Dem Senator Accused of Sexism

Sen. Brian Schatz / Getty Images
July 28, 2020

Democratic senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii was accused of sexism Tuesday morning after interrupting a female witness in a Senate subcommittee hearing.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown, senior editor at Reason magazine, said Schatz treated male witnesses at the hearing differently than Internet Association deputy general counsel Elizabeth Banker. The senator berated Banker for attempting to give a longer answer to his "yes-or-no question." Schatz allowed former SEC chairman Christopher Cox more than a minute to answer the same question.

"Chris Cox provides similarly long and nuanced answer. Sen. [Schatz] does not snap at Chris Cox—like he did with Elizabeth Banker just a moment ago—for not giving a yes or no answer, lets him go on as long as he likes," Brown tweeted.

The Senate subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet convened virtually on Tuesday to discuss the responsibility of online platforms to moderate content posted on their sites. Schatz asked the panel of witnesses whether online platforms should be required to remove content that has been found to be illegal.

The House Judiciary Committee and Antitrust subcommittee is scheduled to hold hearings Wednesday on the "dominance" of large technology companies. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai are expected to testify.