John Legend praises the #MeToo movement's impact as 'a welcome change'

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Speakeasy with John Harwood

John Legend praises the #MeToo movement's impact as 'a welcome change'

Music superstar and political activist John Legend sat down with CNBC's John Harwood to discuss a range of issues, including the #MeToo Movement.

John Harwood: We're in this Kavanaugh moment right now, which has reawakened the #MeToo Movement. There've been a lot of big figures in the entertainment industry, Weinstein, Moonves, Cosby, who have gone down in that movement. Is it correct for people to say that this is an issue that is especially problematic in the entertainment in the entertainment industry more than elsewhere — maybe because if you're a star, they let you do it?

John Legend: Well, I think there are particular issues in the entertainment business I think partly because the casting process and other aspects of the industry lend themselves to people kind of using their power to convince people to have sex with them or convince them that they can make their career if they do certain things. And I think the entertainment business lends itself to that a little more than other businesses. But clearly this is happening in restaurants, it's happening in offices, it's happening in warehouses, it's happening all over the country.

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Harwood: Business and politics as well, of course.

Legend: Absolutely. And so, it's happening all over the country, all over the world, and I think the entertainment industry is obviously going to get more attention because the people are famous and the people who are victims are famous. So, we've gotten more attention, but this is a bigger problem and it's the idea that women can't be just judged on the merits of their work or the quality of their character, but they're often seen as sex objects and their employment and their other involvement in the economy sometimes is dependent on how men think of them sexually.

That's been a problem since the history of mankind, but I think it's clear that more people are paying attention to this issue now. More men are paying attention, and of course more women are, and more women are speaking out about it. I think that's a welcome change.

It's a change that I think will make the world better for my daughter when she grows up and wants to get a job in whatever industry she wants to get it in. It'll make it better for my son, too. He'll understand what the rules of the road are and he'll treat women, hopefully, in a way where they're equals and they're not merely judged on how they look, but on what they can contribute to the team.