Breaking News Emails
This week, TV host Ellen Degeneres was photographed grinning next to former U.S. President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game. Some of Ellen’s fans expressed anger through social media Wednesday over her friendship with with the Republican president. Ellen responded on Twitter with a video, acknowledging her audience: “They thought, 'Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?” She then defended the friendship, saying,"I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have."
Tina Tchen served as assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady. Now Tina Tchen will run Time’s Up, a legal defense fund that aids women who have been sexually harassed at work. Time’s Up was founded two years ago in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Tchen called her new position the “role of a lifetime” after working in diversity and inclusion for decades; she worked as an adviser to the Southern Poverty Law Center, and she headed the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Three Latina actresses are changing the face of Broadway. Know Your Value interviewed Mandy Gonzalez (“Hamilton”), Bianca Marroquín (“Chicago”) and Tony Award-winning Lindsay Mendez (“Carousel”) about their rise to fame, and about what Latina women face in the tough Broadway industry. Currently, less than three percent of Actors Equity Association members identify as Hispanic.
Variety released its 2019 Women’s Impact Report on Wednesday, highlighting the achievements of some of the most important women in show business. From producer/writer/director Ava Duvernay, to comedian Ali Wong, to actor/activist Patricia Arquette, the list included women who moved the needle this year. Other highlights included Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the women of the “Black Panther” film, as well as C-suite women like ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke.
High-profile Hollywood producers and executives have launched an initiative to mentor female directors in the middle of their careers, which is when they’re most likely to drop out of directing. Through ReFrame Rise, a Sundance Institute program, female film directors will receive mentorship and career sponsorship from directors like Sue Kroll (“A Star Is Born”) and Stephanie Allain (“Dear White People”), and executives like TriStar Pictures president Hannah Minghella and Amazon Studios film co-head Matt Newman.
For the first time since 1981, Iranian women were permitted to attend a soccer game in their home country on Thursday. The event was an otherwise inconsequential World Cup qualifier between Iran and Cambodia. The all-women’s section was sold out, while the remainder of the 78,000-seat stadium stood largely empty. The Iranian government’s decision to invite women came one month after a protester set herself on fire after being sentenced to prison when she tried to attend a game.
In advance of the 2020 election, U.S. women are donating to both parties in droves. Almost 100,000 women gave amounts of over $200 to both parties in the third financial quarter. Female Democratic candidates have higher proportions of female donors than any other candidate subset. However, more 41 percent of Trump’s donors are women, which is up from 2016, when only 29 percent of his donations came from women. White men still make up a disproportionate amount of donors overall.
Singer Rihanna told Vogue that she turned down a performance at the Super Bowl this year because she wanted to support Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player who protested police brutality and racism by kneeling during the national anthem. Rihanna told Vogue she didn’t want to be an “enabler” or a “sellout” to the NFL by performing the Super Bowl. Comedian Amy Schumer also turned down a Super Bowl commercial for the same reason. Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will headline the halftime show this season.