Skip to main site content.
Kamala Harris speaks onstage at the MoveOn Big Ideas Forum on June 01, 2019, in San Francisco. (Photo by Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images for MoveOn)


Supporters rally around Kamala Harris after man interrupts her to discuss a “much bigger idea”

By WITW Staff on June 4, 2019

Supporters are rallying around Senator Kamala Harris after a man rushed onstage and snatched her microphone during an event in San Francisco on Saturday, interrupting the presidential candidate’s comments on the gender pay gap to declare that he had a “much bigger idea” to discuss.

Her husband, Doug Emhoff, and several others quickly removed the man from the stage at the MoveOn Big Ideas Forum, allowing Harris to continue her discussion with political strategist Stephanie Valencia and Karine Jean-Pierre, the chief public affairs officer at MoveOn, a public policy advocacy group.

The man, later identified as Aidan Cook, is a member of animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere, according to Slate. He told reporters after the incident that he had hoped to get the senator to answer a question on the need to take action on “factory farms that abuse animals,” an issue that he said “all of the 2020 presidential candidates are ignoring.”

His interruption of Harris and her fellow female panelists was derided by some social media observers as yet another example of a man attempting to “mansplain” issues to women.

When Guardian reporter Lois Beckett asked Cook whether he was aware of the optics of grabbing a microphone away from a woman of color in order to forcibly push his own agenda, Cook said that he was, and that he had “tried to show my profound respect for each of the people onstage.”

After the incident, observers took to social media to express their support for the senator:

Read the full story at Slate.


Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren climb in recent poll numbers

Kamala Harris wants to fine companies that pay women less than men

Kamala Harris declares 2020 presidential run, invoking powerful political forebears and a message of unity