Anita Hill on how sexual harassment allegations should be handled

When Anita Hill testified about the sexual abuse she'd suffered at Clarence Thomas's hands, Senate Republicans and the press pilloried her, calling her a liar and worse, and going on to confirm Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. Read the rest

Disgraced radio host publishes 7000-word pity piece about himself in Harper's

In August 2017, the powerful public radio star John Hockenberry mysteriously left his job as host of “The Takeaway,” abandoning millions of listeners on hundreds of stations. A few months later, the reasons became clear: he was accused of creepy sexual propositions, complaints from co-hosts, ass-touching, grabbing and kissing producers and other women colleagues, and bullying, racist and sexist remarks. He admitted his behavior was "not always appropriate," laid low for a few months, and is now back with a lavishly self-pitying 7,000-word cover story in Harper's about his "exile" and how terrible it's all been for him.

Do I dare make a spirited defense of something once called romance from the darkness of this exile, at a nadir of my personal credibility, at a moment when all of civilization seems to be in turmoil, over what is a plausible narrative of male/female attraction? Not only do I dare, knowing what righteous anger is out there, I really believe I have no choice.

Ah yes, romance. Here's Hockenberry's idea of romance:

The vacant seat was filled, for about four months, by African-American journalist Farai Chideya. Initially Hockenberry was friendly, she said, but when it seemed like she might become a regular, he “got nastier.” One day, after a story meeting in which Hockenberry became argumentative, she said, he called her into his office. “You shouldn’t stay here just as a ‘diversity hire,’” he told her, according to Chideya. “And you should go lose weight.”

Even The New York Times' Michelle Goldberg, trying to conjure up sympathy, is having none of that: "Reading Hockenberry’s essay, it hit me: I feel sorry for a lot of these men, but I don’t think they feel sorry for women, or think about women’s experience much at all."

...the most frustrating parts of “Exile” are where he casts himself as the victim of the women who spoke out against him.

Read the rest

Les Moonves' wife Julie Chen borrows the Camille Cosby playbook

An interesting to subplot to the drama at CBS and the firing/resignation of its president Les Moonves after more sexual misconduct allegations... Read the rest

CBS chief Leslie Moonves leaves suddenly after new sexual assault allegations

He'd been clinging on in hopes of winning a spectacular golden parachute, but Leslie Moonves left CBS suddenly on Sunday after Ronan Farrow surfaced six more victims' stories in The New Yorker.

As the negotiations continue and shareholders and advocacy groups accuse the board of failing to hold Moonves accountable, new allegations are emerging. Six additional women are now accusing Moonves of sexual harassment or assault in incidents that took place between the nineteen-eighties and the early aughts. They include claims that Moonves forced them to perform oral sex on him, that he exposed himself to them without their consent, and that he used physical violence and intimidation against them. A number of the women also said that Moonves retaliated after they rebuffed him, damaging their careers.

This is in addition to the earlier six women whose accusations had Moonves counting his stock options. Now he gets nothing, at least according to CBS, which also pledged $20m to womens' charities.

Photo: Shutterstock. Read the rest

Amazon not releasing new Woody Allen movie as planned

“Oh no! For the first time since 1981 there will be no Woody Allen this year,” lulzed Joe Berkowitz, speaking for me also, and everyone who's grossed out by Woody Allen.

“NOW how will we get our required annual dosage of shrewish women complicating a nervous man's life?” Read the rest

Someone pulled their dick out: Louis C.K. and the #MeToo movement

People make mistakes. They commit crimes. Sometimes they pull their erect dick out and start masturbating in front of female colleagues. Louis C.K. recently performed for the first time since confirming he did exactly that to a number of women over a period of years. Was his return to the stage, as they say in comedy, “too soon?” Outside of legal recourse, how do we deal with perpetrators of sexual misdeeds, abuse, harassment, and assault in the long haul?

As the news of his return broke, I could almost hear women across the country face-palming themselves over the fact that he appeared unannounced and unexpectedly in front of an unsuspecting audience who had not given their consent. Social media became a biopsy of the strange cultural crossroads the #MeToo stories have brought us to. But this time there was more of a split across gender lines. The backlash about Louis’ comeback were mostly female voices. The support for him, feeling he’d already paid a fair price, were mostly male voices.

Comedian Michael Ian Black tweeted a message addressing the friction to his almost two million followers:

"The #MeToo movement is incredibly powerful and important and vital. One next step, among many steps, has to be figuring out a way for the men who are caught up in it to find redemption.”

Read the rest

Harvey Weinstein faces life in prison with new charges

Hollywood mogul and widely-accused rapist, bully and blackmailer Harvey Weinstein was charged today with predatory sexual assault on a third victim. Read the rest

Cameron Esposito's "Rape Jokes," an hour-long set free to stream, raising money for anti-sexual-violence campaigns

Cameron Esposito's one-hour long comedy special is free to stream on her site -- the perfect knife-edge balance of laughs and rage, and she's soliciting donation for RAINN, "the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization." (via Waxy) Read the rest

Brian De Palma is making a "horror film" inspired by Harvey Weinstein's downfall

Brian De Palma is writing “a horror film" inspired by the downfall of Harvey Weinstein. The movie is about “a sexual aggressor" and takes place "within the context of sexual harassment in Hollywood," he says. It's titled Predator. Shooting will begin next year.

From Deadline Hollywood:

(Saïd) Ben Saïd, who produced De Palma’s 2012 Passion starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, will produce Predator with partner Michel Merkt. Separately, De Palma has said he’s using the Toronto Film Festival as a backdrop for the intrigue.

image: David Shankbone/CC Read the rest

Woody Allen: "I should be the poster boy for the #MeToo movement."

During an interview for an Argentinian news program, Woody Allen declared: "I should be the poster boy for the #MeToo movement. Because I have worked in movies for 50 years. I've worked with hundreds of actresses and not a single one — big ones, famous ones, ones starting out — have ever ever suggested any kind of impropriety at all. I've always had a wonderful record with them."

Woody Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow says her father sexually abused her 25 years ago. While Allen was never charged, the judge in the case said Allen's behavior was "grossly inappropriate."

[via The Week]

Image: By Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock Read the rest

Morgan Freeman making creepy comments to women on camera

This video footage released by Entertainment Tonight is certainly telling. They cut to the chase around 1:25 seconds in. Read the rest

Former Letterman writer dissects Dave's lame excuses for not hiring more women

Nell Scovell wrote for David Letterman, who in 33 years had a bad track record of hiring women as writers and stand-ups (about 10% of the total). He also admitted having sex with some of the women he hired. Scovell does a close read of Letterman's recent distortions to Tina Fey about his record:

In the pre-#MeToo era, Letterman (mostly) got a pass. In addressing the issue with one of Hollywood’s most successful comics, he could have admitted his failings. Instead, he attempted to dodge past criticisms. And while delivered with an air of complete logic, Letterman’s argument is a master class in distortion. Here are the first 170 words of the conversation. See if you can spot the different types of manipulative rhetoric — I counted at least ten.

Not that the whole thing was awkward. Fey got in some pretty good ones, for one-a them there lady comedienne types.

David Letterman Just Can’t Figure Out Why He Never Had Women Writers (The Cut)

Image: Wikimedia Read the rest

For a post-#MeToo world: 'The Field Guide to Consent'

Sex communication expert, and co-founder of the groundbreaking Cuddle Party, Marcia Baczynski has bravely taken on the task of teaching folks -- primarily women -- how to handle consent in a post-#MeToo world with her newly-published Field Guide to Consent.

In her words:

Since #metoo started, so many people have mentioned to me that they don't know what to do, they feel frozen, or they're worried they're not doing consent "right."

Or they just don't know how to make consent conversations sexy or hot.

So I made you a thing!

This is a free download, with loads of tips on what to say, how to use your voice and body language to make it sexy, and tons of useful distinctions and myth-busting. There's a workbook and an audio, and it's completely free.

I downloaded it myself today and, while I haven't soaked up all the materials yet, I can already see that it's an invaluable resource. Read the rest

Modern NDAs are unbelievably dirty, and the same handful of sleazy lawyers is behind most of them

Non-disclosure agreements were designed to protect trade-secrets, but they've morphed into a system for covering up misdeeds, silencing whistleblowers, and suborning perjury -- often at taxpayer expense. Read the rest

Molly Ringwald's brilliant essay about John Hughes is a superb exploration of what it means to love "problematic" art

If you've been paying attention, you might already know that Molly Ringwald is a brilliant writer with smart things to say about the movies that made her famous. Read the rest

The Rich and the Normal

A few weeks ago, the Italian people finally broke the political framework that dates to the end of World War II. The M5S Five Stars Movement, a party without a heritage, won the most popular votes. The M5S has been on a wave of growth since winning mayoral control of some Italian cities.

Disneyland announces a date for removal of sex-slave trafficking scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride

The Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt Disney personally supervised; it has undergone many replications and revisions over the years, but last year Disneyland Paris removed the "Buy a Bride" scene, in which we are treated to a lighthearted human trafficking auction in which captured women are auctioned to pirates as "brides." Read the rest

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