Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The UN gives Wonder Woman the boot, Lena Dunham invests in an organic tampon startup, and Roger Ailes is sued for sexual harassment—again. Have a good Wednesday.
• What Ailes you. Roger Ailes may have left Fox News, but the sexual harassment allegations against him—and the claims that the cable network is a hostile and discriminatory work environment—continue.
The latest suit, filed yesterday, comes from Lidia Curanaj, now a Fox 5 reporter. Curanaj claims she was harassed by Ailes when she applied for a job at Fox News. She says the then-CEO asked her to stand up and turn around in her interview, noting, “I like what I see.” Her suit alleges that she was not hired because Ailes believed “she would not submit to him sexually.” (Fox TV Stations, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, denied the claims; the New York Times could not reach Ailes.)
It seems that Ailes came to that conclusion after speaking to Gregory Ball, a New York state senator who had previously dated Curanaj. According to the suit, Ailes asked Ball, “How’s the sex?” and queried Ball about whether the reporter would “put out.” Ball reportedly responded by calling Curanaj a “very nice girl.”
Given some of the other reports of Ailes behavior with women, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. But reading the details of how these two men allegedly discussed Curanaj like she was an inanimate object made my skin crawl. While the court documents don’t provide any additional detail on the conversation, I hope most men would react to such questions with something a little stronger than Ball’s alleged “nice girl” defense. If serial abusers like Ailes are going to be stopped, men need to call them out and become part of the solution.
Hours before the Times broke the news of Curanaj’s suit, rumors surfaced that Donald Trump is considering the former Fox chief as a potential undersecretary for public diplomacy. The Trump camp has denied that Ailes is in the running. Let’s hope that’s true.
New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• One pricey latte. Trump’s latest tweets about his business indicate that he will turn the company over to Eric and Donald Jr.—no mention of Ivanka—fueling speculation that she and her husband will take on some type of advisory role in the administration. In other Ivanka news, the eldest Trump daughter is auctioning off a coffee date, with the proceeds benefiting her brother Eric’s charity, which is dedicated to helping terminally-ill children. The sit-down is being valued at $50,000.
• Not so wondrous. The UN is heeding online petitioners who asked the organization to reconsider its decision to appoint Wonder Woman—yes, the skimpily-dressed cartoon— as an honorary ambassador for “the empowerment of women and girls.” The DC heroine will end her reign on Friday.
• Watch them run. Nonprofit She Should Run tells Time that, since the election, more than 4,500 women have signed up for the group’s new incubator, which is dedicated to training women to run for public leadership roles. Meanwhile, the New Yorker has a rundown of women who should consider a bid for the White House in 2020. The list includes women from both major parties, as well as the occasional business star (I see you, Sheryl Sandberg).
• Bloody good buy. Lola, a startup that offers subscription-based shipments of organic, chemical-free tampons, just raised a Series A, complete with an investment from Lena Dunham. The Girls creator isn’t the company’s only celeb supporter—Dunham’s Girls co-star Allison Williams and model Karlie Kloss are also investors.
• So sue me. A judge has denied J. Walter Thompson’s and parent WPP’s motions to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit that accused former JWT chief Gustavo Martinez of sexist, racist, and abusive behavior.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Good sports. ESPNW’s list of the 25 top “athletes and influencers” of the year includes Ninja Warrior star Jessie Graff, comedian Leslie Jones,and pitcher Monica Abbott. The publication’s Woman of Year award went to gymnastics superstar Simone Biles.
• Defending the digirati. Meet Cindy Cohn, the civil rights lawyer newly tapped to oversee the digital advocacy work of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a sort of ACLU for the tech set. Her job comes with a fresh sense of urgency, as donations have doubled since the election as supporters turn to the EFF to defend the Internet during a Trump presidency.
• Catnip for cord cutters? AT&T is betting that exclusive video deals with performers such as Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon will help win back millennial cord-cutters.
• Gains at GE. Women now account for a quarter of GE’s 4,900 or so executives, up from 16% in 2001. The company says it’s bolstered its ranks of female leaders by looking beyond the traditional ways employees have risen to the top of the industrial giant.
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