Monica Lewinsky still surfaces in a joke every now and then, but the infamous White House intern is tired of being the punchline after all these years.
Unfortunately for her, it’s probably not going to stop.
When Donald Trump re-ignited the national anthem debate a few weeks ago, a meme of her and former president Bill Clinton made its way around the Internet and eventually to Lewinsky. Lewinsky, who is now an anti-bullying activist, addressed the meme in an interview about her new PSA, “In Real Life.”
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) September 24, 2017
“There are many ways that I have been able to move forward but there are certainly times [like] with that meme that was going around, where I’m still held frozen in amber from incidents from two decades past,” Lewinsky told People. “It reminds me once again what it’s like to be on the other side. And it’s sometimes made worse when I know people I care about – especially my family—see these memes, too.”
The meme had several variations, but most of them included a photo of Clinton and Lewinsky in the Oval Office with the words, “Back when the president didn’t mind if you took a knee.”
Given the publicity of Lewinsky’s affair with the former president, it’s not surprising that people still mock her for it from time to time. However, she wants people to know that she’s more than an infamous White House intern.
“I’m not a punchline, I’m a human being and I belong to people,” she says. “I’m a daughter, I’m a step-daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a cousin, a niece, an aunt. I’m dimensional, not just a punchline.”
Lewinsky’s new anti-bullying PSA seeks to present some of the awful things people say about strangers online through real life situations in an attempt to make people realize that their words are actually heard by real people.