and there’s hope for them. And you can’t call yourself a friend when the first minute where there’s trouble, you run. That’s called a fair-weather friend, and that’s not a friend at all.”
However, she clarified her statement to make sure people knew that she wasn't condoning their behavior.
“I hope people are not misunderstanding this,” Gifford told Cohen. “I am not saying that that kind of behavior is in any way acceptable. It isn’t, and it’s horrible. As a woman who’s experienced it, it’s awful.”
She continued, “But, can we at least look at each individual case and see it for what it is, and be merciful to people that are sorry for what they’ve done?” she asked. “If we stop having mercy as a part of our vocabulary, Andy, our world will completely die.”
Likewise, when Matt Lauer was fired for sexual misconduct allegations, Gifford stood by him. She faced widespread criticism for her response.
“I texted him this morning and I said, ‘I adore you,’” she said. “No one is perfect in this world. We need now is forgiveness and mercy for one another.”
In other news, Hillary Clinton was rushed to the hospital after an injury.