Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and filmmaker dream hampton have pulled out a Fortune event scheduled to start in Washington, D.C., this week because it will also feature former Department of Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, the disgraced Trump administration official who implemented the state-sanctioned kidnapping of thousands of migrant children at the southern border, and then lied to our faces about it.
Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit declared it would feature “the most prominent women in the FORTUNE 500, leading female founders, and pioneering members of the new diverse U.S. Congress,” but is facing intense backlash from numerous organizations and activists for also giving a platform to Nielsen, who is scheduled to be interviewed at the event on Tuesday. In a searing statement, hampton said she would have no part in this rehabilitation campaign.
“I’ve worked all my life to tell the stories of women, girls and families,” the filmmaker and activist said in a statement. “Sharing a stage with Nielsen, who separated immigrant families and put babies in cages, would have put a stamp of approval on her immoral and reprehensible actions and help legitimize the terror that Trump is inflicting on immigrants and communities of color. So I’m cancelling my attendance and encourage other speakers to do the same.”
Clinton spokesperson Nick Merrill confirmed the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was also dropping the event over Nielsen’s involvement. Slate reported that “a person close to Clinton’s decision-making process” told the outlet that “We work with a lot of activists who are trying to do their best to improve this horrible situation down at the border. At the end of the day, it’s an easy decision. You have to side with them.”
Activists successfully forced Nielsen to drop out of an Atlantic event last month, an appearance the festival at first touted but then hid from its website and agenda. “Glad she’s not getting this platform to rehabilitate her image,” Bend the Arc: Jewish Action tweeted following her cancellation, “but she shouldn’t have ever been invited.” Nor should she be a part of an event that’s celebrating powerful figures, with more than 53,000 people now signing a petition calling on Fortune to drop her.
Nielsen’s appearance will also come in the same week that the administration is expected to confirm that as many as 1,250 additional kids were stolen from their families before this barbaric policy was officially implemented. “The government had 6 months to account for all additional families it separated after a report by the Office of Inspector General this past January raised the alarm that thousands more children may have been separated than previously thought,” Courthouse News Services reported.
“Fortune should not be giving Kirstjen Nielsen a platform to rehabilitate her image,” hampton continued. “When every infant, toddler, child and teenager Nielsen is responsible for ripping from their families is released and reunited, when attempts at restitution are made, then perhaps she can face one of them for a public ‘interview.’ Perhaps they’ll begin by asking her a softball, like ‘Does she now know Norway is a white country?’”
Musician and singer Brandi Carlile has announced that she is also dropping out of Fortune’s event, saying in a statement that “The atrocity of family separation at our southern border needs to go down in history as one of the United States of America’s most merciless acts.”