3 Decades After Anita Hill’s Groundbreaking Testimony, New Podcast Will Examine Its Long-Term Impact
MeToo may be changing workplaces today, but the evolution began three decades ago. A new podcast from The Meteor and Pineapple Street Studios called Because of Anita will examine the impact of Professor Anita Hill’s testimony during the Oct. 1991 confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and what changes have been made in the workplace.
The podcast is hosted by Dr. Salamishah Tillet and Cindi Leive, co-founder of The Meteor. The four-part series digs into the aftermath of the hearings and their enduring impact 30 years later on everything from political systems to journalism to ideas about violence, safety, race, and gender.
“Professor Hill’s testimony was and remains an utterly transformative moment for American politics,” says Dr. Tillet. “She not only told her truth, but spoke for the millions of victims of gender-based violence, who, like myself, had yet to find their own voice. Her bravery is exemplary, her patriotism is exceptional. Because of Anita gives us an opportunity to explore how her single act changed the world.”
Guests will include Hill and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, in their first-ever public conversation together, to discuss their shared experiences. In addition to Hill’s own thoughts, Because of Anita will feature interviews and perspectives from a mixture of voices with unique, original perspectives on the hearings, including Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, then a member of Professor Hill’s legal team; The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, an investigative reporter who covered the Thomas hearings; and Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, who ran for office after the hearings, and became the first-ever Black woman U.S. Senator.
“The Thomas hearings changed so many things in our culture—across politics, media, how we think about work, everything,” says Leive. “Some of those ripple effects are transformational and positive; others have left scars. The 30th anniversary—landing now, at a moment when we’re acutely aware of the importance of the Court, of our civic institutions, and of the persistent presence of gender and racial injustice—is an occasion to tell the story and see how we got here. I’m grateful for the honesty and fresh insight of so many people we spoke to, including Professor Hill herself.”
The release of Because of Anita is one piece of The Meteor’s larger slate of multimedia content in development this fall. Other highlights include Undistracted, a weekly podcast hosted by activist and MSNBC commentator Brittany Packnett Cunningham, which is returning for season two in October. It is also co-produced with Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios.
“We have a similar mission to The Meteor in that we want to create content driven by the communities they affect,” said Jenna Weiss-Berman, co-founder of Pineapple Street Studios. “We are proud to co-produce Because of Anita and unfold how this pivotal moment in American history is still impacting future generations.”
Because of Anita premiered Oct. 4. Audible is the presenting sponsor of the series.