Professor Anita Hill took to the opinion pages of The New York Times on Thursday to take former Vice President Joe Biden to task for his handling of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings. In an op-ed titled, “Let’s Talk About How to End Sexual Violence,” Hill, who had accused Thomas of sexual misconduct in the early 1990s, suggested that the #MeToo era may not have taken decades to materialize if Biden and the committee he presided over had “understood the seriousness of sexual harassment.” “If the government had shown that it would treat survivors with dignity and listen to women, it could have had a ripple effect,” she wrote. Hill’s concerns with Biden have taken on new relevance after he formally announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Biden reached out to Hill prior to launching his bid and recounted excerpts from their conversation on a live television appearance on The View, where he stopped short of directly apologizing for his personal behavior. Hill told the Times she was unmoved by his gesture. “I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you,’” she said. “I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose.”