We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Mila Kunis Pens Op-Ed on Gender Bias in Work
In a striking op-ed for APlus.com this week, actress Mila Kunis penned a strong critique of unfair treatment of women, both in Hollywood and in workplaces everywhere. It started evocatively with the words she’d heard from a producer who wanted her to compromise her values: "You'll never work in this town again." According to Kunis, this is “what a producer threatened when I refused to pose semi-naked on the cover of a men's magazine to promote our film. I was no longer willing to subject myself to a naïve compromise that I had previously been willing to…. I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said no. And guess what? The world didn't end. The film made a lot of money and I did work in this town again, and again, and again.”
Reflecting on this incident, Kunis says this producer “spoke aloud the exact fear every woman feels when confronted with gender bias in the workplace. It's what we are conditioned to believe—that if we speak up, our livelihoods will be threatened; that standing our ground will lead to our demise... So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming.” But every time we compromise, she explains, we get further and further from that change that is necessary for true women’s equality. For this reason, Kunis has started her own production business with similar-minded ladies and has resolved never to work again with people who in the words or actions, devalue women. "If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere." —Mary Rose Somarriba
And the World Series Champion Is . . .
. . . the Chicago Cubs! While this Cleveland Indians fan has limits to her enthusiasm about this news, I cannot deny that the Cubs victory is a historic one. After over a century-long drought—there is literally no Cubs fan alive who has seen the team win a World Series—the team won the much coveted title in the tenth inning of a tightly fought Game 7. Famous Chicagoans including Bill Murray could hardly contain their joy. Now that the Cubs’ drought is over, the new MLB team with the longest drought in World Series titles is—you guessed it—the Cleveland Indians. To which I say, there’s always next year! —MRS
According to the New York Times, a post-Halloween tradition of buying back and donating candy surpluses has been gaining momentum. Organizations that support these efforts include Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels, who receive candy donations and recycle the candy for a variety of uses, such as packing peanuts for packaged mailed to soldiers overseas. With an overwhelming $2.7 billion spent on Halloween candy alone this year, the effort to salvage the enormous excesses of candy is praiseworthy. Dentists, orthodontists, and schools are even having a hand in the action through buyback efforts, where candy can be sent to a food bank or traded in for a toy.
What’s cool about the concept of recycling candy after the biggest candy-consuming day of the year is that all those leftovers aren’t necessarily going to waste. Instead of fueling our already sugar-frenzied society, organizations are helping to find creative ways to counteract the temptation. So next time you eat all your leftover sugar sweets, know that there are places that will benefit more from that candy than your body will. —Mary Brodeur
#HillaryforPrision Misspelled Trending News on Twitter
On the heels of the FBI’s decision to reopen investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump supporters ranted on Twitter using the hashtag #HillaryforPrision—a misspelled version of an unofficial slogan used by Trump supporters as early as August 2015. Allegedly, the extra “i” was added with the intention of sliding under the radar of Twitter censorship, according to some users of the hashtag, which claimed the second-most trending slot behind #HappyHalloween on Monday. By 7 a.m., the hashtag had already accumulated almost 20,000 tweets, many of which accused Twitter of filtering the original slogan and blocking it from appearing on the trending list.
“As elections approach in countries around the world we hear conspiracy theories about political trend manipulation, from activists on the left, the center and right,” a Twitter spokesman told the Huffington Post in an earlier statement about censorship. “But the actual reason a topic doesn’t trend is because its popularity isn’t as widespread as supporters believe.” Apparently the misspelled one is the one that took off, much to the excitement of Trump supporters and to laughs from Hillary supporters. —Deanna Rosa
Emma Watson Hides Books on London Tube
As well as a successful actress, United Nations Ambassador, ethical fashion advocate, and all-around impressive lady, it turns out Emma Watson is also a book fairy. As part of the Books on the Underground project, Watson has been busy hiding a hundred copies of Maya Angelou's novel Mom & Me & Mom around the London Underground. The book is the latest title she's been reading with her feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. Commuters are being encouraged to return the book to the Underground for someone else to read after they finish it, although I kind of doubt they will—copies contain handwritten notes from the star and will surely end up being collector’s items. —Sophie Caldecott
Our Latest Look at Beauty and the Beast
Speaking of Emma Watson, it looks like there is even more to be excited about regarding the new Beauty and the Beast, this week with the release of some new images from the film. The tale as old as time is a live-action remake of the 1991 animated classic—starring Watson as Belle—and will get a fresh opportunity to enchant on the big screen when it premieres this March. The photos released this week show Watson as the quiet village bookworm in her blue dress and apron. She is seen standing with her inventor father in one and reading alongside an impressive Beast in another. Included also is a still of the CGI household objects, featuring Mrs. Potts and Lumière.
We also got a peek at the movie’s villain, Gaston, standing on a table pompously as villagers fawn over him. But perhaps what I am most excited about is the photo of Belle twirling in the iconic yellow gown in a luxuriously grand ballroom. Who else can't wait for March? —Katie Faley
Pentatonix Chosen to Host NBC Holiday Special
NBC’s annual holiday concert special has a new sound this year: a cappella. Pentatonix, winners of the third season of NBC’s The Sing-Off, will be performing the hour-long event and will feature their latest release, A Pentatonix Christmas, among other Christmas classics. Pentatonix is succeeding special guests Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bublé, who have hosted the past two years.
It is the first time Pentatonix will be performing a holiday special, but there is no one more ready or qualified than the Grammy-winning group whose rendition of "Mary, Did You Know?" went viral in 2014. They will be joined by a returning Clarkson and Reba McEntire. We’ll be tuning in at 8 p.m. December 14. —MB
Good Girls Revolt Continues Enduring Cultural Conversations
Good Girls Revolt, an Amazon series released last Friday, is based off Lynn Povich’s 2012 book and unravels a fictionalized account the “good girls” at Newsweek who became the first to sue a media organization for sexual discrimination. At the height of the women’s rights movement of the 1960s, forty-six women working at Newsweek were fed up with gender discrimination on the job. Women were mostly relegated to positions as mail girls, fact checkers and researchers at the publication. Only men were on the masthead until Povich defied the odds by becoming a junior writer and spearheading a revolt against the system.
“We were the polite, perfectionist ‘good girls,’ who never showed our drive or our desires around men,” Povich wrote in her book that inspired the series. But upon discovering that their treatment was actually a violation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the women of Newsweek began secretly organizing a plan to take legal action against the publication. The result makes for some good and inspiring entertainment on the power of women standing together. —DR
There’s a New Starbucks Cup For People to Get Crazy About
Starbucks unveiled a new limited edition cup on November 1, unleashing a controversy over the design for the second year in a row. The green cup, designed by artist Shogo Ota, features “friends, baristas, and customers drawn in one continuous line—reminding us we're all connected,” according to Starbucks’ Instagram post Tuesday. “During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values and the need to be good to each other,” explained Starbucks CEO and Chairman Howard Schultz in a press release.
Some Starbucks fanatics and stirrers of controversy mistook the green cup as the company’s 2016 holiday cup, which is usually announced around this time, and were disappointed with the lack of winter designs. Others decried the design as a vehicle of political brainwashing rather than the promoter of unity that the company intended. It seems that the attacks on Starbucks over a throwaway cup are evidence enough of the need for the very unity it preaches. —DR
High School Sweethearts Married 74 Years Don’t Even Let Death Separate Them
Today a memorial service is being held for a couple married seventy-four years who died within hours of each other last week. Leonard Cherry, 95, and his wife Hazel, 93, were high school sweethearts and married in January of 1942 in Muldoon, Texas. Their seven and a half decades together included Leonard’s enlistment as a B-24 bomber pilot in World War II as well as the couple’s joint operation of an auto repair shop before they retired in 1980. On Thursday, October 27, Leonard died at 1 p.m. after being in hospice care for several days. Hazel was moved into a nursing home next door, where she died only hours later, at 11 p.m., of an unknown cause.
"I feel blessed that Daddy's suffering is over, and I feel blessed that Mom is with him and that she didn't have to live alone,” David Cherry, the couple’s 72-year-old son, told CNN. “The more I began to think about it, I began to smile because of how much they loved each other." Craig Cherry, the couple’s only grandson, echoed his father’s sentiments: “The two were always smiling and always deeply in love.” —DR