Troubling Julie Chen Moonves' Stance: A Pledge of Solidarity to Accused Husband
Ronan Farrow Bagged Another One
Les Moonves is not only out of power at CBS, but he has also been separated from the beloved golden parachute that was allegedly worth $90 million. But in the end, he lied to the board and tried to give a job to one accuser to get her to keep quiet ― both unpardonable acts at the millionaire boys club. And so he will probably leave without his exit pay. “The board stopped defending Moonves, not after hearing or reading the onslaught of damning accusations, but only when they realized he had been lying to them, according to a deep dive published in The New York Times on Wednesday,” Emily Peck reminds us. “Moonves reportedly let down his buddies on the board ― five men, whose average age is 80. They were ride-or-die for the CEO. ‘I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff,’ 83-year-old producer Arnold Kopelson, who until recently sat on CBS’s board, reportedly told his colleagues in a meeting after The New Yorker’s July report. ‘Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.’”
What could possibly go wrong with 5 men over 80 on a corporate board deciding on a sexual harassment investigation? The Reliable Sources media newsletter called it “CBS’s Hell Week.”
The Most Significant #MeToo Moment Yet
Todd VanDerWerff of Vox describes the resignation of the CBS Chair and CEO as "the most significant #MeToo moment yet." Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain tweeted: "In a span of just 10 months, the face of CBS's morning news show (Charlie Rose), the head of its signature investigative program, "60 Minutes," (Jeff Fager), and the CEO of the entire company (Les Moonves) have been ousted after #MeToo allegations. Let that sink in for a moment." Yes, lets.
It is almost as if CBS News were actually trying to do everything wrong in the manner in which they handled the Les Moonves and the Jeff Fager sexual harassment episodes that played out this week. These twin embarrassing episodes come on the heels of the ouster of Charlie Rose ― co-host of their flagship morning program ― last year. In the case of Jeff Fager, it was a bullying text that sunk his career at the Tiffany network. Fager sent a threatening text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan, cautioning her to “be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem." Charmed, I’m sure.
It must be so awkward for CBS to report upon its own VIPs, but that’s what Nora O’Donnell has been doing since the exodus of Charlie Rose. "On Thursday, Duncan appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about what transpired earlier in the week, including how she felt when she received the text from Fager on Sunday, and the support she has received from many of her CBS News colleagues since the text went public.” Notes TVNewser. “We at CBS This Morning support you 100 percent, O’Donnell told Duncan during her appearance.”
Julie Chen Moonves Pledged Solidarity To Accused Husband
Julie Chen, the wife of Les Moonves, returned to Big Brother, and for the first time she signs off the show by adding Moonves to her name. This clearly seems as a pledge of solidarity to her embattled husband, and though they’ve been married for 14 years, the question remains: where is the line between solidarity to a spouse in times of difficulty and true responsibility towards society at large? Les Moonves’ case is a matter of sexual misconduct, lies, and serial manipulation brought to light by several women, and in such a political climate shouldn’t Julie Chen’s stance be condemned?
Norm MacDonald Drew Ire
“Macdonald found himself at the center of controversy after saying he was ‘happy the #MeToo movement has slowed down a bit’ in a recent interview in the Hollywood Reporter,” and then compounded that anger by comparing those not sympathetic to the movement to Downs Syndrome children on the Howard Stern show. “’It’s always bad when you have to apologize for an apology,’ Macdonald told the co-hosts of ‘The View,” according to Page Six. “There is a thing with Howard where there’s a recklessness in the studio.” Hmmm.
A Second Chance To The #MeToo Men?
Finally, there is now a broad conversation online and in print publications regarding the #MeToo men. Accused sexual harasser John Hockenberry just penned a 7,000 word essay at Harper’s on his exile from the media world; disgraced CBC host Jian Ghomeshi wrote Reflections from a Hashtag for the prestigious New York Review of Books; Louis CK did his first stand up gig since November 2017; and Charlie Rose and CBS filed to have the motions against him dismissed. What is one to make of all this?
Michelle Goldberg, who had an awkward argument with Bill Maher on his show last week, wrote a smart Op-Ed on all the second-chances that these media men are getting. "I’m not interested in seeing these #MeToo castoffs engage in Maoist struggle sessions to purge their patriarchal impulses,” she writes for the Times. “But maybe they’d find it easier to resurrect their careers if it seemed like they’d reflected on why women are so furious in the first place, and perhaps even offered ideas to make things better. What ideas? I don’t know, but they’re the ones who are supposed to be irreplaceably creative, and they’ve got time on their hands." Well said.
A new leaked viral memo from Google proves that tech giants are ultimately not light years ahead of their corporate counterparts in ages past, as the evangelists would have us believe. The memo, titled "I'm Not Returning to Google After Maternity, and Here Is Why" is the experience of a worker navigating her pregnancy.
Japanese beauty company, Shiseido, sponsor of the WTA Finals, is offering the largest prize money package in the history of tennis—to a woman, but only if she manages to go through the competition unbeaten. The tournament will be held in Shenzhen in October 2019 for eight days. And more feminist news.
The #MeToo movement has reached Myanmar. A recent documentary produced by Myanmar Journalism Institute for Mizzima TV is getting attention in the West as of late. Filmed along the China-Myanmar border, it shows among other crimes of sexual violence, Myanmar women telling their stories of getting sold to Chinese businessmen. Watch here.
Who had the bright idea of inviting Ivanka Trump to the G20 summit on women’s empowerment in Osaka, Japan? There is a viral video of Christine Lagarde, Chief of the IMF, rolling her eyes disdainfully as the First Daughter awkwardly tries to insert herself into a conversation of world leaders.
“In a country where football was traditionally seen as a man’s sport, I was a passionate football fan. For Iranians, it was considered not just strange but taboo that a young Iranian girl be into football […]” Last week FIFA apologized for removing two fans in political shirts campaigning for the right of women to enter soccer stadiums in Iran.
The United States women’s soccer team, the best in the world, is paid roughly 38 cents on every dollar made by their male counterparts. Further, they have also been ranked no.1 for 10 of the last 11 years. The Time’s Up movement has finally caught up to this enduring and obvious injustice.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. Wisconsin being the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, the State Journal celebrated the suffragettes by talking to prominent women like their first woman Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Michelle Williams became the face of gender pay parity when it was noted that her co-star of the ironically titled film All The Money in the World, Mark Wahlberg, got paid over 1,000 times more than her during reshoots. But what does her outsize Hollywood paycheck vis-à-vis her male co-star have to do with the rest of the country?
Social media activist Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike against restrictive abortion laws popping up in states like Georgia. “Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano said on Twitter last week.
“If American citizens are aware that one of their biggest allies, Saudi Arabia, is accused of these huge violations of human rights, they should question their senators, they should question their representatives, they should question their government.”
The Taliban and the United States are having peace talks, and women are included in the final negotiations. Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be woman (the Taliban ban girls from pursuing an education or work), but it has advanced in the past few decades in human rights. The fear is that things might return to abysmal for women in negotiating with the Taliban.
“The Qur’an not only highlights spiritual equality between the sexes, but it also reiterates the significance of affording women their elementary, intrinsic rights. Many a time, words from the Qur’an are misconstrued by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
What is going on at present in Sudan is extraordinary. What is even more interesting—and less reported—is the fact that so many of the protests that are forcing the military to backtrack on authoritarian control are being led by women.
Halsey, who came out as a bisexual years ago, was kicked out of her house when she dropped out of community college and struggled to pay for food and rent. Although she eventually became a best-selling artist/singer, she spoke about her most financially insecure times recently at a benefit for ending youth homelessness.
In less than five months, Michelle Obama has sold more than 10 million units of her biography, “Becoming.” It is a publishing industry phenomenon, and on track to become the bestselling memoir of all time. A Judge in North Carolina ruled that three girls in a charter school cannot be compelled to wear skirts, and more feminist news.
It was a strange week made stranger by the fact that the leader of the free world engaged in a social media feud with the husband of one of his employees, advisor Kellyanne Conway. This March Rolling Stone’s cover celebrates Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and three members of the congressional freshman class—Jahana Hayes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and more news on women in media and tech.
Out of the twenty-one Marvel superhero films, Captain Marvel is the first one solely about a woman, and already the 13th most successful in the franchise with $760 MM at the box office. Movie review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes, YouTube, and IMDb were besieged by trolls trying to sabotage its success. The film actually spurred several review platforms to alter their algorithms.
During the week of International Women’s Day, PWC released the Women in Work 2019 report. Some observations: Iceland is named the most feminist country, Sweden holds second place, and for the first time, New Zealand is number three most feminist country. Very disappointing are the United States, China, and India’s rankings.
Elizabeth Rowe, the principal flutist at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the “big five,” settled her landmark equal-pay lawsuit against her employer for a disparity between her paycheck and that of a comparable musician—principal oboist John Ferrillo. “According to the BSO’s 2016 tax filings, Rowe made 75 percent of Ferrillo’s annual salary, which was $286,621 […]”
The Grammys were on mid-month, and women took center stage. The theme was the power of women and the LGBTQ community, as even former First Lady Michelle Obama showed up for her girls. There were, we cannot fail to note, some disagreements as to whether the Grammys were successful based on the arguments of race, gender, and recognition.
Kamala Harris recently became the fourth woman to announce her candidacy for President of the United States, and drew a rare compliment from the man she seeks to replace. When asked by The NY Times who would be his toughest opponent in 2020, Trump replied: "I would say, the best opening so far would be Kamala Harris. I would say, in terms of the opening act, I would say, would be her." And he is right.
Oby Ezekwesili has devoted much of her career to anti-corruption, a major issue in Nigeria, and was a 2018 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. At present, her mission is to return all the kidnapped Boko Haram schoolgirls back to their families, despite the uneasy fact that the world seems to have moved on from previous outrage.
The new year arrived at cyclonic speed with Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly. With over 20 million viewers, the #MeToo movement has finally reached communities of color. The New York Times even ran an Op Ed, titled: “After the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Documentary, #MeToo Has Finally Returned to Black Girls: Let’s keep it there.” Hard questions are being asked, once again, of urban icons.
2018 was a banner year in the struggle for the ever-elusive equality between the sexes. There are many reasons why that was the case, not the least of which was the boiling point of election day 2018 reached after years of recurrent misogynistic remarks by the President and pushback against the rise of misogynistic authoritarians across the globe. Here are the largest moments in the Year of the Woman.
Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent Saudi activist, has been detained for over a 100 days alongside 9 other activists. Concerns for the safety of the detainees are rising, as the Kingdom recently sought death sentence for Israa al-Ghomgham, another woman activist, for mere incitement to protest and providing moral support to rioters.
As the year draws to a close, it is instructive to look back and reflect on the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of equality of the sexes, the classic textbook definition of feminism. Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed; Poland and Argentina had movements to liberalize abortion laws; women marched in places as far flung as South Africa, and Nadia Murad shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
Why are Americans so obsessed with what women politicians, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, wear? Anna North at Vox looks at the historical sexist obsession with what women politicians wear – and what that says about us as a culture.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi was nominated on Wednesday as Speaker of the House Democrats. This was not a surprise, as she outlined the platform that Democrats used to win this year’s pink wave election. Rep. Pelosi is a second-time Speaker, and this will “most likely be the final act of the 78-year-old legislator’s long career as the most powerful woman in the history of American politics.” More feminist news spanning from India #MeToo to Tunisia’s Gender Equality bill.
“Women won this week,” Joy Reid joyfully declared on MSNBC on Sunday, in perhaps an understatement. Although that other “Year of the Woman,” 1992, was invoked often in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections, the latter turned out to be a bigger feminist moment in American politics. Find out why.
Andy Rubin, the creator of Android mobile software, receives a $90 million payout and a hero's exit after it was discovered that sexual coercion claims against him were credible. “Google could have fired Mr. Rubin and paid him little to nothing on the way out,” says Times reporters.