Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Megyn Kelly Today is reportedly all but canceled, we examine the state of Latinx female founders, and the Silence Keepers are still at it. Have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend.
• The Silence Keepers. Last December, Time magazine famously named the Silence Breakers, those who’d spoken out against sexual assault and harassment, as its 2017 ‘Person of the Year.’ But this week, a year into the current #MeToo movement, we’ve been reminded that Silence Keepers—individuals, corporate engines, and institutional forces set on keeping victims quiet—still wield enormous power.
Take, for instance, yesterday’s blockbuster New York Times report that detailed how Google protected star executive Andy Rubin, known as the ‘Father of Android,’ even after a past partner credibly accused Rubin of coercing oral sex. (Rubin denies the claim.) Google asked Rubin to leave the company, but instead of firing him and paying him nothing, the company awarded him a $90 million exit package. What’s more, Google remained silent on the matter as Rubin launched his next venture, in which Google invested millions more.
Then there’s the saga of Topshop retail tycoon Philip Green, who yesterday was identified as the subject of a rather insane #MeToo scandal. Britain’s Daily Telegraph had for months investigated sexual harassment and bullying claims against Green (which Green denies), but a U.K. court gagged the newspaper from naming Green, ruling that the confidentiality of the non-disclosure agreements signed by Green’s employees were more important than freedom of speech. The Telegraph and press advocates were (rightfully) outraged. The paper published the investigation anyways under the headline “The British #MeToo Scandal Which Cannot Be Revealed.” It described Green only as “a leading businessman.”
That’s where the saga stood until Lord Peter Hain outed Green in dramatic fashion during a session of Parliament on Thursday—a right granted to Hain by his status in Parliament.
“I feel it’s my duty under parliamentary privilege to name Philip Green as the individual in question given that the media have been subject to an injunction preventing publication of the full details of this story which is clearly in the public interest,” Hain said.
(From time to time, those ancient Parliamentary rules do come in handy.)
Both episodes illustrate that even amid the powerful #MeToo movement that’s all about disrupting long-held silence, strong counter forces are still trying their hardest to maintain it.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• The state of Latinx female founders. An exclusive here: Latinx women have raised only 0.4% of the $400 billion in venture capital funding invested between 2009 and 2017, according to a report by digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane. And only 58 Latinx women have ever raised more than $1 million from venture or angel investors. Fortune
• Business friendly? A new report from JUST Capital shows consumers are softening their negative impression of business. That trend comes as more than half of consumers think CEOs of major companies should be speaking out on major social issues like the gender pay gap and discrimination. Fortune
• Megyn Kelly Yesterday. Megyn Kelly has reportedly been ousted from Megyn Kelly Today, her hour of the Today Show at NBC, after saying on air that she didn’t see the problem with some kinds of blackface. Kelly was on thin ice before making those comments, with her show bringing in low ratings that didn’t match her $23 million contract. She didn’t appear on TV on Thursday, but it’s possible she could stay with NBC after her show ends. CNN
• Nose for news. Lauren Kern is one of the most powerful people in media, as editor-in-chief of three-year-old Apple News. The former New York Magazine executive editor controls what 90 million people see when they check for news updates—and she’s helped Apple avoid Facebook’s messy fate when getting involved in the news industry. New York Times
Yesterday we misspelled the name of Kelly Shen, new chief technology and data officer and senior managing director for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. We regret the error—and apologies, Kelly!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Representation matters. Some good news to launch you into the weekend: broadcast television now has record-high representation of LGBTQ series regular characters. At 8.8%, the stat is split evenly between LGBTQ female and male characters. LGBTQ characters played by people of color outnumbered white LGBTQ characters for the first time, GLAAD found in its “Where We Are on TV” report. Fortune
• Madame President. Sahle-Work Zewde will be the first female president of Ethiopia after members of Ethiopia’s parliament elected her to the position. Sahle-Work is now the only female head of state in Africa. She follows in the footsteps of Empress Zewditu, who led Ethiopia in the early 20th century. BBC
• Mystery blond-yguard. Meghan Markle is still on a royal tour with Prince Harry, and if you’re reading the Daily Mail, you might have seen the woman “armed and in killer heels” accompanying her. That is, of course, her bodyguard who faces sexist media coverage while doing her job. Makers
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Maine gubernatorial nominee Janet Mills is ready to roll up her sleeves Shondaland
‘Red Scare’ leans into nothing: A podcast that offers a critique of feminism and capitalism The Cut
The real magic of Netflix’s Sabrina reboot is radical teen feminism Broadly