We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Fox News and Gretchen Carlson Reach Settlement
Two months after former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, her old boss, news broke that 21st Century Fox has agreed to a settlement with her for a stunning $20 million. Since Carlson filed her lawsuit, many disturbing details about Ailes' reign and the misogynistic culture at Fox News have emerged. Although Carlson's lawsuit is filed against Ailes specifically, 21st Century Fox is his insurer for any settlement. In addition to the $20 million, Fox released this unprecedented statement of public apology: "We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all our employees deserve." We hope this message is sincere and that the culture of companies across the country will learn from this mess. —Emily Mae Schmid
Bill Cosby’s Abuse Hearing is Set
Speaking of sexual harassment, Bill Cosby will go on trial next year, charged with three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault, a judge in Pennsylvania announced on Tuesday. He pleads "not guilty" to the charges that he drugged Andrea Constand before initiating sexual contact that she was unable to consent to.
The 79-year-old comedian has faced allegations from more than 50 women who came forward in recent years, yet this will be the first case to go to trial as most of the other alleged incidents took place outside the statute of limitations. However, some of the other women may reportedly testify at Cosby's trial next June 5. —Sophie Caldecott
Gilmore Girls Fans Get a Glimpse of the First Page of the Reboot Script
This week fans got a tantalizing taste of the goodies to come on November 25 when Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino shared the opening page of the script for the first of the four brand new episodes with Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday. It's a classic exchange between the mother and daughter in Stars Hollow, with a healthy dose of popular culture references. While not much about what has happened to the beloved duo since we last saw them by the iconic town gazebo is revealed, it was enough to get us even more excited for the day after Thanksgiving (if such a thing was possible). —SC
Natalie Portman Debuts in Jackie, Shows Baby Bump
While Natalie Portman’s latest film Jackie has been receiving rave reviews after its release in Europe this week, the actress also has another thing to look forward to—her second child. Portman wore a dress highlighting her rounded belly this week, signaling that she and her husband Benjamin Millepied are expecting another baby. We have loved the empowering words Portman has said in the past about how motherhood changed her not only as a woman but also in the professional arena. All best to Portman with her growing accomplishments and growing family! —MRS
Actress Speaks Out On Her Director's Past Rape Allegations
In trending news this week was an op-ed written by actress Gabrielle Union for the LA Times. The actress, who plays a role in the forthcoming film Birth of a Nation, took to the public forum to explain how the recent news of director Nate Parker’s past rape allegations brings her pause. “I cannot take the Nate Parker rape allegations lightly,” Union wrote, explaining that as a rape survivor herself, she feels extreme compassion for women who have experienced sexual assault. “Rape is a wound that throbs long after it heals,” Union wrote. “And for some of us the throbbing gets too loud. Post traumatic stress syndrome is very real and chips away at the soul and sanity of so many of us who have survived sexual violence.”
Considering Hollywood often takes a “look the other way” mentality in the face of sexual harassment and assault, Union’s voice is a rare but important one. While her participation in Parker’s film is already complete, she explains that part of the reason she agreed to the role is because she plays a woman who experienced sexual violence and hopes it will bring attention to the issue. Since Parker’s past allegations have gained public attention—allegations that accused him and another man of assaulting a woman, charges that in Parker’s case were later dropped—Union opened up to share her feelings on the topic. While acknowledging that she doesn’t know if he in fact committed a crime, she turned the occasion of public speculation into an opportunity to discuss an often hushed but important topic. “I know these conversations are uncomfortable and difficult and painful. But they are necessary. Addressing misogyny, toxic masculinity, and rape culture is necessary,” she added.
“It is my hope that we can use this as an opportunity to look within. To open up the conversation.... To play an active role in creating a ripple that will change the ingrained misogyny that permeates our culture. And to eventually wipe the stain clean.” A very good conversation to start indeed. —MRS
Bridget Jones Will Be a Musical!
In addition to the excitement that comes with knowing the latest Bridget Jones film opens in theaters this month, fans of Helen Fielding’s book series and film franchise will be happy to hear this week’s latest announcement: Bridget’s hilarious story has a future in musical theater! All I have to say is: yes. So many yeses. Also, please tell me Renee Zellweger can partake in this latest iteration—anyone who saw her in Chicago knows she’s a master of song and dance in addition to acting. —MRS
This Is What A 32-Year-Old Virgin Looks Like
On Thursday the Washington Post published an article you don't see in mainstream media very often: 'I'm a 32-year-old virgin, and I'm living the feminist dream'. In this inspiring honest testimony the author explains that it is totally possible to live a fulfilled, empowered life while saving sex for marriage. She believes that there is a freedom that comes with holding off from sex for a committed relationship, something we at Verily can appreciate. As one woman wrote for Verily recently, the hardest part with saving sex for marriage is often not the act of abstaining but facing others' judgment. It's important to read and share articles like these to remember that those who choose this path aren't alone, and to acknowledge the struggles that can come with it. —EMS
Join Laura Vanderkam’s Time-Tracking Challenge!
Do you ever feel like you could be managing your time a little better? Author and Verily columnist Laura Vanderkam is running a time-tracking challenge, starting on September 12, to help you do just that. A few years ago this celebrated time-management expert shared the results of her investigations into the time logs of numerous real women in a heartening book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. This simple challenge will run for seven days, and is designed to help you “lean in” to your leisure time and feel more in charge of your life. Sign up to take part here—it is sure to give you some interesting insights into where your time really goes. —SC