Katie Holmes’ Empowering New Role and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.
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We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Donald Trump Is Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

On Thursday, Time magazine announced its annual “Person of the Year” recipient. In no great surprise, Donald Trump was chosen. The other candidates who were narrowly eclipsed by Trump include Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, “The Hackers,” and a few more. The decree has never been intended as an endorsement but rather a statement of influence and intrigue. Officially, Time says it chooses “the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.” In 2016, no name was so ubiquitous as Trump’s, but what exactly makes our president-elect worthy of the title? For one, as Michael Scherer wrote for the cover story on stands now, “...[Trump] has upended the leadership of both major political parties and effectively shifted the political direction of the international order.” 

The response to the announcement has been varied. Some have simply shrugged, and said, “saw that coming.” Others have been quick to remind people that Hitler was also named “Person of the Year” once, even claiming that Trump’s cover photo bares an intentional likeness to a Time cover of the Nazi leader. Regardless, Donald Trump was indeed a fixture in the popular culture this past year and will likely remain so in the years ahead. —Megan Madden

Grammy Nominations Announced

The nominations for this year’s Grammy awards were announced this week, promising an exciting night for the music award show airing in February. Among the hottest contenders are Beyoncé for her work on Lemonade, Adele for her work on 25, and Justin Bieber for Purpose. With musicians such as Sia and Twenty One Pilots thrown into the mix for some categories, this year’s competition looks like it is not one to be missed. Also there are some surprises, such as Kelly Clarkson’s American Idol version of her heart-wrenching song “Piece by Piece” contending for Best Pop Solo Performance against Adele’s “Hello,” Beyonce’s “Hold Up,” Bieber’s “Love Yourself”—um, suffice it to say this will be interesting to watch. —Mary Rose Somarriba

British Fashion Awards Had All the Big Names

The annual Fashion Awards were held by the British Fashion Council at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Monday, in which the world’s most celebrated models and designers come together on one special night. The event was bedazzled and sparking, thanks to its sponsorship by Swarovski. Gigi Hadid claimed International Model of the Year, and Ralph Lauren took home the Outstanding Achievement Award. British Vogue was also recognized for celebrating its 100-year anniversary. Despite the predominate focus on the star-studded fashion, the evening also happened to double as a kick-off for fundraising efforts towards the council’s Education Foundation. The EF, according to the New York Times, hopes to raise more than $12 million over the next ten years to provide design scholarships and supports apprenticeships. Whether the 2016 Fashion Awards was worthy of the label “Met Gala meets the Academy Awards” is still up for debate, but it was nonetheless a dazzling December night. —Mary Brodeur

Last Tango in Paris Rape Scene Gets New Scrutiny

Outcry renewed this week over an unethically filmed scene in the 1972 film Last Tango in Paris, after the Spanish nonprofit El Mundo de Alycia published a video interview clip with the film’s director Bernardo Bertolucci, saying a change to the script was made without the lead actress’s knowledge. Bertolucci said he “wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress. I wanted her to react humiliated.” Conversely he says he discussed the idea with Marlon Brando beforehand. In the scene Brando’s character uses butter as a lubricant before forcing himself on actress Maria Schneider. Schneider later revealed to the Daily Mail in 2007 that she indeed felt “humiliated” and “was crying real tears” in the scene due to her shock of going off-script. “To be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci ... I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that.” The clip of the interview was posted on El Mundo de Alycia in recognition of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day on Nov. 25. Schneider sadly died in 2011 of cancer. Here’s hoping her words resound more loudly today, so this doesn’t happen again. Because when it comes to watching someone suffering at the hands of others on film, if it’s not acting, it’s more likely a crime caught on film. —MRS

Outdoor Company Is Prioritizing Parents

One company is making things for working parents easier than ever before. Patagonia, the international outdoor retail company, is making sure that its employees can reasonably balance a career and family, which doesn’t always come so easy. The company, which has been around for thirty-three years, provides in-house child care for all of its employees. Head of human resources and insurance services at Patagonia, Dean Carter said, "There is this understanding that children are a part of life, and a part of work." The investment has clearly paid off for Patagonia: One hundred percent of moms return to work after maternity leave. 

This comes as a refreshing option in a time when childcare costs are outrageous. But it seems that Patagonia may just be an exception. According to an NBC report, “On-site subsidized child care in the U.S. dropped from nine percent in 1996 to just two percent in 2016.” Both moms and dads are relieved knowing that their children are taken care of during the day, but also because they know they can balance having children with having a career. Jenna Johnson, a senior director at the company, said, “It allows me to excel in my job, but it also allows me to excel in my life, really.” Maybe this could become a trend for all companies, so parents are not forced to choose career or family. —Katie Faley

Hairstylists to Learn Signs of Domestic Violence in Clients

Last week the state of Illinois passed a new law that will push the fight against domestic violence to a new frontier. Advocated by the group Chicago Says No More, the law will require all licensed beauty professionals to receive training on domestic violence and sexual assault. The training is one hour and will be required every two years. This law is the first of its kind at the state legislature level in the United States. —Emily Mae Schmid

Katie Holmes Speaks Up on Motherhood & Directing

Katie Holmes opened up to the New York Times about her upcoming directorial debut and how the many women in her life have inspired her to use this movie as a way to showcase the resilience of women. Katie Holmes, who credits her three older sisters, mother, and daughter Suri, is not only taking on the role of director but also the main character. She plays Rita, a single mother struggling to raise her 15-year-old daughter in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis. While traveling east together, the mother-daughter duo dine and dash but are granted a second chance by the diner owner and his transgender niece. When asked how hard it was to both act and direct she described the opportunity as both intense and empowering. The actress joked, “Well, you don’t sit down—that’s for sure.” The star is no stranger to balancing multiple things at a time. She also dished on balancing motherhood and Hollywood. Holmes is the mother to 10-year-old daughter Suri, whose father is Tom Cruise. Katie strives to keep Suri’s life as normal as possible saying, “I try to make our world very much an environment that’s just all about being a kid without too much of Hollywood coming into that. And I just enjoy it.” She also hopes to empower Suri by teaching her lessons she learned from her own mother when she was growing up in Hollywood. She shared in her interview, “we gotta speak up and get what we want, because no one’s going to give it to us.” —KF

Amy Schumer Slams Fat Shamers Over Her Role as Barbie

After Variety announced last week that Amy Schumer is being considered as the star in Sony’s upcoming live-action Barbie film, the actress and comedian took to Instagram to denounce those “fat shaming” her.

“Is it fat shaming if you know you're not fat and have zero shame in your game? I don’t think so,” Schumer wrote in Tuesday’s post, which accompanied a picture of her in a bathing suit. “I am strong and proud of how I live my life and say what I mean and fight for what I believe in and I have a blast doing it with the people I love. Where's the shame? It's not there. It's an illusion. When I look in the mirror I know who I am.”

The two-time Grammy nominee explained that she is “honored” to be considered for the role of “an important evolving icon,” alluding to the changing standards of the typical “Barbie” body type. The film, which will be released in the summer of 2018, tells the story of a woman who embarks on a real-world adventure after getting kicked out of Barbieland for her “imperfect” body. “I want to thank them for making it so evident that I am a great choice,” she wrote, addressing her haters. “It's that kind of response that lets you know something's wrong with our culture and we all need to work together to change it.” —Deanna Rosa

Good News of the Week

Dr. Bhasker Patel happened to be on the right flight at the right time this past Sunday. On a Southwest Airlines flight heading from Philadelphia to Orlando, Dr. Patel, who practices internal medicine at Health First’s Palm Bay Hospital, delivered a baby boy to a woman who went into labor mid-flight. An emergency room physician, who also happened to be on the plane, assisted Dr. Patel in a safe delivery. The Southwest flight rerouted to South Carolina, where it was met by emergency medical technicians upon landing. “There are certain things where you don’t know why it happens,” Dr. Patel said. “It was meant to be where I was just going to be on this flight. I was happy that I could be of help.” —MB