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Katie Hill’s alleged former staffers call out film project starring Elisabeth Moss

Katie Hill in 2018
Former Rep. Katie Hill is being called out by alleged former staffers over a forthcoming film based on her memoir.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
)

Alleged former staffers who claim to have worked for former California Congresswoman Katie Hill took over her inactive government Twitter account late Tuesday to denounce plans to make a film about the workplace abuse scandal that led to Hill’s resignation last year.

Hill claims that her old account, which she hasn’t used since she stepped down, was hacked.

For the record:

4:16 PM, Oct. 07, 2020Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), elected to the House in 2012, was the first openly bisexual congresswoman. This story mistakenly stated that distinction belonged to Katie Hill.

Identifying themselves as “Katie’s former staff,” the anonymous commenters wrote a series of tweets explaining why they were “disappointed in so many folks” involved in the project. That includes the film project’s star, Elisabeth Moss, and screenwriter Michael Seitzman, who are coproducing with their respective production companies and Blumhouse Television an adaptation of Hill’s memoir, “She Will Rise: Becoming a Warrior in the Battle for True Equality.”

“This is an incredibly sensitive situation,” the alleged staffers tweeted Tuesday. “We appreciate the instinct to defend our former boss, an LGBTQ+ woman who faced abuse from her husband. What happened to Katie Hill shouldn’t happen to anyone. But, this moment requires more nuance, as Katie Hill’s story — our story — is also one of workplace abuse and harassment.”

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Democrat Katie Hill should not have resigned. Male politicians do things that are immeasurably worse and stay on. She took one for the team.

The Democrat from Santa Clarita, who is openly bisexual, previously served California’s 25th Congressional District after unseating a Republican incumbent in the 2018 midterm elections.

However, the rising star of the Democratic party officially resigned in early November 2019 after a right-wing blog accused her of having an improper sexual relationship with a male congressional staffer — a violation of House ethics rules — compounded by the publication of explicit photos of Hill with a female campaign staffer.

Hill denied the affair with the male staffer but later admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with the female campaign staffer. She also said the explicit photos had been “weaponized” by her husband and political operatives.

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Hill then wrote a memoir, and her seat was later flipped back to a Republican in a runoff election. (The seat is back on the ballot in next month’s presidential election.)

Tuesday’s staffer tweets attempted to dispute the heroic portrait the streaming-film project paints of Hill, instead describing her as “both a victim and perpetrator.” The verified government Twitter account had remained inactive since Hill announced her resignation in the House of Representatives nearly a year ago. It is still unclear who wrote the missives.

“No one should have to put themselves in harm’s way for the public to understand a simple truth: Katie Hill is not a hero for women. We deserve heroes who embody our values even in the most difficult moments,” the tweets said.

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The alleged staffers added that Hill has not been investigated by the House Ethics Committee nor “held accountable by anyone other than herself,” encouraging people “to reflect deeply before taking her word at face value.”

The Democrat from Santa Clarita will step down amid allegations that she engaged in an affair with a congressional aide. She denied the claims but acknowledged a separate relationship with a campaign staffer.

“Workplace abuse and harassment can take many different forms, but one thing is certain: it is never okay, even if your boss is a woman and/or a survivor,” they said. “Believe us when we say: it’s not only about who starts it, it’s also about who ends it. And, while Katie is certainly the survivor of abuse, we are not confident that she sufficiently acted to end her own patterns of inappropriate and abusive behavior.

“Enough is enough,” they concluded. “In order to advance the #MeToo movement, we must be willing to acknowledge the problematic behaviors among those in our own communities. Only then will we see true progress. #TimesUp #MeToo.”

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Hill responded on a separate Twitter account late Tuesday. She said that her old account was hacked and it was reported to Twitter. She said she had immediately handed over control of the government account to the House Clerk when she resigned.

“Regardless of their author, the content of the hacked tweets is something I have talked about at length in my book, in podcasts and in countless interviews regarding my decision to resign, as well as the constant work and reflection I’ve done since then,” she tweeted. “I look forward to continuing to have conversations around these issues and using my platform to support women in any way possible.”

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Representatives for Blumhouse declined to comment on the tweets. Reps for Moss and Seitzman did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

According to a statement given to the Hollywood Reporter, Hill said she wrote “She Will Rise” to take back her story “from those who have exploited and twisted it.”

In the same THR story, Moss said: “Her strength and work to amplify women’s voices is incredibly inspiring to me and her experiences could not be more important for us to magnify right now.”


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