Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Harvey Weinstein is outed for decades of harassing women—and kind of apologizes, the financial firm behind Fearless Girl is settling a gender pay discrimination suit, and we have another surprise guest at the Fortune MPW Summit. Have a relaxing weekend.
• Harvey Weinstein’s semi-apology. The New York Times on Thursday published a bombshell story about producer Harvey Weinstein (he co-founded Miramax, which produced Pulp Fiction and Clerks and later The Weinstein Company, which produced Shakespeare in Love). The article details numerous accusations of sexual harassment against the Hollywood icon, including a lead anecdote in which actress Ashley Judd describes being lured up to his hotel room—where he offered to give her a massage and invited her to watch him shower.
Weinstein’s bizarre response to the allegations begins with an excuse, claiming that when he was coming of age, “the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” He goes to on to say he “appreciates” and “apologizes” that his behavior caused a lot of pain, quote Jay-Z, and note that he created a $5 million scholarship to female directors at the University of Southern California. Ultimately, Weinstein says he is leaving the movie business to “give the NRA my full attention” (Weinstein is an opponent of the gun lobbying group).
As the Times’ story and Weinstein’s response rippled through the Fortune newsroom, the collective response was essentially: “Oh, no. Here we go again.” After all, it’s difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stories of harassment and discrimination by powerful men, which seem to have piled up with remarkable speed over the past year or so. From Fox News to the VC world, to executives at Uber and Sterling Jewelers—not to mention the still-ongoing trial against Bill Cosby—it’s easy to allow numbness to set in.
Any headline that begins, “Decades of Sexual Harassment Accusations…” must inspire shock and anger. We cannot allow such revelations to become routine. How can we in the media help fight “scandal fatigue” and bring these stories the attention they deserve? Let me know at email@example.com.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Ivanka’s comeback. Ivanka Trump is returning to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, our annual gathering of powerful women, for the third consecutive year. She will appear on a panel along with Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson to discuss the future of work—including tomorrow’s jobs, worker disruption, and how companies can build an agile talent base.
• Now that’s an apology. In a nearly two-minute video released Thursday evening, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton apologized for his words to Charlotte Observer Jourdan Rodrigue (“It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes”). He said in the video, “I understand that my word choice was extremely degrading and disrespectful to women,” and pointed out that that is not the example he wants to set for his two daughters: “I try to instill in them that they can do and be anything that they want to be.”
• Slow, but steady. TechCrunch has updated its 2016 “Women in Venture” report 18 months after it was initially released. Key updates: Among the top 100 VC firms, the percentage of women partners is now 8% (vs. 7%); eight firms in the top 100 added a female partner for the first time; women hold 15% of the partner roles at accelerators and corporate venture firms (a 25% increase); 10% of venture dollars and 16% of seed dollars globally between 2012 and Q3 2017 went to startups with at least one woman founder.
• Oh, the irony! State Street, the financial-services company behind Fearless Girl, the statue of a young woman challenging Wall Street’s Charging Bull, has agreed to a $5 million settlement over allegations by the Labor Department that it paid female employees less than their male counterparts. A spokesperson for State Street told Broadsheet co-editor Kristen Bellstrom that while the firm “disagreed with the [DOL’s] analysis and findings,” it has “made a decision to bring this six-year-old matter to resolution and move forward.”
• Alba loses her horn. Honest Co., Jessica Alba’s all-natural packaged goods company, is raising $75 million in new venture capital funding at a share price that would slash the company’s valuation from around $1.7 billion to below $1 billion—meaning there may be one fewer female-founded “unicorn.”
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Chobani has announced that Grace Zuncic, who most recently served as the company’s SVP of Corporate Development, will be assuming the role of SVP of People, overseeing Chobani’s HR department.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• It’s their turn. Saudi Arabia’s recent decision to allow women to drive means an entirely new market of car owners—and automakers are already trying to woo them. Volkswagen recently tweeted a photo of two henna-decorated hands on a steering wheel, with the words “my turn.” Mini Cooper released a video showing a car pulling out of a parking lot that is “reserved for women.”
• Chipping away at the ice ceiling? Men’s hockey team New Jersey Devils have become the first NHL franchise to partner with a National Women’s Hockey League team. The Devils will assist with marketing and facilities for the Metropolitan Riveters’ games and practices in Newark, New Jersey. The NWHL is a four-team league that was launched in 2015.
• Video stars. PR firm Weber Shandwick is partnering with SellersEaston Media, which is run by Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers and Nina Easton, to create VoiceUp, a video series of women executives sharing their stories of success.
• Comedic compromise? Sarah Silverman’s new political variety show, “I Love You, America,” aims to unite liberals and conservatives. Many of the guests on the show will be people who have undergone a change (one example is Megan Phelps-Roper, who left the Westboro Baptist Church, an ultraconservative group). The show—which the comedian insists isn’t a talk show—premieres on Hulu on Oct. 12.
New York Times
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