Good morning, Broadsheet readers! James Damore is back, China’s richest woman just made $2 billion in four days, and the cries of ‘Oprah 2020’ are getting louder. Have a fantastic Tuesday.
• Oprah 2020? In the wake of Oprah Winfrey’s epic Golden Globes speech, delivered as she became the first black woman to take home the Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Internet was awash with cries of “President Winfrey!”—and some reports that the media mogul is seriously considering a run.
My colleague Claire Zillman points out that the idea is not as farfetched as some might think. After all, the U.S. has proven that it’s open to electing a president who has no experience with politics or governing—and Oprah has proven business and philanthropic bona fides, not to mention an “unparalleled brand recognition that largely transcends race and gender.”
The timing for a Winfrey bid is ripe in another respect, writes Claire: “She would answer, in resounding fashion, the call for black women to have a larger role in Democratic politics.”
African American women played a deciding role in electing Democrat Doug Jones to an Alabama Senate seat and factored big in Democrat Ralph Northam’s defeat of Republican Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race.
In the wake of those races, the party faced accusations that it had been taking the reliable base for granted and received numerous suggestions for how to correct the issue. “Bet on black women. Follow black women. Give power to black women,” political consultant Angela Peoples wrote in an op-ed after Jones’s win. Putting Oprah on the ticket would certainly qualify.
So, might the media mogul actually seek office someday? It’s fun to speculate about, but only she knows for sure. In the meantime, both parties would do well to heed Peoples’ words and urge African American women to run for elected roles large and small—even if they don’t have one of the most famous names in the world.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• The definition of a frivolous lawsuit. James Damore, the former Google engineer who was fired by the company after authoring the infamous memo that used pseudoscience to question the benefits of diversity, is now suing the tech giant. Damore and another ex-Google engineer—who was fired for making remarks that linked his Muslim colleague to terrorism—are alleging that the company systematically discriminates against white, male conservatives.
• Historic hashtags. In the wake of Sunday’s women-centric Globes ceremony, Val notes that it wasn’t so long ago that Hollywood was fixated on #OscarsSoWhite rather than #TimesUp. Yet while only a hint of progress has been made on diversifying the industry, Tinseltown seems to have mostly moved on. Could #MeToo see the same fate?
• What’s up with Wall Street? This New Yorker story asks why, “as powerful men in a variety of industries have been forced out in recent months for workplace sexual harassment, fewer senior executives in finance, as compared to other fields, have been ousted.” While it doesn’t reach any tidy conclusions, its seems clear that banks’ tendency to protect and promote abusers—while freezing out the women who dare to report wrongdoing—is a massive part of the problem.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Brit + Co. has appointed Jill Braff, formerly general manager of Ellen Digital Ventures, president. Samantha Barry has been named editor in chief of Glamour. Barry, who takes over from longtime editor Cindi Leive, was most recently executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Katie Rogers has been named a New York Times White House correspondent.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• A bad look? Marchesa, the fashion line run by Harvey Weinstein’s wife Georgina Chapman and once a go-to for the red carpet, was conspicuously absent from Sunday’s Golden Globes. Chapman has publicly announced that she is leaving her husband and expressed sympathy for his victims but has made no other comments.
• Cold comfort. South Korea announced today that it accepts the terms of a 2015 deal with Japan to make reparations for Korean women who were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese troops during World War II. Under the terms of the deal, Japan offers an apology and $8.3 million in payment to the victims, intended to provide care for them in old age. The issue was reopened last year at the request of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who made a campaign promise to revisit the deal.
• 4 days, $2 billion. Yang Huiyan, vice chairman of developer Country Garden Holdings and already China’s richest woman, just got even richer. A surge in shares of the company inflated her fortune by $2.1 billion in just four trading days—putting her net worth at $25.6 billion.
• Catching female fans. ESPN is increasingly selling its programming—including last night’s College Football Championship—as a way for advertisers to reach women.