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Weinstein Co. offer, Sen. Susan Collins, Anne Wojcicki: Broadsheet for Nov. 20

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! A female-dominated board could soon oversee the Weinstein Co., Sen. Susan Collins is pushing for changes to the GOP tax bill, and we learn what Anne Wojcicki’s mom thinks of A-Rod. Have a productive Monday.


• The men behind the man. Maria Contreras-Sweet, who led the Small Business Administration under President Obama, has reportedly submitted an offer to acquire Weinstein Co. In a letter to the board of directors, she said she hopes to be executive chairwoman of a majority-female board heading the studio, which would be renamed. Contreras-Sweet also wants to set up a fund for victims of alleged sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein and develop a mediation process to reach settlements with them.

Meanwhile, my Fortune colleague Shawn Tully has a look at the “corporate backstory about how a group of billionaire board members from the worlds of Wall Street and entertainment let Harvey Weinstein stay in power.”

Shawn reports on the mind-blowing dysfunction that has plagued the board of the Weinstein Co., which one of his sources refers to as “the ultimate shit show.” His report reveals—in infuriating detail—how the board’s inaction “helped Harvey Weinstein remain all-powerful for more than a decade, as directors from the vanguard of the business elite enabled him to stay atop the company.”

While it’s far too soon to know whether Contreras-Sweet’s offer will get any traction, Shawn’s story drives home the reasons why bringing the company under the influence of a majority-female board would be such an important—and refreshing!—turn of events.


• Being Baby Woj. I strongly recommend carving out a few minutes to read this fun, dishy profile of “Baby Woj”—a.k.a. 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki—by Maureen Dowd. My favorite part: Wojcicki matriarch Esther’s description of her daughter’s ex, baseball celeb Alex Rodriguez. New York Times

• A good look. Fortune’s Lucinda Shen digs into some of the numbers behind Stitch Fix’s IPO, noting that the company’s management team is split 50-50 by gender and that 43% of its board is female. Following the company’s IPO, CEO Katrina Lake holds a stake worth $204.4 million and sold at least a million shares for a cash windfall of about $15.2 million.  Fortune

• Maine’s main powerbroker. Maine Sen. Susan Collins is calling for changes to the Republican tax bill that’s “barreling through the Senate.” The GOP can afford to lose only two votes and still pass the bill, putting Collins, who has a history of refusing to bow to party pressure, in a powerful negotiating position.  WSJ

• Overcoming abuse. This profile of Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom illustrates how a history of abuse helped shape what she describes as her “feminist foreign policy.” New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS:  Lynn Utter, CEO of First Source, has been named to the board of Lincoln Financial Corporation. SoulCycle co-founder Julie Rice has joined WeWork as Chief Brand Officer.


• Olympic apology. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has apologized for tweets that many saw as an attempt to victim-shame. Responding to her former teammate Aly Raisman—who said on Twitter that women dressing “sexy” does not entitle men to sexually abuse them—Douglas argued that women should “dress modestly” and not attract “the wrong crowd.” (Simone Biles, another Olympics teammate, also chimed in, siding with Raisman.) The Twitter skirmish comes a week after Raisman revealed that she was among the gymnasts who had been sexually abused by team doctor Lawrence Nassar. New York Times

• Missing Maura. Jeffrey Tambor, one of the leads of the wonderful Amazon show Transparent, says he is leaving the production in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him. Tambor, who has denied the charges, says he is exiting the role over what he calls the hostile “politicized atmosphere” on the set. Deadline

• Answering Perry’s prayers. A jury has decided that California businesswoman Dana Hollister must pay Katy Perry $1.57 million for interfering with the pop star’s plans to buy a former convent.  Fortune

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‘New Washingtonian’ Podcast: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  New York Times

When sexual harassment is legal  Fortune

‘Revolt’ in France against sexual harassment hits cultural resistance  New York Times

Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Shanghai gets messy as Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid are denied visas  Fortune


It’s a terrible hate what’s going on now. I hope that my speaking is a way of starting to repair the world, to change the direction for us.
Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski on her motivation for making 'Big Sonia,' a documentary about her life