Good morning, Broadsheet readers! The head of the CDC out after investing in cigarettes, a former BBC editor is speaking truth to the powers behind the pay gap, and a woman is suing Walmart for locking up African American hair care products. Have an ambitious Thursday.
• Reclaiming her time. Essie Grundy of California has sued Walmart, accusing the chain of racial discrimination because her local store keeps African-American personal care products—including a 48 cent comb—locked up in a glass case. When she tried to purchase a comb, “she had to ask for it to be unlocked, she said, and then a staff member said he would have to take the comb to the register so she could pay for it before taking it.”
“I was angry, I was sad, frustrated and humiliated all at the same time,” Grundy—who is being represented by Gloria Allred—told the New York Times. She is asking that the company change its policy and pay her legal fees, as well as up to $4,000 in damages.
A Walmart spokesperson said that the company does have a policy of locking up items that are more likely to be stolen, adding that the particular products that end up under lock and key may differ from store to store.
“I would like for everything to go back to normal for what I am used to,” Grundy told the NYT. “I would like to shop just like everyone else at Walmart, not like my time is not valuable.”
New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Worse and worse. Just when you though that the situation with Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA gymnastics doctor, couldn’t get any more distressing: The judge in his second sentencing hearing said the tally of Nassar victims has reached at least 265.
• Do as I say, not as I invest. Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday. Earlier this week Politico reported that Fitzgerald purchased tobacco stock after she took the position at the CDC, the nation’s top agency devoted to protecting public health.
• Minding the gap. Carrie Gracie, the former BBC China editor who resigned in protest over the pay gap at the broadcaster, testified by before British lawmakers yesterday. She explained that not only did she discover that her male peers earned “at least 50 percent” more than she did, but: “My case is just an example of a bigger problem. If the BBC can’t sort it out for me — for me, a senior person of 55, in a powerful position — how can it sort it out for more vulnerable people who don’t have a public profile?”
• What’s in the box??? Have you spent the last year obsessing over what was in that Tiffany box Melania Trump gave Michelle Obama during the inauguration? Me neither. But apparently, some people have. And the answer, Obama spilled on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is a picture frame.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Not humane. Following sexual harassment allegations against Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle, this Politico investigation finds that the problem goes well beyond the corner office, naming a second alleged offender, ex-VP Paul Shapiro, and citing reports from numerous women that the organization has tolerated a culture of harassment that goes back more than a decade.
• Lane’s house. The final season of House of Cards—which, with the ouster of Kevin Spacey will star Robin Wright, a.k.a Claire Underwood—has added Diane Lane to the cast.
• Tay Tay vs. scalpers. In an attempt to outwit scalpers, Taylor Swift and Ticketmaster are using a new dual strategy: Offer cheap(ish) presale tickets to verified fans, then raise prices when the general sale opens to try to scare off resellers. But will it work?