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Monica Lewinsky says she was uninvited from an event about “social change” because Bill Clinton was a guest

An alleged snub with #MeToo implications.

Monica Lewinsky, Anti-Bullying Photocall Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images
Jen Kirby is a senior foreign and national security reporter at Vox, where she covers global instability.

Monica Lewinsky set off a firestorm after she claimed she was uninvited from an event — because former President Bill Clinton was asked to attend.

“Please don’t invite me to an event (esp one about social change) and then — after i’ve accepted — uninvite me because bill clinton then decided to attend/was invited,” Lewinsky tweeted. “It’s 2018.”

Lewinsky addressed her criticism to “dear world” but added a postscript that called out a magazine for trying to offer her a byline in exchange for the rescinded invite.

The callout led to speculation that Lewinsky was referring to Town & Country magazine, which hosted its annual Philanthropy Summit on Wednesday, where Clinton delivered introductory remarks.

HuffPost said it confirmed with attendees that Lewinsky was uninvited from the event.

Clinton’s press secretary responded to the HuffPost article in a statement on Twitter. Angel Ureña tweeted that the former president was invited to the summit and “gladly accepted.”

“Neither he nor his staff knew anything about the invitation or it being rescinded.”

Lewinsky’s apparent disinvitation drew criticism on Twitter, with many expressing support for Lewinsky.

Town and Country apologized to Lewinsky in a Thursday morning tweet, and the publication said it regretted the way the “situation was handled.”

Lewinsky’s comments sparked outrage because she alluded to a blind spot revealed by the #MeToo movement when it comes to protecting powerful men. Lewinsky wrestled with this in a March essay for Vanity Fair, writing that the #MeToo movement forced her to grapple with consent regarding her affair with the president 20 years ago. “I now see how problematic it was that the two of us even got to a place where there was a question of consent,” she wrote.

The abuse of power is often inextricable from the stories of sexual harassment and assault, from Harvey Weinstein to Eric Schneiderman. It protects men in positions of authority and helps silence those would who would speak out. Lewinsky, and others, rightly pointed out the hypocrisy of an event about “social change” that not only deferred to the person in power but seemingly excluded a voice advocating for that very change.