Updated on Dec. 16 at 7:30 a.m. to reflect that Hallmark said it will reinstate the same-sex Zola ads.
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Harvey Weinstein’s tentative settlement with his accusers, the number of women who have won Time’s Person of the Year award, and The Lily’s documentary is now streaming online.
Today’s featured news
As people tune in to the Hallmark Channel to watch its holiday movies, the network has been in the news for another reason: It pulled ads for Zola, a wedding-planning website that featured two brides kissing during their wedding. By Sunday night, Hallmark had announced it was reinstating the commercials, saying it was a “wrong decision” to pull them.
A Hallmark spokesperson initially told the Associated Press that One Million Moms, a conservative group, had complained about the ads. “The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive,” she said. “We don’t want to generate controversy.”
Zola had submitted six ads, and four had a lesbian couple. The two ads featuring a heterosexual couple were not pulled, according to the company. Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, told the AP that it then pulled the remaining ads: “All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark,” he said.
People quickly took to Twitter to criticize Hallmark, with #BoycottHallmarkChannel trending over the weekend and celebrities weighing in.
Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein reached a tentative $47 million settlement, $25 million of which will go to the 30-plus women who have alleged sexual misconduct, the New York Times reported last week. Under the terms, Weinstein will not have to admit wrongdoing or pay anything to his accusers himself — instead, the money will be paid by insurance companies representing his production company.
The deal was criticized by many, including by Time’s Up, an advocacy group started as a response to the #MeToo movement — which the allegations against Weinstein set off. “It’s a symptom of a problematic, broken system that privileges powerful abusers at the expense of survivors,” Time’s Up Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Golden said of the deal.
Weinstein still faces criminal charges for two sexual assaults for which he has pleaded not guilty, and is scheduled to stand trial next month in New York City.
An estimated 75,000 students will have access to birth-control options, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy counseling, but not abortion, in a new program launched by Planned Parenthood in partnership with the Los Angeles County school district and health department. In what’s regarded as the country’s most ambitious effort of its kind, students will be able to walk into clinics or make appointments, and will be allowed to miss class for them. The program will also train hundreds of teens to be “peer advocates” to provide information about safe sex and relationships.
As The Washington Post reports, the Los Angeles Unified School District was targeted because many schools are low-income and have no similar medical providers in the area.
“Richard Jewell,” directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the story of the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta. Kathy Scruggs, a journalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, helped break the Jewell story back in the 1990s. In the film, Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) sleeps with an FBI agent (Jon Hamm) to get the story — a popular trope in fictional movies and TV — though there is no evidence this was the case.
Last week, the Atlanta newspaper asked that Warner Bros. publicly acknowledge that “some events were imagined for dramatic purposes”: “The AJC’s reporter is reduced to a sex-trading object in the film,” attorneys for the newspaper wrote. Wilde addressed the controversy on Twitter, saying that she “did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted.”
Caroline Kitchener reports on Frontier Airlines
In a pair of lawsuits filed Tuesday, four pilots and four flight attendants sued Frontier Airlines for pregnancy discrimination, reports Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener. The women said they were prohibited from breast-feeding while on duty and forced into unpaid leave long before their due dates. Read the full story here.
News by the numbers
When 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was named Time’s Person of the Year last week, she became the youngest-ever recipient of the accolade. She also became one of five women to have won the award by themselves in its 91-year history. (Two nonhuman entities have won: “the Computer” and “the Endangered Earth.”) The other women who have been picked are Wallis Simpson, an American famous for marrying England’s king, in 1936; Queen Elizabeth II in 1952; Corazon Aquin, the Philippines’ first female president, in 1986; and German chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015.
Five need-to-know stories in 100 words or less
1. Merriam-Webster announced that “they” is their Word of the Year for 2019. Searches for the term, which can be used to refer to someone whose gender identity is nonbinary, increased by 313 percent in 2019 over the previous year, according to the dictionary.
2. Sanna Marin, 34, became the youngest sitting head of government after Finland’s Parliament picked her for the post. The country’s government is on track to be led by five liberal, female leaders, four of whom are younger than 35.
3. Accepting Billboard’s Woman of the Decade award on Thursday, pop star Taylor Swift addressed the ongoing controversy over manager Scooter Braun acquiring her music. “And let me just say that the definition of the toxic male privilege in our industry is people saying, ‘But he’s always been nice to me,’ when I’m raising valid concerns about artists and their rights to own their music,” she said.
4. Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, became the first national leader to answer directly to the International Court of Justice last week amid charges of systematic rape and murder of Rohingya Muslims in the country. Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, denied the charges, even as international observers say thousands of Rohingya have been killed since 2016.
5. Last week, Alex Bozarjian was reporting live for an NBC affiliate in Georgia when a man hit her backside on the air. Thomas Callaway, the man who hit Bozarjian, has been arrested on a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery, according to police records.
‘The Jessicas Are Turning 30’ is streaming online for a limited time
In 1989, these six people were named Jessica, the most popular name for girls that year. But from there, their lives took different paths. Learn what it’s like to be 30 in America today in this short documentary from The Lily. Watch it here.
This week, we hear from actress Sarayu Blue
You may recognize Sarayu Blue as the star of NBC’s “I Feel Bad,” produced by Amy Poehler, or for her role in the second and third installments of Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” She’ll next be seen in Netflix’s comedy series, “Medical Police,” which premieres Jan. 10. Blue says that she never imagined she’d get the roles she has; as an Indian American actress, she says, “You sort of go into it knowing your career is going to be capped.”
On “I Feel Bad”: “That was such a monumental role in my career, because it’s so rare — I think I figured out I’m the second Indian American woman to star in a work comedy, and the first one was Mindy [Kaling] because she created it herself. The role wasn’t originally Indian, it was just a role. The fact that NBC actually said let’s do it and made it an Indian American storyline with biracial children and an interracial family — it still gives me goosebumps.”
On the change we’re seeing in Hollywood: “The change feels at times big and at times slower than an iceberg, just glacial. It’s an interesting dialogue. What I get so happy about is that there’s a conversation about representation — of being the only one in the room of not yous.”
On her dream role: “The thing I’ve said for years because I grew up training in martial arts is that I would love to do an action movie. I think that would be the ultimate for me. We also don’t see a lot of South Asians in that vein, so I’d hope to get a project like that off the ground some day.”
Things we love but weren’t paid to promote
I’m a big fan of Zenni Optical. They have a huge selection of glasses and many of them are under $20. I have at least five pairs of glasses from Zenni and they have all held up for more than a year despite many clumsy mishaps.
—Ross May, Lily art director
[bye-koo] Saying goodbye with a haiku
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