Whistleblowers have been getting a fair bit of attention in the new recently. Edward Snowden’s memoir Permanent Record hit stores earlier in September. The currently unidentified whistleblower who broke the story about Donald Trump’s connections with the Ukrainian government sparked an impeachment inquiry against the President. And now, Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower who broke the story about Cambridge Analytica has written his own memoir about the scandal that is slated to release Oct. 8.
image via random house
You might remember Cambridge Analytica as the data-mining firm that found itself at the center of a political scandal in early 2018. Wylie revealed CA had harvested tons of Facebook users’ personal information without their knowledge or consent for use in political campaigns.
In particular, Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were discovered to be working directly with Cambridge Analytica. It was a watershed moment in how the public thinks about the personal data they post online, and Facebook’s reputation has never quite recovered. In the documents Wylie supplied to reporters, Cambridge Analytica was even implicated in influencing the Brexit referendum.
image via getty images
Now, Christopher Wylie is publishing a book through Random House that tells the story of how he came to break the story. Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America is scheduled to release on October 8th, and Random House has described it as “both exposé and dire warning” about the potential to manipulate people with online data.
Now, Harvey Weinstein faces five felony charges connected to his patterns of sexual abuse, as well as various civil suits. But back when Kantor and Twohey began looking into some of the rumors about Weinstein, he was still an immensely powerful presence in Hollywood.
The book details how the reporters discovered numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior, under-the-table payoffs to keep people quiet about sexual advances, and patterns of threats and abuse of power.
In a review written for CNN, Melanie Schuman provides some info on what can expect to learn in Kantor & Twohey’s already best-selling account:
The book reveals that Bob Weinstein (Harvey’s brother) and Irwin Reiter (former vice president of accounting for The Weinstein Company) were both major sources for the investigation. Bob consented to multiple interviews for the book, as did Gwyneth Paltrow who Kantor and Twohey describe as a “dead-center source who might know more than anyone yet.” Although Paltrow was initially reluctant to go on record about Weinstein for fear of retribution, it seems she provided some valuable details on the kind of environment Weinstein created.
“It’s the H-bomb, the H-bomb is coming, they would warn before he approached,” Paltrow recounts, describing how employees at Miramax would live in fear of Weinstein.
image via Deadline
As they began their investigation, Kantor and Twohey reached out to former employees of Miramax and Weinstein. Zelda Perkins, one of Weinstein’s former assistants, spoke to the reporters:
Perkins story is just one of many Kantor and Twohey describe in their new book. Rowena Chiu, another former assistant, talks about wearing two pairs of tights to a meeting for protection and still being harassed by Harvey.
Because of conversations with Bob Weinstein and Reiter, Kantor and Twohey reporters uncovered evidence of hush money payments and cover-up conducted by high-level executives. The book also recalls how Dean Baquet, New York Times executive editor, advised Kantor and Twohey that Weinstein might turn to “increasingly desperate practices,” to “assume you’re being followed,” and to “talk like every call is being taped.” And apparently as the publication date for the initial exposé drew closer, several of Weinstein’s lawyer tried to stall the investigation, asking for more and more time to respond.
Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Image via Vanity Fair
Kantor and Twohey’s stunning book describes their journey to bring the reprehensible behavior of one power-mad man to light. It’s definitely one of the most important and pertinent stories of the last few years, and to be able to hear about it from the reporters who first broke the story will no doubt be remarkable.
After igniting a scandal all her own, Natasha Tynes’ publisher, Rare Bird Books, decided to no longer distribute her latest book They Called Me Wyatt, which was set to release under one of the publisher’s imprints this year.
What was the scandal all about? Well, on her morning commute, Tynes snapped a picture of a mass transit employee having her breakfast on the train and proceeded to use that photo to call out that employee on social media:
When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train. I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds. When I asked the employee about this, her response was, ‘worry about yourself.’
Tynes has since deleted the tweet, but you can’t erase anything from the internet once it is out there. Screenshots of her tweet are still making the rounds, which isn’t surprising considering she was attacking an African American woman on the DC transit. This was the issue the publisher had its qualms with stating “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them.”
Now after publicly shaming this employee, making herself and her publisher look bad, she is suing Rare Bird Books for $13 million. Rare Bird Books’ attorney, David S. Eisen, has responded on behalf of the company, pointing out that “the complaint filed by Natasha Tynes is baseless for a host of reasons.” The publisher is in no way responsible for her actions, nor did they take any part in defaming Tynes. But can you blame the publisher for not wanting to be associated with her?
Getting a prestigious teaching position at Oxford University is a serious accomplishment, but the selection process for the new professor of poetry has generated some serious controversy.
According to The Guardian, three candidates have been selected for the role of professor of poetry at the internationally-renowned university: Alice Oswald, Andrew McMillan and Todd Swift. While Oswald and McMillan have seen relative success within their campaigns for the position, Swift has come under fire for conduct concerns… and the conduct is concerning.
Specifically, critics have referenced Swift’s behavior while running the independent publishing company Eyewear Publishing. A report from The Bookseller said that Eyewear mistreated its poets by locking them in contracts that didn’t allow them to communicate with trade unions, specifically the Society of Authors. Bookseller journalist Heloise Wood elaborated on the nature of these troubling allegations:
To prohibit authors from contacting the SoA is to prevent them from taking independent advice from their trade union. Not only is this unenforceable, it constitutes an unwarranted interference with their civil rights. The termination clause is also extraordinary – the fact that it explicitly mentions the possibility of the publisher sending ‘rude emails’ that cause ‘hurt feelings’ speaks for itself.
Swift, and other poets who chose to remain nameless, defended the contracts:
Each contract we have signed since 2012 is bespoke, we try and base on industry standard templates,” he said. “They are all discussed with the authors. We are very short on resources and usually if authors object to a clause we delete.
Another complaint surfaced from Vida about Swift’s old tweets where he allegedly attacked emerging poets. Both the tweets and Swift’s entire Twitter page were deleted, and soon after, Eyewear released a tweet condemning Swift:
Swift did not respond to these complaints directly.
As of right now, Oxford does not have any plans to remove Swift from consideration for the position. The incoming professor will be decided on June 21, and we’ll have to wait and see whether or not Oxford University offers him the role.
Do you believe Swift should be out of consideration for the position?
Dawson’s Creek‘s Joshua Jackson has been cast in a leading role in Hulu’s adaptation of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere. Published 2017, written by Celeste Ng’s second novel is about two families living in 1990s Shaker Heights who are brought together through their children. Shaker Heights is Ng’s hometown and she described writing about her hometown as “a little bit like writing about a relative. You see all of the great things about them, you love them dearly, and yet you also know all of their quirks and their foibles.
Image Via Amazon
The Kenyon Review wrote that the novel “shows a particular place and time that makes us reflect on the limits of our own views and consider the spiderwebs of connection, conflict, privilege, and exclusion that we, too, create,” and, despite not liking the novel overall, The Guardian still described it as “well crafted”, saying that “[t]he characters are vividly drawn. The author manages a large cast, multiple points of view, and all three rings of her circus with grace and authority”.
Image Via The TLS
The book was voted as the winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for fiction in 2017. The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the long history with the adaptation, despite the book barely even being two years old. Before the book was even published, “[Reese] Witherspoon’s company, Hello Sunshine, snatched up the rights…and brought it to fellow star and exec. producer Kerry Washington”.
Image Via Deadline
Reese Witherspoon, June Carter-Cash in Walk The Line and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, and Kerry Washington, who portrayed Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained and Olivia Pope in Scandal, then went to Liz Tigelaar, who agreed to adapted the novel and serve as series showrunner.
Soon afterwards, ABC Signature agreed to executive produce “the series alongside Hello Sunshine and Simpson Street” and Tigelaar, Lauren Neustadter, Pilar Savone, producer of Django Unchained and associate producer for Inglourious Basterds, and Lynn Shelton, director of We Go Way Back and Humpday, all came on board as executive producers.
Streaming platform Hulu ended up winning a bidding war for the whole package.
Image Via Disney Wiki – Fandom
Now joining this all star team is Joshua Jackson, perhaps best known as Pacey in Dawson’s Creek, who is set to portray Bill Richardon.
As of today, the cast list is as follows:
Joshua Jackson will play Bill Richardson, an attorney and husband to Elena.
Elena an engetic and strong willed 3rd generation resident of Shaker Heights who writes for the local paper, will be portrayed by Reese Witherspoon.
Image Via Justine Magazine
Jade Pettyjohn, who played Shelby in Destroyer, will play Lexie Richardson, the oldest Richardson child and a senior in high school. Jordan Elsass, who played Kyle in People with Issues, will be Trip Richardson, the second oldest Richardson child who is a jock.
Image Via Indieactivity
Gavin Lewis will be Moody Richardson, a well-meaning child who introduces Pearl to his family and develops a crush on her.
Image Via IMDB
Megan Stott will be Izzy Richardson, a black sheep of the family who rejects the Richardsons upper-middle class lifestyle.
Image Via IMDB
Kerry Washington will be Mia Warren, a photographer and single mother. Lexi Underwood will be Pearl Warren, a kind child who doesn’t know who her father is and is the same age as Moody.
Image Via IMDB
Rosemarie DeWitt, who played Laura Wilder in La La Land, will be Linda McCullough, a childhood friend of Elena’s, whose adoption of a Chinese baby causes controversy in the close-knit community.
Image Via The Hollywood Interview
No word yet on who has been cast as Bebe Chow, Mia’s co-worker who wants her abandoned baby back from the McCulloughs and ends up in a custody battle with them, or who has been cast as Mirabelle McCullough/May Ling Chow, the daughter at the heart of the custody battle, but we’ll keep you updated!