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#MeToo in the Media: survivors, believability, and emotional labour | LSE Festival

Hosted by LSE Festival: People and Change

In-person and online public event (Great Hall, Marshall Building)


Rowena Chiu

Rowena Chiu

Dr Kathryn Claire Higgins

Dr Kathryn Claire Higgins

Winnie M Li

Winnie M Li

Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Lucia Osborne-Crowley


Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser

Is the #MeToo movement about affecting change, or simply about visibility? More than five years after the first Weinstein allegations appeared in news headlines, #MeToo continues to impact our media landscape, but we should not ignore the impact this movement has had on the individual people caught in the glare of the media spotlight.  Which survivors are seen as believable in the media?  What is the emotional labour required of survivors whose experiences of trauma are made so very public? 

Our unique panel will look at these mediated struggles for visibility, authenticity, and recognition around #MeToo, drawn from their own lived experience, media practice, and academic research. Rowena Chiu’s story became public during the Harvey Weinstein investigation and later a Hollywood film adaptation. Winnie M Li’s experience with news media reports of her rape prompted her subsequent writing, activism, and PhD research. Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s personal trauma informed her own study of the law, and then her astute journalism around sexual assault. They will speak in dialogue with Sarah Banet-Weiser and Kathryn Claire Higgins, whose latest book is Believability: Sexual Violence, Media, and the Politics of Doubt (2023).

Meet our speakers and chair

Rowena Chiu (@rowena_chiu) (appearing online) was a former assistant to Harvey Weinstein, whose story appeared in The New York Times investigation, the best-selling book She Said, and its film adaptation. After leaving the film industry, she worked for Accenture, McKinsey, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and The World Bank. Rowena holds an MA in from Oxford, an MSc in International Management from the University of London, and an MBA from London Business School. She is currently working on a memoir and a screenplay about her experiences in the film industry. 

Kathryn Claire Higgins (@kat_hig) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her PhD in the LSE Department of Media and Communications in 2022, and an MSc in Media and Communications in 2015. Her research and writing are published in Journalism, Television and New Media, Feminist Media Studies, and Visual Communication. 

Winnie M Li (@winniemli) is an author, activist, and PhD candidate in the LSE Department of Media and Communications, researching how rape survivors engage with the media as a form of activism. Her latest novel Complicit (2022), inspired by her experience in the film industry, was a New York Times' Editor's Pick. Her debut novel Dark Chapter (2017) won The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize and was translated into ten languages. She holds an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland in recognition of her writing and activism.   

Lucia Osborne-Crowley (@LuciaOC_) is a trained lawyer, journalist, and the author of three books, I Choose Elena (2019), My Body Keeps Your Secrets (2021), which won a Somerset Maugham Award, and the forthcoming Witness: The Trial of the Century (2023), a behind-the-scenes account of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial. She has appeared as an expert journalist on the Maxwell and Prince Andrew cases on BBC News, Sky News, LBC News and BBC Radio. Her writing has appeared in The Independent, ABC News, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, GQ, and Granta.

Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser (@sbanetweiser) is Distinguished Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and Professor of Communication at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She is the founding director of the Center for Collaborative Communication at the Annenberg Schools (CCAS). Previously, she was Head of Department in the LSE Department of Media and Communications. She is the author of Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny, 2018.  

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May. 

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival

Podcast and video

A podcast of this event is available to download from #MeToo in the Media: survivors, believability, and emotional labour.

A video of this event is available to watch at #MeToo in the Media: survivors, believability, and emotional labour.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

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