Harvey Weinstein, Susan Collins, Rent the Runway: The Broadsheet for Oct. 16
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Susan Collins is staying put, Rent the Runway is experimenting with a new product, and some actionable tips for how to spot and shut down sexual harassers. Have a productive Monday.
• How to avoid another Weinstein. For better or worse, the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein are still dominating the headlines. Most notably: British actor Lysette Anthony became the fourth woman to publicly accuse the media mogul of rape.
A number of industry figures have come under fire for their opinions about the scandal, including director Woody Allen (who told the BBC that he's worried the allegations will lead to a “witch hunt") and Mayim Bialik, who is being accused of victim-blaming for her op-ed in the New York Times. ("I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.") Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stripped the producer his membership, and France's President Macron says he is in the process of revoking Weinstein's Legion d'Honneur (that country's highest honor.)
While there are plenty of think pieces tied to the Harvey revelations floating around, the one that caught my eye is this short, but smart Esquire piece titled, "What to Do If You See a Female Coworker Being Harassed." It's written for a male audience, but applies to women as well. The writer, Kaitlin Menza, with the help of experts, identifies a few methods for identifying and acting on harassment as it happens, including:
- Figure out what it looks like when a woman is uncomfortable. "Women are taught to hide their discomfort, but gritting teeth into dust before your eyes might be a good indicator that she’s biting back a scream."
- Interrupt and say, “That’s gross.” "This is the most obvious way to react, and thus the toughest of all."
- Talk to the woman afterward. "Ask if she’s okay, and be prepared for her to gloss over or diminish the moment...[you're helping] by bearing witness to the scenario and checking in to make sure she’s comfortable."
- Talk to the harasser afterward. This is a tricky one, but one tip Menza shares is to place the blame on the words ("That joke was creepy") and not the person ("You’re creepy").
- Don’t leave your female coworker alone with known creeps. Self-explanatory!
- Take notes. This way, if you do have to report the perpetrator to HR, you have concrete examples.
- Talk to your manager. Let your superior handle it, but if (s)he doesn't...
- Go to HR. "It’s the most serious move, but also the lowest stakes for you personally."
- If nothing else works, leak it to the press. It's why we're all talking about this, after all.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
•Weinstein for sale? The Weinstein Company—the film production studio co-founded by Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob—is exploring a sale or shutdown. The WSJ’s “sources close to the company” say that interested buyers have approached board members, but that it’s still unclear if the studio can be sold in whole and then continue operating under new ownership. The alternative is for the company to be shut down and its library of movies and TV shows to be sold in pieces. WSJ
• Falling like dominos. Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, was suspended by the company on Thursday after Isa Dick Hackett, producer of the series The Man in the High Castle, said that Price had repeatedly made unwanted sexual advances toward her two years ago. Hackett said she was inspired to come forward after the sexual harassment and assault accusations against Harvey Weinstein came to light. New York Times
• Collins to stay on the Hill. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) announced Friday that she will not run for governor, stating that “the best way I can contribute…is to remain a member of the U.S. Senate.” Widely considered a centrist, Collins was one of four Republican Senators to vote against the GOP’s effort in September to repeal and replace Obamacare and one of two to oppose the (ultimately successful) nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Fortune
•The nipple’s minute of fame. U.K. breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! has won the right to show a woman’s nipple as part of its Breast Cancer Awareness campaign that encourages women (and men) to perform self-examinations. The ad’s approval—the first of its kind—comes as activists on social media continue to grapple with how to police images of women’s breasts and as efforts like Free the Nipple campaign against the degradation of women’s bodies. Fortune
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: President Trump on Thursday tapped Kathleen Hartnett-White, a former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Rust Belt Runway. Clothing rental company Rent the Runway is testing out a new subscription service that allows women living outside of big cities to rent four pieces a month for $89 (the company already provides a $139 monthly service in bigger cities, allowing customers to rent an unlimited number of items). The female-founded and -run company is trying to compete with fast-fashion houses like H&M and Zara, as well as discount retailers like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s. Subscriptions now make up one-third of Rent the Runway’s revenue, with one-time rentals making up the rest. WSJ
• Gillibrand’s new brand. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she “has been recognized more in the past six months than in the entire eight years since she was appointed.” This likely has something to do the fact that the Democrat “has voted against Trump’s Cabinet appointees more times than any other senator and has come out swinging on everything from the president’s statements on Charlottesville to his transgender military ban.” While she’s on many shortlists for the 2020 presidential race, she says her focus is on 2018: “Some of the worst ideas Trump has can be better blocked if we have a majority in the House or Senate or both.” Vogue
•Taking matters into her hands. Sonia Negron Bell is one of hundreds of private citizens who have set out from the mainland U.S. to remote reaches of Puerto Rico to provide aid to those affected by Hurricane Maria (that is to say, most of its 3.4 million inhabitants; 91% of the island is still without power three weeks after the storm). Follow Bell on her journey from Chicago to Aguada, P.R. via this beautiful—and heartbreaking—piece of reporting from WSJ. WSJ
• Badass in a Nutshell. The Atlantic has the fascinating story of Frances Glessner Lee, a Gilded-Age heiress who poured her family’s fortune into making dioramas of murder scenes—called the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death—which are still used to train police today. The Atlantic
ON MY RADAR
Jodi Kantor on how she broke the Harvey Weinstein story Slate
Blake Lively shares her own story of Hollywood harassment Vanity Fair
When to disrupt your own company (before someone else does) Fortune
She was about to quit acting. Then she got the role of a lifetime. New York Times