The founder of the MeToo movement said that the campaign against sexual violence that he had begun more than a decade ago had become "unrecognizable" to him.
Speaking at TEDWomen in Palm Springs, Tarana Burke said the media reaction had framed the movement as a witch hunt.
"Suddenly, a movement to the center of survivors of sexual violence is being discussed as a revenge plan against men," he said.
"Victims are heard and then slandered."
He was interested in returning to the original goal he had for MeToo when, in 2006, he wrote words on a piece of paper as a way to start an action plan to do something about sexual violence that he saw in his community.
The phrase became a hashtag used globally last year amid accusations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, but Burke said he felt the campaign was ignoring a campaign prepared to help.
"My vision for the Me Too movement is part of a collective vision to see a world free from sexual violence," he told delegates at the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment and Design).
"This is a movement about one in four girls and one in six boys who are sexually harassed every year, and who bring those injuries to adulthood," he said.
Ms Burke said behind events such as Brett Kavanaugh who was elected to the Supreme Court despite facing allegations of sexual violations – which she denies – US politicians appear to be "spinning away from problems".
"This movement has been called the watershed moment, but a few days I woke up feeling that all the evidence showed otherwise," he said.
He ended his lecture with a plea that victims were not forced to revive their trauma by talking about them and he called for a struggle against "power and privilege" to continue.
"We have to re-educate ourselves and our children to understand that power and privilege do not always have to destroy and take – it can be used to serve and build," he said.