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The Broadsheet Dec. 20: GlaxoSmithKline, Michael Oreskes, Carlos Ghosn

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Emma Walmsley’s making big moves at GSK, researchers find that companies punish women more harshly for misbehavior, and a pair of men look to move past their #MeToo accusations. Make the most of your Thursday.


• Guess who’s back? There’s a bit of a disturbing trend in today’s news:

First, a Politico report that Michael Oreskes, who in November quit his job heading up NPR’s news department amid allegations of sexual harassment, is teaming up with a pair of former Fox News executives to launch a digital media startup. And did I mention that one of the ex-Fox News execs, John Moody, left the outlet after writing a column “widely panned as racist and anti-gay?” The new venture reportedly aims to “restore faith in media”—good luck with that, guys!

Then there’s this Business Insider story about Bob Ellis, a former music manager with ties to perennially struggling movie subscription startup MoviePass. Ellis, who was doing some consulting for the company, was apparently the subject of four formal HR complaints about his behavior with female employees. After three executives threatened to quit unless CEO Mitch Lowe dealt with the situation, Ellis was removed as a consultant in June. Yet according to BI, he has “kept popping up at MoviePass business functions as recently as December, including a pivotal retreat in which a major leadership change at MoviePass was decided.”

Okay, maybe it’s a bit hasty to call two stories a trend, but on top of news like Louis C.K.’s recent return to standup and the reported pitch for a Charlie Rose comeback show, it seems worth paying attention to examples of men accused of #MeToo offenses who are wending their way back into public life. Some of these men will, of course, go on with their careers in one form or another. But as we look ahead to the new year, I very much hope that this is not the big story we’ll be covering in 2019.


Ch-ch-changes. Big changes at British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline as part of CEO Emma Walmsley’s turnaround strategy: the company will split in two, combining its consumer healthcare unit with Pfizer’s— with plans to sell that new joint venture. That’s a switch from Walmsley’s previous description of her strategy, which included keeping these businesses under the same roof. GSK will be left with its business focused on prescription medicines. Bloomberg

• Nissan news. If you’ve been following the saga of Carlos Ghosn at Nissan—the chairman allegedly underreported his salary for years and was taken into custody in Japan last month—a new voice in the story is Donna Kelly, the wife of Nissan director Greg Kelly, who was also arrested in connection with the case. Donna Kelly says her husband was the victim of a plot by Nissan’s CEO to seize control from Ghosn. Wall Street Journal

• Bad behavior bias. New research studying fraud at Wells Fargo found that when women at the bank engaged in misconduct, they were 20% more likely to be fired and their employment prospects afterward were “dismal.” Men, meanwhile, are more likely to be repeat offenders, and the settlement packages they get are 20% higher. Harvard Business School

Dushku’s side of the story. After the New York Times investigation into actress Eliza Dushku’s settlement with CBS over sexual harassment by Bull star Michael Weatherly, Dushku has responded with an op-ed of her own. (She declined to comment for the first story because of the terms of her settlement agreement, but changed her mind after her former coworkers did not do the same.) “I did not overreact. I took a job and, because I did not want to be harassed, I was fired,” she writes.  Boston Globe

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Stacey Abrams joins the board of the Center for American Progress. Teresa Brewer will be VP of corporate communications at Roblox. Rebecca Davis joins Variety as China bureau chief.


• Next stop, Nevada. For the first time, women will make up the majority of a state legislature. Nevada’s legislature will be 50.8% female, a milestone reached after two women’s appointment to the state assembly this week.  New York Times

• No men allowed? Do you remember a music festival in Sweden over the summer that was only open to women and nonbinary people? The organization has been found in violation of Sweden’s gender discrimination law. The group won’t face a penalty, however, because the ruling also found that no one “suffered damage” because of the festival’s restrictions.  The Guardian

Fighting for women’s rights. Women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia have been detained and tortured through waterboarding and electrocution, they told a human rights commission investigating the abuse. An aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—the prince also at the center of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder—allegedly oversaw the detentions and torture. Wall Street Journal

Today’s Broadsheet was produced by Emma HinchliffeShare it with a friend. Looking for previous Broadsheets? Click here.


No need to mourn as Missy Franklin retires from swimming at 23  New York Times

The enduring, incandescent power of Kate Bush  The New Yorker

She started swimming at 46. When she died, she had more records than Michael Phelps  Washington Post

Rachel McAdams wore a breast pump for a magazine cover shoot  Refinery29


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