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Andrew Callaghan Releases Video Addressing The Multiple Allegations of Sexual Assualt, Coercion

Andrew Callaghan looking at camera.

Over the years, several women have accused documentary filmmaker Andrew Callaghan (Channel 5 News) of sexual assault. However, it wasn’t until Jan 6, 2023, onward, when two women (DJ and Caroline Elise) spoke publicly about it on TikTok and one (“Charlotte”) spoke to Rolling Stone, that the wider public was aware of the claims. While each accusation has differing accounts and circumstances, coercion and a refusal to take the word “no” seriously are throughlines among all of them.

On January 15, Callaghan uploaded a video entitled “My Response” to a new YouTube account created around this time. He stated that at the time of these interactions, he didn’t register what he was doing as sexual assault and insisted he “always [took] ‘no’ for an answer.” Between seeing his own defenders online and seeing the accounts from the women, Callaghan said “sex pest behavior” was wrongfully “normalized.” The public allegations made him realize that his understanding of consent should always be in-process.

I hope that young people, young men in particular, can use my mistakes to learn and move through life with a better understanding of consent.

Where the apology went south

Callaghan said he is seeking therapy sessions, and while he doesn’t blame the alcohol, it was a contributing factor so that he will enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous’s Twelve Step Program for Alcoholics. His comments about alcohol issues appear to allude to the fact that substance abuse has impacted him in other ways. In a VICE profile one year ago this week, Callaghan admitted he has permanent damage due to taking shrooms in his early teens. Through this process, Callaghan clarified that he’s “stepping away from public life” for a while.

The real issue is near the end when he says “a lot” of the things being said about him are untrue or missing essential context, but then follows that up with, “I don’t want to invalidate anyones’ lived experiences.” A friend of Callaghan and political commentator who reported on this story since the allegations first arose, Hasan Piker, acknowledges how inappropriate it was for Callaghan to be vague about what accusations were from the victims and where other people were playing telephone online with serious claims. Also, Piker noted that Callaghan didn’t clarify the steps of restitution for the victims.

One accuser speaks up

At least one of the women accusing, DJ, released a response to Callaghan’s statement in a video format. DJ doesn’t see Callaghan’s apology as genuine (as her right) and takes a lot of issue with the aforementioned vagueness of saying some people are lying.

What exactly was not true? Just wondering, and how does exactly does it make it any better if a few things weren’t true in the grand scheme of things with all these accusations?

Near the end of Callaghan’s video, he encourages victims to reach out for an apology, and DJ noted that she tried that already, “and this is where we are now.” DJ notes something that is familiar to most women and femmes, and that’s that most people we know have been sexually harassed, abused, raped, etc. According to the National Sexual Violence Resources Center, one in every five women will have experienced a completed or attempted rape in their lifetime, and one-third of those victims will experience that trauma between the ages of 11 and 17. Also, 81% of women and 43% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.

DJ explained that she warned everyone who shared Quarter Confessions (Callaghan’s first venture into journalism) about her interaction with him, and that of all her other similar experiences with people, his is the hardest to forget. Callaghan kept growing in popularity, and DJ couldn’t avoid him.

I want everyone to know you don’t have to put up with this. It is not normal, and even though you feel like you’re used to it, that’s it’s just so common, you don’t have to put up with this type of behavior. […] I guess it’s normal, it’s wide spread, but it shouldn’t be.

DJ ended with the affirmation that she believes anyone can change but that Callaghan’s video was not an apology and says, “I don’t accept it, not forgiven.”

(via YouTube, featured image: Andrew Callaghan screencap)

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