“Today” Show Anchor Matt Lauer Fired From NBC Over “Inappropriate Sexual Behavior” Claims

And another one bites the dust. Matt Lauer is the latest celebrity to be fired over sexual misconduct allegations.

NBC News announced early Wednesday morning (Nov. 29) that they were forced to let Lauer go after an employee filed a complaint about “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

“Today” show co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb seemed emotional as they announced Lauer’s firing, telling views that they were processing his departure but weren’t privy to all of the details just yet.

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said in a memo to employees Wednesday morning that a complaint made by a female colleague of Lauer’s prompted a serious review and represented a “clear violation of our company’s standards.”

Lack said this was the first complaint about 59-year-old Lauer for inappropriate behavior since taking over as the show’s anchor in 1997, however, there was “reason to believe” this may not have been the first time it’s happened.

“Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender,” Lack said.

According to sources, Lauer has been the subject of an investigation from the New York Times for weeks, and reporters for Variety have also been discussing “serious sexual harassment allegations against Lauer” for at least two months.

“NBC was aware” of the reporting, Variety’s Elizabeth Wagmeister tweeted. “There are multiple women we’ve spoken to with far-ranging accusations against Lauer. The power of journalism has never been more evident with this cultural change.”

A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment beyond the information provided in Lack’s memo.

Ari Wilkenfeld, who said he’s representing Lauer’s female accuser, told The New York Times that he and his client met Monday evening with reps from NBC’s Human Resources and Legal Department.

“Our impression at this point is that NBC acted quickly, as all companies should, when confronted with credible allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace,” Wilkenfeld said. “While I am encouraged by NBC’s response to date, I am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing.”

Guthrie, who joined Lauer on “Today” 2012, said that she was “heartbroken” for both him and the “brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their stories to tell.”

“I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come,” she said. “And we promise we will share that with you.”

Guthrie said it can be difficult to make sense of sexual misconduct allegations against a longtime friend/colleague.

“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly and I don’t know the answer to that,” she said. “But I do know that this reckoning, that so many organizations have been going through, is important, it’s long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected.”

Kotb added that she’s known Lauer as a friend and colleague for 15 years and “it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.”

Lauer’s name is added to an increasingly growing list of high-profile men in entertainment, politics, and media who are facing sexual misconnection allegations.

Just last week, Charlie Rose was fired by CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg after eight women accused him of past sexual harassment and unwanted advances in a Washington Post report. Rose, who co-hosted “CBS This Morning” apologized for his behavior via statement but said that some of the allegations were false.

Lauer’s firing comes after NBC News also terminated its senior vice president for booking, Matt Zimmerman, after finding out about “inappropriate conduct” with more than one woman at NBC’s parent company NBC Universal.

NBC News also cut ties with senior political analyst Mark Halperin after multiple reports surfaced that he sexually harassed at least a dozen women while serving as political director for ABC News.

Before joining Guthrie on “Today,” Lauer also shared his co-anchor duties with Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry, who made a tearful exit from the show in 2012. Curry said she felt humiliated by a “boy’s club” culture at the show.

Matt Lauer’s journalism career began in television markets throughout the country before he returned to his native New York and eventually began working for local NBC station WNBC as a co-anchor of the morning news program.

The married father of three began filing in on “Today” in 1992 and two years later was promoted as a news anchor before taking over for Bryant Gumbel in ’97.

Along with Katie Couric, Lauer went on to become a marquee name with NBC and helped “Today” maintain its status as a ratings powerhouse with countless interviews of world leaders and celebs, as well as coverage of presidential campaigns and Olympic Games.

Last year, Variety reported that Lauer’s contract with NBC had been extended through 2018 for $20 million a year, keeping him as one of the highest-paid anchors on TV.

The flood of sexual misconduct allegations began after reports from The New York Times and the New Yorker about allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and since then, actors Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. have been suspended or removed from projects following allegations against them being made public.

Other prominent journalists, including NBC’s Mark Halperin and Michael Oreskes of NPR, have been fired or suspended from their jobs as well.

In addition to the aforementioned, the growing list of men accused of sexual misconduct includes actors Jeffrey Tambor, Steven Seagal, Ed Westwick, Dustin Hoffman, Jeremy Piven and Ben Affleck. The list also includes political figures such as Senator Al Franken and former president George H.W. Bush.

Matt Lauer didn’t immediately comment on the announcement of his firing.

“Today” Show Anchor Matt Lauer Fired From NBC Over “Inappropriate Sexual Behavior” Claims is a post from: Gossip On This – Pop Culture, News, Videos & Humor

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The Good Place and Black Panther‘s Bambadjan Bamba Comes Out as Undocumented to Support DACA

The face of immigration is often Latinx, but of the estimated 11 million undocumented Americans there are millions of undocumented folks from other backgrounds who aren’t citizens but who are legally working here under various permits and visas. They include white European immigrants, Asian immigrants, Middle Eastern immigrants, and about 3.7 million foreign-born black immigrants. Actor Bambadjan Bamba from NBC’s The Good Place and Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther is one of them.

In an exclusive interview with The L.A. Times, Bamba decided to come out as undocumented in order to encourage stronger support from Hollywood (and those who consume Hollywood’s stories) of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act, or DACA.

DACA provides protection for people who came to the United States as children and meet specific guidelines, deferring legal action against them for a period of two years, which is then renewable. Provided a person has remained in the United States that entire time, was under the age of 16 when they arrived, was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 (when DACA was first implemented), has been or is currently in school, and has never committed a felony, they are allowed to remain in and contribute to the United States, allowing them the time to pursue citizenship in their own time.

Thirty-five year old Bamba fits all that criteria, having come to the U.S. with his family when he was 10, escaping impending hardship in the politically unstable Cote D’Ivoire. It wasn’t until college that he discovered that he was undocumented. Throughout his childhood, his parents were pursuing political asylum. But when he was applying to colleges, and realized he couldn’t get financial aid, he asked his parents about it, and they told him that their asylum case didn’t work out.

“I got into [the Conservatory of Film and Dramatic Arts] and they helped me pay for it,” he said. “I drove yellow cabs in New York City to make the tuition and just kind of did what needed to be done. I just always knew that [acting] is what I was called to do, someway somehow. I figured if I kept working hard at it, if I keep doing the right thing, if I’m super successful, then I’ll become a citizen eventually. That hasn’t happened yet.”

Bamba is coming out as undocumented now specifically because DACA, a program from which he benefits greatly, is in such danger. What’s more, he wants to illuminate the fact that Latinx aren’t the only immigrants creating a home and contributing to the country thanks to DACA. He says:

“Immigrants are not criminals. We’re not here to take away your jobs. We’re here to give back. We’re not just Mexicans or Latino. We’re black, too. We’re from the Middle East, from Asia, too. We’re your neighbors, your doctors, the teachers of your children, and sometimes we’re on TV in your home, characters that you love. We’re just one of you.”

He speaks very specifically about his own industry, entertainment, saying that it wouldn’t be able to function in the same way without the contributions of undocumented workers. This is an especially poignant point when you consider all the talk about “diversity” and “inclusion” in Hollywood. It would be impossible in many instances to be true to that goal without hiring non-citizens, be they citizens of other countries on work visas, or undocumented Americans.

Yet even so, and even though he and many others are working here legally under DACA, there is a fundamental lack of understanding by citizens of the immigration process and how it even works.

Bamba explains, “A job that I just did, we shot on Friday, shot the entire scene. It was beautiful and the director liked me. Everything was great. On Saturday, they’re like, ‘We don’t understand this paper. Where’s your visa?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t have a visa. I’m DACA.’ ‘Well, what’s DACA?’

You try to break it down to them. They’re freaking out, calling [my manager] like, ‘Oh my God. I’m going to lose my job. I’m going to get fired because he’s already on camera…’”

He makes it a point to say that he understands that this isn’t malicious. It’s that the immigration process needs to be demystified for most people. “Honestly, in the heart of their hearts, I know that they’re supportive of immigrants,” he says. “It’s just frustrating when people are scared when they see these documents. Yes, the immigration system is complicated, but people are here working legally. Booking the job is really the hardest part, so your documentation afterwards should be simple…”

If you’d like to join in the fight to stand up for undocumented people in this country who are, indeed, contributing legally to this country (no matter what ill-informed racists might tell you), head on over to Define American to learn more about what you can do and how you can stand with immigrants like Bamba, human beings who deserve respect and care in exchange for their contributions to our shared home.

(image: screencap)

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Matt Lauer Had an Assault Button Under His Desk & Other Horrific Details of His Time at NBC

lauer nbc assault fired details

I very much wanted to be done talking about Matt Lauer for today and for always, but apparently, that’s just not possible yet. Because while NBC’s explanation cited “a detailed complaint from a colleague,” they didn’t give any more details. They emphasized that “it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” although they also have “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Now Variety has released a detailed list of allegations that make it clear that 1. Matt Lauer is a goddamn monster, and 2. There’s no way NBC didn’t know about this. It takes a lot of power to keep shit like this quiet.

Some of the stories about Lauer include him giving a female colleague a sex toy as a gift, along with “an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her.” He called another employee into his office, exposed his penis to her, then “reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.” He made colleagues play the game “fuck, marry, kill” with him, commenting on which female co-hosts he’d like to sleep with. Despite being married, “For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.”

One of the most disturbing bits from the article described a bond villain-type button under his desk designed to trap women in his already-secluded office.

His office was in a secluded space, and he had a button under his desk that allowed him to lock his door from the inside without getting up. This afforded him the assurance of privacy. It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him, according to two women who were sexually harassed by Lauer.

Going back to that whole not believing NBC didn’t know what Lauer was up to thing, WHO APPROVED THAT BUTTON?

On top of all of this, Variety says these details were the result of a two-month investigation. Meaning NBC definitely knew this was coming and only fired Lauer to get a jump start on damage control. Multiple women interviewed say as much, claiming they “complained to executives at the network about Lauer’s behavior, which fell on deaf ears given the lucrative advertising surrounding Today.”

In having to weigh the impact the firing of a serial sexual predator would have on profits, NBC–like so many others we’re hearing about–decided it just wasn’t worth it to care about women.

I bet they’re wishing they cared now.

(via Variety, image: Shuttertock)

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Get Your Grubby Hands off My Supergirl: EP Andrew Kreisberg Goes From Suspended to Fired

Andrew Kreisberg, suspended showrunner of the DC CW shows accused of sexual harassment

One of the most disheartening points for me in the recent wave of high-profile suspensions and firings of male Hollywood executives and creatives was learning that Andrew Kreisberg, co-creator and Executive Producer on multiple DCTV shows on The CW, including Supergirl, had a long history of sexually inappropriate behavior, which led to his suspension. He has now been officially fired.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Kreisberg has now been terminated from all four [DC] series as well as CW Seed’s Vixen and has lost his overall deal with the studio.” There was also word that another series Kreisberg was developing with Greg Berlanti is now up in the air as well.

Warner Bros. Television released a statement today saying:

“After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. Television Group has terminated Andrew Kreisberg’s employment, effective immediately,” WB said in a statement. “Greg Berlanti will assume additional responsibilities on both The Flash, where he will work closely with executive producer/co-showrunner Todd Helbing, and Supergirl, where he will work closely with executive producers/co-showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”

Meanwhile, Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schecter of Berlanti Productions, the company behind the DCTV shows, had this to say in a joint statement:

“Warner Bros. Television Group recently concluded its investigation into the allegations against Andrew Kreisberg. We encouraged and supported this investigation, we believe and support the individuals who came forward, and we agree with the studio’s decision. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of all our colleagues — co-workers, crew and staff alike.”

This is another instance in which the rumors had been going around long before anything was actually done. Several months ago, I was at the same event as several working television writers who work closely with Berlanti Productions, and “AK” came up in conversation a lot. In the wake of Harvey Weinstein, all the talk was focused on when Kriesberg would finally be next. As it turns out, that time is now.

Which still leaves us with the fact that people knew this was happening long before Warner Bros. launched this particular investigation. As we reported earlier this month:

“However, one female producer said she did reach out to Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions, which co-produces the CW DC shows with WB, with her concerns about Kreisberg. But “there was zero response. Nothing happened. Nothing changed.” Variety‘s sources claim that Berlanti himself “was never made aware of any allegations about Kreisberg’s behavior, and if he had, he would have directed them to human resources.””

Now is the time for Berlanti Productions, Warner Bros., and every other production company and studio in Hollywood to completely rethink how they handle complaints like this. Too often, we hear about things going reported for years without investigation, consequences, or change. Moving forward, it shouldn’t take a seismic shift in the culture to remove a serial sexual harasser and abuser from the workplace. It never should have.

Shethority tees coming soon! Stay tuned!

A post shared by SHETHORITY (@shethority) on

Today, however, I’m thrilled. Because once the news officially broke about Kreisberg, I couldn’t tolerate the fact that this man, who has so little regard for women, was in charge of so many amazingly talented and badass women, both in front of and behind the camera. I couldn’t stand that he had anything to do with Supergirl, the most explicitly feminist show in the DCTV universe. It nauseated me. Now? Don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out. Or do. I don’t care.

However, the women of The CW’s DC shows continue to give me hope. If you haven’t already, follow their “Shethority” effort on Instagram. The female stars of Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow have all banded together to create a safe space for women that is currently evolving. Right now, they’re selling t-shirts for a limited time to benefit Girls, Inc. as well as to build Shethority into a real community.

With the firing of Andrew Kriesberg on the TV side, and longtime sexual harasser Eddie Berganza fired on the comics side, DC is slowly, but surely becoming worthy of its badass female heroes and the equally badass women who help bring them to life. Here’s hoping DC continues in this direction.

(image: Shutterstock)

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Matt Lauer’s Been Showing Us What Kind of a Creep He Is for a Long Time Now

matt lauer today show nbc fired

As you’ve likely heard by now, Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC and the Today show over allegations of “inappropriate sexual behavior.” For some, this was a surprise. But Lauer’s past behaviorthe behavior he demonstrated on air, for yearsshows us that he’s always had problems with women, and with issues of sexual harassment and assault. Now, being a creep in interviews and actually engaging in possible criminal acts are very different. But let’s look at who Lauer is, and who he has always told us he is.

That time he did an extended sexual harassment sketch comedy bit on Today

Big thanks to The Daily Show for unearthing this 2012 segment, which is basically a long satirical skit about workplace harassment. It’s essentially mocking actual victims. I would say this didn’t age well, but I can’t imagine it was actually funny in 2012 to start with. Still, knowing what we now know about Lauer’s own behavior with colleagues, it’s all the more disgusting.

That totally gross interview with Anne Hathaway

This was what immediately came to mind when I heard about Lauer this morning. As a refresher, this was right after paparazzi had taken and distributed invasive, exploitative up-skirt photos of Hathaway, who was in the middle of her mandated Les Mis press tour. Lauer greeted her with her with the disgusting innuendo, “Nice to see you. Been seeing a lot of you lately.”

He then went on to victim-shame (while telling her to smile!), saying, “You had a little wardrobe malfunction the other night. What’s the lesson learned from something like that? Other than that you keep smiling, which you’ll always do.”

She responded beautifully:

It was obviously an unfortunate incident. It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it. And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which takes us back to Les Mis, because that’s what my character is. She is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child because she has nothing and there’s no social safety net, so yeah—let’s get back to Les Mis.

Tell me again why we weren’t supposed to like her?

Corey Feldman

Just this past October, Lauer interviewed Corey Feldman about his allegations of powerful child predators and pedophile rings in Hollywood. Lauer, as you might remember, engaged in some classic victim-blaming, saying, “Every day you wait, every day you try to raise money, I would imagine you believe that children are being abused by pedophiles in Hollywood.” So he asks why Feldman is talking to him instead of the police.

Feldman has to remind him that he did go to the police. And he went to the police in 1993. And yet we still have men like Lauer blaming him for the actions of abusers.

The Amy Adams attack

One of the big revelations from the Sony email hack a few years ago was the gender-based pay discrepancy between the cast of American Hustle. Amy Adams was scheduled to appear on Today to promote her movie Big Eyes, and apparently told the producers she didn’t want to talk about the emails, that she was “uncomfortable” and “would rather not add [her] voice to this conversation”

In her account of the meeting, she said that she stated her desire not to discuss the hack, they made it clear that they were going to anyway, and that was that. She recalled later, “I walked away from the conversation and went up to the room to do the interview. I assumed they were going to ask me about (Sony hacking). And I was prepared for that, to whatever degree I was prepared.”

Instead, minutes before going on air, she was informed the interview was cancelled. She was painted by the show’s producers and “sources” (*coughLauercough*) as a diva who “refused” to do the interview and made unreasonable “demands.” This isn’t the most egregious example of Lauer’s (and NBC’s) behavior, but the disrespectful nature of the entire encounter, and the attempts to publicly blame and shame Adams is telling of larger patterns.

That wholly botched Hillary Clinton interview

In September of 2016, Lauer hosted individual 30-minute interviews with Clinton and Trump. This Commander-in-Chief Forum is traditionally meant to let the candidates answer hard-hitting, practical policy questions in a way the debates don’t allow. Yet Lauer drew immense criticism at the time over his bizarre tactics, hitting Trump with the softest questions imaginable, and refusing to talk to Clinton about anything but her email server. Finally, at the end of her interview, he rushed through a couple of questions more befitting a former senator and Secretary of State, continuously interrupting her, and demanded she answer an audience member’s question about the Islamic state “as briefly as you can.”

These are just a few examples, and most definitely not all that exist, indicating just how overdue Lauer’s firing was.

ETA: There are so many examples, in fact, I completely forgot to include Ann Curry, whose 2012 firing from Today was reportedly due, at least largely, to Lauer and the “boy’s club” mentality at NBC.

Good riddance., Matt Lauer.

(image: NBC/Universal)

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Mary Magdalene Brings Rooney Mara Into Another Whitewashed Role

Biblical movies keep trying to have the same effect as The Ten Commandments or The Passion of The Christ, but that time is long gone. The whitewashed Ten Commandments that’s on again every Easter is on the same level as every other problematic fav from old Hollywood; it has just been so integrated into our pop culture that we no longer feel a reaction to it.

The Passion, despite being financially successful, is now more accurately seen as a borderline mess with all of the dogmatic integrity of a snuff film. While not completely devoid of merit, it’s a film I was forced to watch in Catholic School and promptly forgot, except for when that South Park episode comes on.

Today, a trailer for the next attempt at a successful, post-Passion Bible movie has been released: Mary Magdalene. One interesting cast member in the upcoming Mary Magdalene film is Rooney Mara, playing the character of Mary Magdalene. And I say “character” because, while it’s unclear whether the movie will go the whole “Mary of Magdala was totally a prostitute” way rather than sticking to literal gospel, that has become such a common trope in pop culture that most films depict her as a former prostitute just because.

In the trailer, Mary rises to become a high-ranking apostle amongst Jesus’ followers, who helps to baptize women, and of course Peter, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor is super threatened by this because she’s a woman and how dare she be raised up higher than him and blah-blah-blah. While there’s a part where Mother Mary tells Mary Magdalene that if she loves her son, she must be prepared to lose him, it’s unclear if it’s going to be depicted as romance, rather than just a spiritual love.

Jesus is played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is Jewish. Judas is played by Tahar Rahim, and by looking at the cast list that has been put out, while many of the other roles are played by Israeli, Arab, or brown actors, the top-billed actor—who is the hero of our story—is Rooney Mara. Now, this is not Mara’s first brush with a white-washing controversy. In 2015, when she was cast to play Tiger Lilly in Pan, it was brought up that hey, maybe a white person shouldn’t be playing a character who is Native American, even if the original source material is racist. Mara’s response was:

“I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”

Mara maintains that director Joe Wright’s intentions were “genuine” and insists she loved being part of the production.

Still, she says, “Do I think all of the four main people in the film should have been white with blonde hair and blue eyes? No. I think there should have been some diversity somewhere.”

Well, I guess she looked at all the diversity of this cast and said, “It is good.” Look, this is definitely a “diverse” cast, and considering how we constantly whitewash the Bible’s setting to fit the Western idea of Christianity, it’s easy to just shrug it off. But, the reality is that it the people of the Bible, the majority of them, exist along places in the Middle East, North Africa, and Mediterranean.

How many times are we going to have the same conversation about Biblical movies and race? We just recently had to go through it with Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings, both recent enough films that those discussions haven’t been lost to time exactly. You cannot take people who would have been brown, make them white, and tell us it’s okay because people still have this weird idea that Jesus was a blue-eyed man with soft waves of brown hair.

You do not get a pass by putting brown people in every other role except for the main one, the leader, the hero, the revolutionary—all the things Mary is being shown to be just in the trailer alone. Because now we have to watch Chiwetel Ejiofor talk down to and dismiss a white woman, along with a bunch of other fucked up racial dynamics, because the director wanted to cast an actress he liked rather than understand that this is a powerful story of a Jewish woman, and that should be reflected in the casting. Choices matter.

While I’m still hoping this film will do justice to the Biblical Mary Magdalene and not play into the same false, sexist narrative she’s had to deal with since the Middle Ages, I also hope that we eventually get a Biblical movie that depicts the events of the Bible in a more racially accurate way.

Oh wait … we already did.

(via Uproxx, image: Columbia Pictures )

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Things We Saw Today: A Cheatsheet For What the Hell the Infinity Stones are in Infinity War

If you’re not a big comics reader, it’s totally understandable that you might be wondering what all the fuss is about some colorful jewels and Thanos’ big gauntlet to collect ’em all. The Marvel movies have included and teased the powerful gems before, but Avengers: Infinity War is when they’ll really come into play.

The MCU has featured various Infinity Stones for many years now, but often indirectly—disguised in another object, embedded in an A.I.’s forehead, or straight-up unnamed. If you want a detailed breakdown of the Stones’ movie histories and the specifics of their unique powers, check out Collider’s Infinity Stones explainer or the Marvel Cinematic Universe wikia page, which I refer to when I need to jog my memory about this Stone or that. For a quick recounting of their origin in comics in 1972, when they were called “soul stones,” the Verge has got your back.

TL;DR: Thanos, the Mad Titan—a big ol’ bad guy from the suburbs of Saturn—needs all of the stones, which feature unique, reality-altering properties, in order to make his fetching gold Infinity Gauntlet extra-special, and gain the ultimate ability to manipulate, uh, everything you can possibly conceive of manipulating. The sky won’t even be the limit if the fully-powered Infinity Gauntlet is a go.

The stones are thus: Space Stone (blue), power: teleportation, travel, weaponry; Mind Stone (yellow), power: mind control, giving life to some robots; Reality Stone (red), power: kinda unclear? Changes dark matter? Dark Elves like it?; Power Stone (purple), power: massive destructive capabilities; Time Stone (green), power: time manipulation, backward, forward, and loops; Soul Stone (orange, we think), power: UNKNOWN IN THE MCU SO FAR. Alert, alert, this one’s gonna matter.

This is all still a lot of stones to keep track of—as well as remember where we saw them before and who has them now—so I loved this quick and easy visual guide, originally created to help sort out the stones by illustrator Louie Mantia in 2016. The guide shows us what movies the stones have popped up in, which items they inhabited, and where they were last seen. Of course, a few things have changed since 2016—like Loki snagging the Tesseract from Odin’s vault in Thor: Ragnarok—but this is still an excellent place to start. Print it out and keep a copy in your wallet! I know I will. What? I like to be prepared.

Anyway, if there’s one thing to remember about the Infinity Stones, it’s that we really, really don’t want to hear Thanos say, “By your powers combined …”

(images: Louie Mantia on Twitter, Marvel)

And today in non-Infinity War news (I know, I was also surprised that anything else happened):

  • Elementary received an expanded 6-season order from CBS. The game remains afoot! (via THR)
  • One of our favorite boyfriends, Black Panther‘s Michael B. Jordan, answers 73 random questions. (via Laughing Squid)
  • Whoa: “Jedi Confidential: Inside the Dark New ‘Star Wars’ Movie” (via Rolling Stone)
  • Director Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot have been chosen to receive this year’s National Board of Review “Spotlight Award.” We think they deserve all of the awards. (via Comicbook.com)

That’s it from us—what reality did you manipulate today?

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5 Women To Remember on International Women Human Rights Defenders Day


Tawakkol Karman speaking

(catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day was created by the UN as a way of giving thanks and paying tribute to the women who have worked to increase women’s access to education, safety, and general independence around the world. So today at TMS we are going to talk about 5 women (2 historical and 3 modern women) who worked to ensure equality for women.

Tawakkol Karman speaking

(catwalker / Shutterstock.com)

(1) Tawakkol Karman: The first Arab woman, second Muslim, and second youngest person to ever be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman is the Yemeni journalist who became the face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising. In 2005 she, along with seven other female journalists, formed the human rights group Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC). The organization was focused “particularly on freedom of opinion and expression, and democratic rights.”

From 2007 to 2010, Karman led demonstrations and sit-ins in Tahrir Square, Sana’a and participated in the 2011 protests known as the Arab Spring. She was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 along with awesome badass women Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.” While recently, Karman has had some controversy over her relationship with the Saudi government, she remains one of the most well-known revolutionaries in Yemen.


(2) Sophia Duleep Singh: Goddaughter to Queen Victoria and exiled Indian royalty, Sophia Duleep Singh could have lived a life filled with royalty and opulence, but instead found herself called to the Suffragette movement in the United Kingdom. After returning from India in 1909 she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), joining up with Emmeline Pankhurst who had formed the Women’s Franchise League in 1889. Because of her Indian heritage, Singh was outspoken about women’s rights in the British colonies and other nations as well. She would sell suffragette newspapers and pamphlets outside of the home that was gifted to her by Queen Victoria.

She refused to pay taxes and became a pain in the ass to King George V. Singh also participated in many of the anarchist methods at the time, including the manufacturing of bombs. Despite that, she was never arrested, probably because of her own royal heritage and the fact that she had enough influence to create a problem for the Crown if they did. After the death of Pankhurst, she became the head of the Committee of the Suffragette Fellowship. A great book on her:  Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary by Anita Anand.

Peris Tobiko


(3) Peris Tobiko: Peris Tobiko was the first female Maasai member of Parliament to be elected in Kenya and was re-elected in 2017. Tobiko’s story is one of amazing triumph and perseverance. Her father wanted all of his children to be educated, including the girls, which was uncommon at the time. As a result, there was a lot of social pressure for Peris and her sisters to be pulled out of school and married off to older men.

Thankfully, teachers intervened and stopped Peris from being married off because they saw how intelligent she was. When school fees became too expensive, she received a scholarship from the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation, an organization that publishes educational books and provides scholarships. Tobiko was then able to eventually attend the University of Nairobi. She first attempted to run for Parliament in 2007, but did not win. “I think the idea of a woman leader was still new to my people,” she said of her 2007 loss. “But the votes I got gave me the confidence to try again.”

She instead worked on getting clean water to communities that needed it, which allowed her to show the community how capable she was. Her victory in 2013 was a game changer and despite getting death threats, Tobiko not only won again in 2017 but has used her platform to help create jobs for women and adult education.

Aida Kasymalieva

(4) Aida Kasymalieva: The youngest ever female member of the Kyrgyzstan parliament has made child marriage, domestic violence, and bride kidnapping an issue in her country, even when it causes other male members of parliament to walk out. Aida Kasymalieva, 33, worked as a journalist for 10 years writing at length about these issues. In 2005 there were gender quotas put into Kyrgyzstan’s parliament to make sure it included a third of party candidate lists. Currently, Kyrgyzstan has 23 women among its 120 MPs, all of which have put issues dealing with women and girls on the political agenda.

This is something Kasymalieva sees as important since from her experience reporting on the issue, “Men will never think about domestic violence, kidnapping.” While child marriage and bride kidnapping was made illegal in 2016, there is still a lot of work to be done in changing the mentality around the issue. There are also a lot of women and girls who are already involved in these situations as frightening statistics show: “UN Women cites data from 2013 from the NGO Women Support Centre, which said there were at least 11,800 cases of forced abduction of women and girls every year in Kyrgyzstan, with more than 2,000 of those girls reported being raped as well.” Thankfully female MPs like Kasymalieva are working to change things, even if they have to do it without male backing.


(5) Matilda Joslyn Gage: When I thought about which American suffragette I was going to add to this list my number one choice was instantly Matilda Joslyn Gage. Considered too radical by many other suffragettes at the time, Gage was an unapologetic free thinker who supported not only just women’s right to vote but also provided her home as a stop on the Underground Railroad, supporting Civil Rights for African-Americans and Native peoples. Unlike her contemporaries who argued that women should have the vote because of “their feminine morality,” Gage argued that they deserved suffrage as a “natural right.” Her anti-Christian Church statements also made her enemy of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. Fun fact, her daughter Maud Gage Baum was married to L. Frank Baum, who wrote the Wizard of Oz books.

(image: catwalker/Shutterstock.com)

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Fandom Is in a Glorious Meltdown Over the Infinity War Trailer

Pictured: MCU fans at the moment

While many people on planet Earth were psyched to see the official Avengers: Infinity War trailer go up, for a segment of the population with a deep emotional attachment to these characters and their world, today has been like Christmas morning mixed with Ragnarok.

On Tumblr and Twitter, which tend to be the epicenters of fan culture, reactions to the trailer were immediate. Gifs and screengrabs of the new footage went up on the sites within minutes, alongside plot theories and text posts with a lot of yelling.

If you’re not a part of fandom, it can be hard to communicate just how much it means to see everyone back in action—and that affection spans across a wide spectrum of character affinity, “ships,” and personal favorites. You might love Spider-Man the most and I might take a bullet for Bucky Barnes, but today, we’re all in this together.

Let’s take the pulse of fandom’s reaction, and what drew their eye, with a few samples from thousands of posts:















Marvel creators are getting in on the fun, too:

And so, in conclusion:

Even the personification of New York Comic Con is Feeling Feelings:

But I mean I’m just fine, just perfectly fine as I sit here staring at these gifs over and over, and not crying or rending my garments in the slightest. How are you?

(images: Marvel Studios)

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Today’s Google Doodle Honors Gertrude Jekyll, the Garden Designer Who Made the World More Beautiful

Today’s Google Doodle honors horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll who was born in London on this day in 1843. Jekyll, whose name you might recognize as her brother’s friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson led him to borrow their surname for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, created landscapes and garden designs that had lasting influence due to her work in color schemes, textures, and other kinds of composition that offered, “unexpected views and pictorial surprises.” It is her 174th birthday.

Though many of her gardens no longer exist, their influence in both the UK and in America is prominent, as more designs moved away from the traditional Victorian garden for “more freedom in planting and a wider choice of plants.” This article from Susan E. Schnare and Rudy J. Favretti in The Garden History Society states the “theories and principles that she developed…have come to constitute part of the backbone of modern landscape design.” The Google Doodle description writes:

“A woman of innumerable talents, Jekyll was also an accomplished musician, composer, woodworker, metalworker, and botanist. Her foundation as a budding artist greatly influenced her breathtaking creations. As a student, she took inspiration from the landscapes of English Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, capturing the seasons, the light, the textures, and the hues of every growing thing on her canvases. Jekyll brought that painterly sensibility to her life’s work, designing about 400 gardens in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the U.S., which were documented in photographs, over a dozen books, and thousands of magazine articles.”

The Doodle by British artist Ben Giles “unites the hot and cool colors the horticulturist favored to create a lush and brilliant garden collage” with Jekyll in the corner. Images of Giles’ process show a different drafts of this montage of cut-outs, bursting with color and life. No doubt, it’s something Jekyll would’ve approved of.

(image: Google)

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