TIME’s profile of Michael Avenatti caused its subject to go up in arms, saying that the publication misrepresented his comments.
The profile, which was published on Thursday, covers the prospect of the high profile attorney possibly running for president in 2020, because according to the profile, Avenatti thinks that Democrats need a “white male” to run.
Avenatti, who rose to fame because of his client, adult film star Stephanie Clifford, professionally known as Stormy Daniels, has been vocally against President Donald Trump and his policies.
The attorney has also attempted to paint himself as an advocate for women’s rights, despite what sound like less than flattering comments about women.
The TIME piece covered some of the love and encouragement that Avenatti has received from the left, pushing him toward the 2020 presidential candidacy.
“The Democrats have not been this powerless since the 1920s, and their members have responded by nominating a historic number of women and people of color for office,” said the TIME article.
“But when it comes to the party’s presidential nominee in 2020, Avenatti thinks in different terms,” the piece went on.
“I think it better be a white male,” Avanatti said, according to TIME.
The publication clarified that he quickly added that he wished it weren’t that way.
“He hastens to add that he wishes it weren’t so, but it’s undeniable that people listen to white men more than they do others; it’s why he’s been successful representing Daniels and immigrant mothers, he says.”
“When you have a white male making the arguments, they carry more weight,” Avenatti said, according to TIME’s report.
“Should they carry more weight? Absolutely not. But do they? Yes,” he added.
Avenatti staunchly denied the quotes. “I never said that, that’s complete bulls**t,” Avenatti told DCNF. “That’s my comment, complete bullsh**t,” he said.
When the comments were read to Avenatti, he again denied it, and said, “No, that’s not what I said,” and hung up the phone, according to DCNF.
DCNF also reached out to TIME, asking for their response. According to DCNF, they were told that TIME stands “by our reporting” and even published a follow-up story, including a portion of the interview transcript.
As a word of warning, some of the following tweets contain strong language.
CNN contributor Symone Sanders was irate at the suggestion and tweeted, “Michael Avenatti is the personification of ‘progressives’ who still traffic in white supremacy and the patriarchy.”
Author and Columnist for The Intercept, Shaun King didn’t pull any punches when he tweeted, “Let me be unmistakably clear on something. F**K @MichaelAvenatti. Here he just said that the 2020 Democratic nominee ‘better be a white male.’ This man is a clown. He’s Better Call Saul. And now we are learning he’s also a sexist bigot.”
Avenatti responded to the hate with his own tweet, where he tried to clarify his meaning.
“Let me be clear: I have consistently called on white males like me to step, take responsibility, and be a part of stoping (sic) the sexism and bigotry that other white males engage in. It is especially important for them to call out other white males. I make this pt in my speeches.”
To which author and left-wing activist Amy Siskind answered, “You’re an incredible activist for our cause Michael. Big respect for that. But we don’t need a white male savior.”
You're an incredible activist for our cause Michael. Big respect for that. But we don't need a white male savior.
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) October 25, 2018
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