Chastain gives $2K to woman who left negative Instagram comment

The answer to negativity isn’t more negativity — that’s the lesson Jessica Chastain recently taught her followers.

According to Bustle, the actor and producer took to Instagram to share a photo on Thursday’s International Women’s Day of herself wearing a “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt; in the photo’s caption, Chastain wrote, “FEMINISM: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes #happyinternationalwomensday,” but Bustle says the seemingly innocent post drew ire from some followers, including one named Karin Hallsten Schulz.

“Yes, feminist that believe in God and stand up for The Unborn,” Schulz wrote. “I would be for that kind of feminist.”

Instead of immediately replying to the comment — or even thinking of replying at all — Bustle says Chastain decided to explore Schulz’s Instagram account, which led to the discovery of a GoFundMe page the commenter set up for herself to help fund fertility treatments. Asking for $5,000, Bustle says Schulz wrote that her insurance won’t cover the treatments — and in the blink of an eye, Schulz became $2,000 closer to achiever her goal of being a mother thanks to Chastain, who gave her campaign a $2K boost.

Bustle reports Chastain then responded to Schulz’s original comment this way:

“Yes you can decide what is right for you. I am pro-choice and I believe that everyone has the right to make their own decision. I read about your journey to become a mother and it broke my heart. I hope that your dream will come true in 2018! Much love to you ❤”

After also posting on her GoFundMe page by telling Schulz that her and husband will be “wonderful parents,” Bustle says Schulz wrote back to the actor sharing words of support and gratitude, offering that even though they don’t agree on everything, they are both on the same team.

“Thank you for your words, for your encouragement and loving wishes. I too am a feminist!! It is ok if we don’t see eye to eye on everything,” she wrote. “We do agree on more than we disagree!! You are my sister, and together wonderful change and more awesome things will happen in this beautiful world we live in.”

Proof positive that women can support each other despite differences of opinion and beliefs.

Female investors purchase Weinstein Company

A group of women has turned the #MeToo moment that started the movement into a major #WeConquered achievement.

According to Glamour, a group of mostly female investors have purchased The Weinstein Company for about $500 million, taking over the tumultuous company from disgraced Hollywood big-wig Harvey Weinstein. Deadline reports that “the group is led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who worked in the Obama administration as the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration,” and is “expected to run the new board of directors, which will be composed of mostly women.”

Offering that a new company will be created along with a new vision that will include placing women in positions of authority, Glamour reports that Contreras-Sweet aims to foster female leadership on all levels, saying she has always aimed to “build a movie studio led by a board of directors made up of a majority of independent women, save about 150 jobs, protect the small businesses who are owed money and create a victims’ compensation fund that would supplement existing insurance coverage for those who have been harmed.”

Further describing the aim of her new company, Contreras-Sweet offers that the company will revolve around honesty and a respect for women:

“The cornerstone of our plan has been to launch a new company that represents the best practices in corporate governance and transparency,” she said, according to Glamour. “I have had a long-standing commitment to fostering women ownership in business. This potential deal is an important step to that end.”

Read more about the deal to acquire The Weinstein Company here.

Plaza points out lack of representation at Oscars

After winning an Impact Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, actor Aubrey Plaza decided to use her acceptance speech not only to express her gratitude for the honor, but to also point out some representation issues in a major award ceremony.

According to Glamour, Plaza — who won an award for performance in the film Ingrid Goes West — took a moment in her acceptance speech to share an interesting finding she was told:

“I’m going to accept the leading best actress award on behalf of the Oscars ceremony because I heard a fun fact tonight that I never knew before, which is that no Latina actress has ever won best actress at the Oscars,” Plaza said. “Ever. So I’m going to accept that tonight to manifest that energy.”

But Plaza didn’t end her comments there; instead, Glamour says she issued herself a challenge of sorts, saying that she will “play some kind of psychotic character, some kind of criminal lunatic, those complicated characters I’m good at, and I’ll do that for you” in order to “win that award.”

And her remarks were certainly not lost on those in attendance; Glamour says Variety describes the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s Impact Awards as not only recognizing “the work of Hollywood’s Latinx community, but also individuals in that community making a difference through activism,” holding a special interest this year in Latinx representation in the industry.

Looks like Plaza looking to get the Latinx community on the map in a major way!

Nyong’o pays for 600 kids to see ‘Black Panther’

The #BlackPantherChallenge all began as a fundraising initiative to bring children from Harlem to movie theaters to see the box office smash Black Panther. But one of the film’s stars just took that challenge to a whole new level.

According to Glamour, actor Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram to announce that, along with her mom, joined the challenge and paid for 600 kids from her hometown of Kisumu, Kenya to watch the film. Urging others to join the movement, Glamour says Nyong’o explained why it’s so important that kids see the film.

“I wanted kids from my hometown to see the positive images reflected in the film and superheroes that they can relate to on the big screen,” she wrote.

In one of the videos accompanying her post, Glamour reports that a girl who was able to watch the film because of Nyong’o’s kindness said that the film taught her about “being a good leader by never giving up in the face of challenges and ‘people coming together to work as a team, to achieve, and to build our nation.'”

 

Time’s Up hit major milestones in first month

The Time’s Up campaign has achieved quite a bit in its first month in action: from a wide-reaching social media movement to a “black-out” at the Golden Globes to a white-rose moment at the Grammys, Time’s Up is certainly making its presence known in all aspects of pop culture. But now, the movement has reached an important set of milestones in its first month — milestones that will help further its mission in the future.

According to Glamour, at a recent Time’s Up panel in Los Angeles, “Obama administration alum and lawyer Tina Tchen announced that the group had already raised $20 million, from about 20,000 donors across the country.” Additionally, Tchen announced that the campaign has also received 1,000 requests for help, says ELLE, with requests coming from people of all walks of life.

“The need is clearly there, from all industries—farm workers, hotel workers, steel workers,” Tchen said at the panel. “I had a steel worker from Indiana reach out to my office….Time’s Up has spoken to men and women who need help getting safety and equity in the workplace.”

In terms of getting that help to those who need it, Glamour reports that lawyer and one of the founder of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund Roberta Kaplan said the requests are siphoned through the National Women’s Law Center:

“They have a number of lawyers who volunteer to work on these cases,” she said, “And they’re matching up clients with potential lawyers. Obviously the clients have to decide for themselves whether they want Lawyer A or Lawyer B to represent them.” The calls for help keeping coming in, says Kaplan: “[We’re getting requests] from people similar to some of the ‘me too’ stuff in Hollywood that you’ve heard—maybe not so famous, but people who’ve had bad experiences with someone in the industry—to other industries. I just got an email this morning from a nurse in Louisiana.”

And that $20 million — Kaplan told Glamour that the sum is “not that much,” as it “won’t even meet the current demand” for help. But with the campaign in its infancy and a plan in place to leverage the public platform of Hollywood to gain more traction, the Time’s Up campaign is bound to keep growing.

Just take the Song Suffragettes, for example: formed in 2014 in response a concern that women were being excluded from record labels and radio stations, The Columbian reports that the group of Nashville-based female musicians crafted a song and music video about the movement, with earnings from the song being donated to the Legal Defense Fund.

And Times Up even found a home across the pond, with British natives of Hollywood’s elite — such as Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson and Daisy Ridley — are “in the process of forming their own version of the movement” in Britain, according to Variety, advocating for both equal pay and safer workplaces for women across all industries.

Looks like time has not run out for the Time’s Up movement — and it’s not running out any time soon.

To donate or request help, click here.

Rhimes calls for end to ‘strong female leads’ phrase

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes is making the case that we all should stop using the phrase “strong female leads.”

According to Glamour, the mastermind behind Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder took to Twitter to explain why the phrase should disappear.

“OK,” she tweeted. “Entertainment industry, time to stop using the phrases ‘Smart Strong Women’ and ‘Strong Female Leads.’ There are no Dumb Weak Women. A smart strong woman is just a WOMAN. Also? ‘Women’ are not a TV trend—we’re half the planet.”

Glamour reports that this one tweet sparked a larger conversation about “how these descriptors are a disservice to women, because they imply that brainy, independent women are a rare sight that needs to be applauded or pointed out.” As Twitter users continued to chime in, so did actor Jessica Chastain, who offered her support of Rhimes’ assertion and shared her own experience with the issue.

“Yes to this. I’m always told I play ‘strong women,'” Chastain tweeted. “Lets pleasw use the phrase ‘well written women’ in its place.”

Chastain even posed a slogan of sorts for the issue, concluding her tweet by writing, “ALL WOMEN ARE STRONG WOMEN.”

Amen to that.

Gadot defends ‘Wonder Woman’ Oscar snub

When box-office smash and feminist favorite “Wonder Woman” received a grand total of zero nominations for this year’s Academy Awards, fans took to social media to vent their frustrations.

According to PopSugar, fans tweeted their frustration over the snub, with some “wondering how a critically panned movie like ‘Suicide Squad’ could get nominated and ‘Wonder Woman’ isn’t,” while others asked, “‘Did any of those a*sholes see Wonder Woman?'” But for Wonder Woman herself Gal Gadot, the film was never about trying to garner awards, anyway.

“I was very moved and touched by the people who were disappointed that Wonder Woman wasn’t nominated, but we certainly never did the movie for that,” she said during a recent interview with ET, according to PopSugar. “I think that you can’t have it all. We’ve done this movie and it was received in such an amazing, wonderful way, and we want to stay humble and grateful, and we’re going to have another movie, so who knows? Maybe the next one!”

…And that’s how you handle this situation with grace.

Blige becomes first to earn acting, songwriting Oscar nods in same year

There’s a first for everything, and for Mary J. Blige, her latest achievement is a major first.

According to Huffington Post, the R&B singer — who stars in the Netflix film “Mudbound,” which tells the story of two families living in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — earned two nominations for her contributions to the film. For her portrayal of Florence Jackson, HuffPost says Blige received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress; additionally, her song for the film, “Mighty River,” secured a nomination for Best Original Song.

With her two nominations come a place in history, says HuffPost, as she is now “the first person ever to receive an acting and songwriting nomination within the same year,” not to mention she is also “the first actor to be nominated for a film directed by a woman of color [Dee Rees].”

Also scoring a nomination for the film was Rachel Morrison, who was recognized for Best Achievement in Cinematography and scored another first, becoming the first female director of photography to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category.

Congratulations to these two talents!

 

Pompeo punches back for equal pay

After years of being paid less than her male counterpart, actor Ellen Pompeo has finally secured the pay she deserves for playing the title character on the hit Shonda Rhimes-created show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

According to Mashable, Pompeo shared her struggle to speak up and ask for payment equal to that of her male co-star Patrick Dempsey in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. At one point in her 14-year tenure on the show, Pompeo asked to be paid even just $5,000 more than Dempsey, as she is the series’ main character; however, as Mashable reports, her request was denied.

“At one point, I asked for $5,000 more than him just on principle, because the show is Grey’s Anatomy and I’m Meredith Grey. They wouldn’t give it to me,” she said. “And I could have walked away, so why didn’t I? It’s my show; I’m the number one. I’m sure I felt what a lot of these other actresses feel: Why should I walk away from a great part because of a guy? You feel conflicted but then you figure, “I’m not going to let a guy drive me out of my own house.”

So how did Pompeo find the courage to ask again for the pay she deserved? Mashable says she in part found inspiration in Rhimes, who Pompeo said empowered her as the showrunner herself was “finding her power and becoming more comfortable with her power.”

Now the “highest-paid actress on a primetime drama series, with a contract earning her about $20 million a year,” Mashable says Pompeo not only believes in the power of asking for what she deserves, she also believes in the power of her own talents.

“I’m 48 now, so I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve, which is something that comes only with age. Because I’m not the most “relevant” actress out there,” she told THR. “I know that’s the industry perception because I’ve been this character for 14 years. But the truth is, anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that’s a fuckin’ skill.”

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Winfrey interviews Ross, Rhimes on ‘Time’s Up’

With the Time’s Up movement quickly gaining momentum, a recent interview brought it back to where it all began to shed light on the campaign’s inception — and it’s future.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey interviewed some of the movement’s founders — including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, America Ferrera and Tracee Ellis Ross — on CBS Sunday Morning this past week, discussing “the impact their campaign has had on the public, their devotion to raising awareness of sexual harassment and what they hope for the post-Weinstein culture.”

In the interview, Winfrey asked the group how our society can “have a mature, nuanced conversation about how men and women should be relating to each other,” says THR, as recent sexual misconduct allegations have disturbed a variety of industries. Natalie Portman was first to respond, reports THR, offering that the conversation that needs to take place hinges on accepting that we are all human.

“We’re humans. We’re all humans. And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans and — and it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister, it’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect.”

Beyond this assertion, THR says Witherspoon offered that having a fruitful conversation about sexual assault and harassment may not always be possible for women (and men) in other industries; however, with their platform as public figures, they are hoping to break down those barriers to make productive conversation possible.

“You know, we have public voices. We have resources,” Witherspoon said. “But women who are workers in this country have nothing to gain in certain times by coming forward. But we want to help. It gives me strength to hopefully help other women.”

Watch the interview from this past Sunday right here.