Shonda Rhimes Netflix, Nicole Maines Supergirl, Kimberly Guilfoyle: Broadsheet July 23
Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Women-led companies are on track for a record fundraising year, the brand created by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath is worth a $1 billion, and we get a peek at what Shonda Rhimes has in store for Netflix. Get after your Monday!
• Welcome to Shondaland. This story about Shonda Rhimes's plans for her forthcoming Netflix empire is worth reading in its entirety, but it's just so packed with interesting and juicy tidbits that I couldn't help but pull a few out for you:
Can't wait to watch: Among the shows Rhimes is planning—and will likely write herself—is a series based on Reset, Ellen Pao's book on sexism in Silicon Valley.
Even Shonda gets writer's block: She tells the NYT that, not long after signing the Netflix deal, she had a crisis of confidence—she had no idea what she wanted to write next. But, in what I would argue is a perfect marriage of subject matter and creator, she broke through the blockage when she read Jessica Pressler's sensational story about grifter Anna Delvey on The Cut. “I knew exactly what the show was,” says Rhimes. She bought the rights and started writing almost immediately.
Best boss ever. Describing my ideal work environment, here's how Rhimes envisions life at her production company's new HQ: "We have this whole dream,” she said. “There’s going to be a row of offices, and we’re all going to be working on our scripts at the same time. And everyone is going to come out of their offices and scream about how bad their script is: ‘Does anyone know what I’m supposed to do for Act 5?’ And everyone is going to drink Scotch and then run back to work.”
Racism FTW? Still under contract with ABC, Rhimes hoped to keep her 2016 talks with Netflix quiet. However, The Hollywood Reporter ended up writing an item on a breakfast meeting she took with Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos—only to mis-ID Rhimes as his wife, Nicole Avant.
“I was like, ‘For once, bias is working in my favor!’" Rhimes told the NYT. “Nicole and I are both black women. We couldn’t look more not alike. But somebody decided that’s who that must be. And it saved me a whole lot of trouble.” New York Times
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• $7.2 billion and counting. According to the latest Pitchbook data, female-founded companies are poised to raise a record amount of VC funding this year. In the first six months of 2018, startups with at least one female founder brought in $7.2 billion—or about 12.5% of the total venture capital funding collected so far this year. Included in that number: $135 million for Tmunity (co-founder Anne Chew), $125 million for Twist Bioscience (CEO and co-founder Emily Leproust), and $100 million each for Zola (CEO and founder Shan-Lyn Ma) and office catering service ezCater (CEO and co-founder Stefania Mallett). Pitchbook
• Anonymous really was a woman. I am in awe of Susan Unterberg, the 77-year-old photographer who just outed herself as the force behind Anonymous Was a Woman, a grant program that has provided $5.5 million over the last 22 years to support underrecognized female artists over age 40. In this revelatory interview with the NYT, Unterberg says she decided to come forward so that she could speak out on behalf of women artists and urge other philanthropists to follow in her footsteps. “Women continue to be seriously undervalued and underappreciated,” says Carrie Mae Weems, one of the artists who received a grant from Unterberg. “The work is not taken as seriously, and men are still running the game. Men in power support men in power, and they want to see men in power.” New York Times
• Imperfection is perfect. Girls Who Code's Reshma Saujani writes about suffering multiple miscarriages and the fear she once felt about "what those failed pregnancies said about me." Women continue to have the pressure to be "perfect" thrust upon them, writes Saujani. "In this narrative, ambivalence about having children, infertility, unplanned pregnancies or the decision to terminate them are imperfections, flaws, failures. This narrative is more than wrong, it's discriminatory and psychologically destructive." CNN
• Out on Essure. Bayer has announced that it will stop selling its Essure birth-control implant later this year. While the company says the decision is based on declining sales and that "the safety and efficacy of Essure have not changed," several women have sued Bayer claiming that the implant perforated the uterus or otherwise injured them. Fortune
• Dreamer on. Transgender actress and activist Nicole Maines will make history with her new role as Dreamer on the CW’s DC Comics drama Supergirl, becoming the first trans superhero on TV. Fortune
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Marketing mavens. My colleague Beth Kowitt wrote up some of the top tips from the behavioral marketing session I moderated at Fortune Brainstorm Tech last week, which featured a host of impressive marketers, including SAP CMO Alicia Tillman, Cardlytics CMO Dani Cushion, and Twitter global head of business marketing Christine Cuoco. Fortune
• Powell is out. Paramount Television President Amy Powell was fired last week after reportedly making racially insensitive remarks during a discussion about a reboot of the First Wives Club, a project that features a mostly black cast. Fortune
• Looks like a billion bucks. Kylie Jenner may have landed the Forbes cover, but it appears that another self-made makeup maven beat her to the billion mark: Pat McGrath Labs, the namesake beauty brand created by the legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, is now reportedly worth a $1 billion. InStyle
ON MY RADAR
How a Facebook group for sexual assault survivors became a tool for harassment Wired
In the first lady’s hometown in Slovenia, the business is Melania New York Times
The designer creating clothes by and for people of trans experience The Cut
Kimberly Guilfoyle leaves Fox News, reportedly heading for pro-Trump PAC Washington Post