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  1. Blog
  2. News
  3. December 16, 2019

Women in the News + The Hallmark Channel Apologizes

December 16: Badass women and the news that affects them

Women in the News + The Hallmark Channel Apologizes
  • December usually marks Hallmark’s (3.0 stars) most popular period wherein people ignore the channel’s predictable storylines and one-dimensional characters (no hate, this is what makes Hallmark movies so iconic) in the name of family-friendly Christmas spirit. But this holiday season saw viewers threatening to boycott the channel after the company removed four television ads that featured brides kissing each other from Zola, a wedding website service. Hallmark reportedly pulled the ads under pressure from One Million Moms, a far-right organization whose parent group American Family Association is designated as an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty and Law Center. In an apology released Sunday, Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry apologized for pulling the ads, promising to reinstate the ads and pledging to work with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD “to better represent the L.G.B.T.Q. community across our portfolio of brands.” NY Times

  • YouTube (3.1 stars) has officially expanded its anti-harassment policies, announcing Wednesday that it will remove remove videos that insult people based on “protected attributes” such as race, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The changes to the policies now also include content that contains “veiled or implied threats,” that suggest violence toward an individual. The Washington Post

  • A group of women pilots and flight attendants have filed lawsuits against Frontier Airlines (2.5 stars) accusing the company of discriminating against pregnant and nursing employees. The lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges Frontier forced the pilots and flight attendants to stop flying far before their due dates without providing parental leave and refused to accommodate breastfeeding. NPR

Quick Hits

  • Forbes released its most recent World’s Most Powerful Women list and this year saw Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Nancy Pelosi, Ursula von der Leyen, and Mary Barra snag the top five spots. Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who recently became the TIME’s Person of the Year , the fifth woman to ever earn the designation, rounded off the list at #100. Forbes

  • For the first time in history, the winners of five of the world’s top beauty contests are all black women. The all-black cohort now includes Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh as Miss World, South Africa’s Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe, Nia Franklin as Miss America, Cheslie Kryst as Miss USA, and Kaleigh Garris as Miss Teen USA. These pageants bring their own criticisms, but considering the fact that women of color weren’t even allowed to compete when they began shows a remarkable leap toward diversity and a move away from oppressive Eurocentric beauty standards. The Washington Post

  • It’s been a pretty solid year for women in film from Lulu Wang ’s The Farewell to Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy to Melina Matsoukas Queen & Slim to Greta Gerwig’s Little Women , among others. But you wouldn’t know it from the recent Golden Globes nominations—not a single woman director was nominated. Variety

Around the World

  • Saudi Arabia: In the latest sweeping social reform by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the government of Saudi Arabia has announced that it will no longer require restaurants to have separate entrances segregated by sex. Previously, it had been mandatory for restaurants to have one entrance for families and women and another for single men. BBC

  • Brussels: A comprehensive European Green Deal set forth by Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European commission, will re-evaluate nearly every major aspect of the European economy in light of climate change. Under von der Leyen’s plan, the EU will aim for net-zero carbon by 2050 and to halve emissions by 2030. The plan also lays out specific limits for policies that contribute to climate change, like manufacturing and transportation, among others—however, it’s uncertain whether the commission will gain backing from member states. The Guardian

  • The Netherlands: Asiye Abdulaheb, a Uighur woman living in the Netherlands told The New York Times that she was involved in the release of 24 pages of secret Chinese government documents that shed light on mass concentration camps holding Muslim ethnic minorities in Beijing. Abdulaheb told The Times that she was coming forward to protect herself and her family from retaliation from the Chinese government. The secret documents in question were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, although the Times has not been able to verify Abdulahed’s involvement with the organization. The Chinese authorites initially denied the existence of camps holding Muslim minorities, but late last year, they acknowledged the existence of the program, defending the camps as job-training centers that teach the Mandarin Chinese language and practical skills and also warn people of the dangers of religious extremism. NY Times

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Mitra Norowzi


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