1980s video puts self-help guru Tony Robbins in N-word controversy

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Friday, 24 May 2019, 5:29PM
A video form the 1980s has been revealed showing Tony Robbins repeatedly using the N-word. (Photo / Supplied)
A video form the 1980s has been revealed showing Tony Robbins repeatedly using the N-word. (Photo / Supplied)

Video of Tony Robbins repeatedly using racial slurs has been uncovered, the latest in a string of damaging revelations about the polarising life coach.

The latest instalment of a Buzzfeed investigation into Robbins presents video shot in the 1980s, showing Robbins making a presentation to a small crowd where he recalls a previous encounter he describes as "militant black".

To gasps from the crowd, Robbins goes on to tell how he spoke to one black attendee who was particularly upset: "As long as someone calls you a n***** and gets that kind of response I've seen right now, where you're ready to explode, and what you've done is given that person absolute control of you."

"You have no control in your life. You are still a slave."

Bizarrely, Robbins then launches into a dance while singing: "I'm a n*****, you're a n*****, be a n***** too."

He claims his techniques were effective in bringing the crowd around and led to black and white audience members hugging, adding: "Black, white, doesn't matter to me."

Robbins' lawyers told Buzzfeed that "the presentation was positive and was accepted in the context in which it was conducted: a passionate discussion about racism and how to rise above it".

They added: "Any suggestion that Mr Robbins is somehow racist or insensitive to the African-American community is absurd and false. Indeed, one of Mr Robbins' event partners for 25-plus years is an African-American."

Previous revelations from Buzzfeed have included claims that Robbins has exposed himself to female assistants and sexually harassed fans.

Robbins has criticised the #MeToo movement in the past, saying women are using the #MeToo movement as "a drug" to make themselves "significant".

The millionaire self-help guru was caught on tape describing #MeToo as an excuse for women to use "victimhood" for their own means.

He then went on to tell a bizarre anecdote about a "famous, powerful man" who chose not to hire a "very attractive" woman as it was "too risky to have her around".

Robbins made the comments on March 10 at a seminar in San Jose, California, and they later went viral.

"If you use the #MeToo movement to try to get significance and certainty by attacking and destroying someone else… all you've done is basically use a drug called significance to make yourself feel good," Robbins told the audience.

Robbins told the audience he wasn't "knocking the #MeToo movement," but was "knocking victimhood". He addressed the crowd, asking them to consider the impact of it while saying "anger is not empowerment".

After the footage went viral, the founder of the #MeToo movement Tarana Burke took to Twitter to blast Robbins for his "misogyny".

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