These High-Profile Men Were Brought Down by #MeToo. Now They’re Plotting Their Comebacks.


They called it a reckoning. As more and more powerful men from more and more industries—from entertainment to literature to food—were exposed for their inappropriate, and at times illegal, treatment of women, the #MeToo movement was reborn. Women began to speak out on the famous people who assaulted or harassed them, and the result was swift: Many of these men were fired from their jobs and condemned by the public.

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They retreated from the public eye—but only for a moment. Now it seems that some are trying to come back, snagging new jobs and looking for other ways to continue their careers. Ahead, just some of the high-profile men who are looking to make a post-#MeToo return:

Blake Farenthold

Texas Republican Blake Farenthold resigned from Congress in April after it was discovered he settled a sexual harassment claim using taxpayer money. According to Politico, the claim was brought by Lauren Greene, his former spokesperson, who alleged Farenthold said he had “sexual fantasies” and “wild dreams” about her. That lawsuit settled for $84,000.

But now, Farenthold has said he has a new job as a legislative liaison in Texas; his salary will reportedly be $160,000.

Bill O’Reilly

Over a year after a New York Times investigation discovered Bill O’Reilly and Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox paid millions of dollars to women who accused him of sexual misconduct, O’Reilly might return to cable news. He was let go from Fox following an investigation into the allegations, but now it’s been reported he’s in talks with the right-leaning network Newsmax TV, according to Page Six.

Al Franken

The former Minnesota Senator resigned after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, but now he’s expected to make an appearance at a cybersecurity forum in May. During a panel, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who still stays in touch with Franken, commented on his potential comeback, saying, “He’s had two acts, and he’s still going to have a third.”

Charlie Rose

CBS fired the journalist and television host after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, but now Page Six reports that Rose is set to star in a show where he will interview other high-profile men brought down “by #MeToo scandals.”

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Matt Lauer

Slipped inside a Page Six report about Michael Cohen dining on the Upper East Side was this nugget about Matt Lauer’s supposed imminent comeback: “Lauer is said to be testing the waters for a public comeback by coming out of hiding from his Hamptons home. With his marriage to Annette Roque now over, he’s ready to restart his life, pals say.”

Lauer was previously fired from Today due to sexual harassment allegations.

Mario Batali

Mario Batali, who was the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, is now said to be “eyeing his second act,” according to the New York Times. The Times wrote, “Mr. Batali, who has never been known for his patience, is asking that question — actively exploring when or whether he should begin his. Friends and associates say he is floating ideas, pondering timelines and examining whether there is a way for him to step back into his career, at least in some fashion.” It’s reported that he has a few ideas, one being starting a new company led by a “powerful woman chief executive.”

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While it’s worth noting that no one has investigated Ansari for assault or harassment, in January, an anonymous woman published a story on Babe.net alleging she went on a date with Ansari, and he continuously ignored cues that she didn’t want to engage in sexual activity. Afterwards, he avoided the SAG Awards (even though he was nominated), and now months later, Ansari is said to be doing stand-up comedy again in New York, according to Page Six.

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Garrison Keillor

Minnesota Public Radio cut ties with host Garrison Keillor after discovering “sexually inappropriate incidents” that occurred between Keillor and a writer of his own show, “A Prairie Home Companion.” MPR removed the “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Writer’s Almanac” (another Keillor show) archives from its website, though now the company seems to be in talks with Keillor to figure out how to restore access to the shows.

The Star Tribune reported that Eric Nilsson, Keillor’s attorney, said, “What Garrison wants to accomplish is opening the doors and windows to his future — as a writer, as an essayist, as a novelist, as a speaker. That is his goal. As you can appreciate, his life has been upended by what has transpired here. The mission is to get his train back on track. And I am confident we can do that.”

Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein may be the paradigm of men brought down by #MeToo scandals, but even he isn’t dismissing the idea of a comeback. In a New York Times article titled, “Where’s Harvey?” people in the industry claim that Weinstein has made efforts to produce “his most challenging film yet.” The film would be “a documentary designed to pave the way for a comeback.” However, the article states that no one will come near his project, though a representative for Weinstein told the Times that producers have reached out to him about telling his side of the story.



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