Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he finds the recent outpouring of reports of sexual misconduct among high profile men — from Hollywood to Washington — "heartbreaking."
"I can't help but think about all the victims out there who just want to go to work and pursue a profession that they like and they're subjected to all of this. It's really sad," Edwards said Wednesday during his monthly radio show, his first time publicly speaking out on the issue. "I'm hopeful that this discussion — this conversation we're having across the country today — is going to produce some real results."
Edwards noted that he has two daughters, and he can't imagine them being victims of workplace harassment.
"This is tough. It seems like every time you turn on the TV, somebody else new is involved," Edwards said. "It cuts across entertainers, journalists, politicians and the business world, but the common denominator seems to be some man in some sort of power or prestige, something like that who has contact with females and taking advantage."
"It's heartbreaking to see all of this happening," said Edwards, a Democrat who took office in January 2016.
Since news broke last month about entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein's reported pattern of misconduct, there has been an outpouring of allegations against several high-profile men, including veteran TV newsman Charlie Rose.
"I'm surprised by the sheer number of events and some of the (people) too," said Edwards, who added he was particularly taken aback by the news about Rose, who has been accused by several women of harassment and misconduct.
"He seems so mild-mannered and soft spoken and deliberate. I assumed that's who he was as a person," Edwards said.
The comments came during the 20th episode of Edwards' monthly call-in radio show. He also fielded questions about medical marijuana, agriculture and tax overhaul proposals currently being mulled in Congress.
Edwards declined to say directly whether he supports or opposes the Republican tax plans that are being backed by a majority of the state's Congressional delegation. Instead, he urged people to see how they would be impacted based on their individual circumstances and independent analyses that have been published.
"Whatever Congress does has a direct effect here, not just on individuals but on our state," he said.
Edwards said he was leaving after his radio show to travel to Mississippi to spend Thanksgiving with first lady Donna Edwards' family there. He said his family will hold a Thanksgiving gathering at the Governor's Mansion on Sunday.
"I'm thankful to God for all the blessings in my life and those that we enjoy here in Louisiana," Edwards said.