Monica Lewinsky: A Powerful Speech about Public Shaming in the Media
Monica Lewinsky made a memorable appearance at this year's Cannes Lions festival where she gave an inspiring and moving speech about the link between media, advertising and public shaming. “The more we click on this kind of gossip, the number we get to the human life behind it,” she said, according to AdAge. “And the number we get, the more we click. All the while, someone is making money off of the back of another suffering.”
The media have relentlessly reported about Lewinsky two decades ago when she was targeted as President Bill Clinton’s mistress. She also gave an inspiring speech at TED where she talked about her being “patient zero” of internet shaming.
On Thursday in Cannes she said that violation of privacy by the media is carefully packaged and sold for huge amounts of money. “Whether tallied in dollars, clicks, likes, or just the perverse thrill of exposure, a marketplace has emerged where shame is a commodity, and public humiliation an industry.”
Lewinsky however said that she is not against advertising per se and that she sees her mission as calling the responsible to action. Lewinsky has previously spoken about the importance of compassion and how much building a compassionate society means. “People make brands. If people are compassionate, brands will be compassionate in return.”
Photo attribution: Screenshot