We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
Amtrak Derailment Causes Massive Tragedy
A fatal Amtrak crash near Tacoma, Wash., early Monday morning left three people dead, with more than 70 injured. Excessive speed is being listed as the cause of the crash, though explanation as to why the train was racing so fast has yet to be determined. The train, carrying 77 passengers and seven crew members, was traveling at 80 miles per hour around a curve that limits speed to 30 miles per hour—nearly three times the limit—when it derailed onto Interstate 5. Additionally, five vehicles and two semi-trucks on the freeway were damaged by the falling train cars and debris. Interviews from crew members have not yet been conducted due to hospitalizations. An investigation is underway. —Megan Miller
Matt Damon Put on Notice by Females Everywhere for Sexual Assault Comments
In an interview with ABC’s ‘Popcorn’ with Peter Travers, Matt Damon shared his thoughts on the sexual misconduct accusations that have swept through the upper echelons of nearly every industry in America. “I think we’re in this watershed moment. I think it’s great. I think it’s wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories—and it’s totally necessary,” shares Damon. But Damon didn’t stop there, fueling a fury of criticism. Damon went on to talk about the importance of evaluating sexual misconduct on a spectrum, explaining that “patting someone on the butt” and rape are two different things. “Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?” Later in the interview Damon also encouraged us to look for hope in the the huge population of men in Hollywood who are not sexual predators. “I would like to point out, though, that even though it feels like there’s this avalanche of men … Well here’s my optimistic spin, this is like 1 percent of the guys who are losing their careers. It’s not everybody. It just feels like it. There’s so many great men and women in the movie business. So many great people. It’s such a wonderful collection of people overall. And these rotten horrible apples are getting weeded out right now.”
His reflections were not appreciated by the #MeToo community, who were quick to call out his perspective as “dense” and “part of the problem.” After tweeting “God God, seriously?” in response to Damon’s interview, Minnie Driver, Damon’s Good Will Hunting co-star (and ex-girlfriend), told The Guardian, “I felt I desperately needed to say something. I’ve realised that most men, good men, the men that I love, there is a cut-off in their ability to understand. They simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level.” Alyssa Milano, who’s tweet in October spurred the #MeToo movement, also weighed in saying, “I have been a victim of each component of the sexual assault spectrum of which you speak. They all hurt. And they are all connected to a patriarchy intertwined with normalized, accepted—even welcomed—misogyny.” Some have come to Damon’s defense, praising his reflections on the crises as “truth” and even “obvious,” but either way, it seems clear that Matt Damon’s attempt to wade into the debate in a constructive way lacked the nuance and empathy necessary. –Monica Gabriel Marshall
‘Ocean’s 8’ Trailer Has Everyone Abuzz
As the tumultuous ‘Year of The Woman’ wraps up (or maybe just begins—stay tuned), we have been blessed with the trailer for the highly anticipated comedy film, Ocean’s 8, which includes an all-female cast of our favorite actresses. From Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett to Rihanna and Mindy Kaling, I haven’t been this excited about an action heist movie since, well, ever. Departing from the previous Ocean’s films’ casino robbery plots, this cast of leading ladies are taking on the Met Gala. I’ll take the most extravagant night in the fashion world over Caesar’s casino any day. The film’s release date is set for June 8th, 2018 and I’ve already marked my calendar. –Lillian Fallon
‘Star Wars’ Opens to a Bit of Controversy
Is the most recent addition to the Star Wars megaseries the most divisive film ever? BBC News and just about every other news outlet reporting on the franchise’s latest release certainly seem to think so. Just one look at Rotten Tomatoes’ ratings for Episode VII–a 93% critics’ score versus a 54% audience score–sums up the split difference in reactions between legacy die-hards and fair-weather fans. But the divide hasn’t slowed down Disney-Lucasfilms’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi from swiftly surpassing the half-billion dollar mark in gross box office sales within just one week of its international release. Whether watching it will bring back 1970s nostalgia from the original films or end up disappointing childhood hopes, millions of viewers certainly agree on one thing: It’s worth finding out! –Krizia Liquido
Mark Your Calendars for May 19
Spring has sprung! Prince Harry and his betrothed, Meghan Markle, have announced May 19 to be the day they say “I Do!” So far this coupling has been anything but standard for a royal, and this date is no exception. May 19 is a Saturday, which means Harry will be the first royal in his immediate family to wed on a weekend. His brother walked down the aisle on a Friday; his parents on a Wednesday. Reports suggest the weekend was chosen because unlike some royal weddings, Harry and Meghan’s will not be proclaimed a holiday.
St. George’s chapel at Windsor Castle will host the affair, and Kensington Palace took special care to note that the family—not the taxpayers—will foot the bill. Get your tea and crumpets ready—the countdown to viewing parties begins now. –Megan Madden
Famous Babies! Mindy Kaling Delivers and Eva Longoria is Pregnant
After years of acting as an OB-GYN, Mindy Kaling, 38, was in the delivery room for real—but this time as a new mother. The award-winning actress, comedian, and writer named her newborn daughter, Katherine Swati Kaling—paying tribute to Kaling’s own late mother, Dr. Swati Chokalingam, an actual OB-GYN, and the inspiration behind The Mindy Project, who tragically passed away of pancreatic cancer in 2012. Kaling seems to have no intentions of publicly revealing the father of her child, leaving it a mystery as the baby was revealed in July as “an unexpected surprise”—and Kaling has not been publicly linked to anyone romantically in quite some time.
Despite the initial shock of the pregnancy, Mindy has declared that she’s “really excited” to take on the responsibilities of being a mom. “It’s so unknown to me,” she explains in an interview earlier this year. “I have a lot of control over a lot of aspects of my life, and this is one where I’m like, ‘OK, it’s out of my hands,’ which is kind of a fun feeling.” And frankly, we’re really excited to see what the insanity of single motherhood does for Kaling’s sharp eye for comedic gold.
In other celebrity baby news, Eva Longoria, 42, actress, producer, director, and businesswoman—mostly famous for her award-winning role as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives—is expecting her first child, a boy, with her husband, José Antonio “Pepe” Bastón. Longoria’s diehard fans are ecstatic, having been on watch for that baby belly since she tied the knot with her husband back in spring of 2016—once even being falsely accused of pregnancy after allegedly bloating due to eating a plate of cheese. Reminding us all, of course, that both lactose-intolerance and baby bump hawks are real. –Maria Walley