Much has been said about the lewd, offensive comments that have set the Trump train on a collision course. The remarks that launched 1,000 leaks came from audio obtained by the Washington Post in which the Republican nominee claims he can sexually assault women just because he’s famous.
Donald Trump made those statements on an Access Hollywood bus back in 2005, Billy Bush by his side, clearly objectifying two women: Bush’s cohost Nancy O’Dell and soap opera star Arianne Zucker. What do they have to say about the damning audio?
For Zucker, not a whole lot and that’s perfectly understandable. Nobody wants to find themselves unknowingly in a situation around such a vile soundbite. When Los Angeles CBS reporter Tom Wait went to her home seeking comment, all she would say is that “it’s not about me.”
O’Dell took a different approach, given the fact that some of the most reprehensible comments Trump made were about her. The Donald describes his unwanted sexual advances with O’Dell, a married woman, while omitting that he himself had been married just half a year prior.
The Entertainment Tonight host had this to say about Trump’s comments coming to light:
Politics aside, I’m saddened that these comments still exist in our society at all. When I heard the comments yesterday, it was disappointing to hear such objectification of women. The conversation needs to change because no female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling. Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender. As a woman who has worked very hard to establish her career, and as a mom, I feel I must speak out with the hope that as a society we will always strive to be better.
This issue is indeed bigger than Trump setting his lecherous sights on just two people. It’s a problem well-documented for the real estate magnate. So well documented, in fact, that the news cycle has been dominated by a veritable highlight reel of some of his worst comments, all readily available and hiding in plain sight. And no amount of course correction can steer the Republican party away from one of its biggest mistakes.
Update 2:56pm CT Oct. 9: Arianne Zucker has issued a longer statement on Twitter about the leaked audio footage:
"My name is Arianne (R-E-on) ZUCKER (Zooker) and I am a strong, independent, hard working (cont) https://t.co/jOE344FCSf— Arianne Zucker (@Ari_Zucker) October 9, 2016
The full message reads as follows:
My name is Arianne (R-E-on) ZUCKER (Zooker) and I am a strong, independent, hard-working mother, businesswoman and partner to a great man. I have grown to learn that the words of others cannot affect the value of my self-worth or define the content of my character. How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms, or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect. Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it. In understanding the magnitude of this situation, I choose to stand tall with self-respect and use my voice to enrich, inspire, and elevate the best of who we are as people.