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FC Barcelona came back from a 4-0 deficit to win their UEFA Champions League round of 16 match. Barcelona defeated Paris Saint-Germain 6-5 on aggregate scoring. With their victory, which was one of the most exciting comebacks in the history of European soccer, Barcelona clinched a quarterfinal spot. Barcelona's Sergi Roberto scored the winning goal.
Bill O’Reilly Leaving Fox: What You Should Know, What This Really Means for the Network
On Wednesday, Fox News announced that Bill O’Reilly would be leaving his longtime position as anchor of “The O’Reilly Factor” due to allegations of sexual assault in the workplace.
Here’s what you need to know:
According to the Associated Press, Fox New Channel employees received a memo on Wednesday which stated that after “extensive” deliberation, longtime talk show host Bill O’Reilly would not be returning to Fox News. The memo praised Bill O’Reilly as “one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news” whose success “is indisputable.”
The network’s decision follows an investigative report done by The New York Times that found Mr. O’Reilly and Fox reached settlements with five women who alleged sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by Mr. O’Reilly.
Among the accusations against Mr. O’Reilly are claims that he told a network contributor to show more cleavage in the makeup room, called a black female staffer “hot chocolate,” masturbated over the phone to associate producer Andrea Mackris, and made sexual advances towards female employees in hotels, the office and his home.
The Times states that O’Reilly allegedly threatened that any woman who complained about his actions would “pay so dearly that she’ll wish she’d never been born.”
The slew of sexual harassment settlements began in 2002, but two out of the five were made more recently in 2016.
According to the Times, settlement fees totaled $13 million, the majority of which were paid by Mr. O’Reilly himself. Mr. O’Reilly denies all allegations.
On Thursday, the Associated Press and New York Times reported that Mr. O’Reilly will receive up to $25 million for leaving the network, a payout equal to his annual salary.
Mr. O’Reilly is not alone is facing sexual harassment allegations. Founding leader Roger Ailes was fired last summer after disturbing sexual harassment claims. However, most of Ailes’ management team remained, and settlements were made out of the public eye.
In Wednesday’s memo, the network stated that they wanted to “underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”
According to the New York Times, “payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News now total more than $85 million. The vast majority of that — up to $65 million in exit packages — is being paid to the men who were ousted from the network because of the harassment allegations.”
What This Means For Fox, For Women at Fox:
AP reports today that although Fox News has “thrived” despite losing Roger Ailes and news anchor Megyn Kelly within the last nine months, the absence of “defining personality” Bill O’Reilly is going to be Fox’s “toughest test yet.”
Mr. O’Reilly’s show held a prime time 9PM spot that generated vast viewership and high ratings.
The show received upwards of a $178 million in advertising revenue.
The National Organization for Women demonstrated today outside of Fox’s headquarters, with the message that the network’s sexist workplace culture won’t change unless the network “cleans house” and holds accountable other high-ranking executives who condoned the sexual harrassments.
Thus, while Mr. O’Reilly is held accountable for the sexual assault allegations against him, these allegations display a deeper, more systemic issue of workplace sexism at Fox News.
Let’s Talk About “13 Reasons Why”
In the past several weeks, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why has garnered many fans. The show, executively produced by Selena Gomez and based on a book by Jay Asher, is a commentary on teen suicide and the factors that contribute to teen depression on a day-to day basis.
Since it was released, the show has received a lot of negative criticism from those who argue the show glamorizes suicide, includes scenes that are too graphic, and does not address suicide effectively. Others argue that the show presents much needed conversation about issues that are often put on a back shelf, namely teen depression and suicide. As the show grows in popularity on Netflix, it is gaining notoriety on social media. Memes making fun of the premise of the show have emerged, as have Instagram and Snapchat games that tease suicide in cruel and harmful ways. Not only are these online trends insensitive, they also invalidate the serious issues of suicide, depression, and sexual assault/rape that are discussed in the show, no matter how problematic some believe that discussion to be.
Review: In Dreams, I Am Invincible
Many months of hard work by the directors, cast, crew, and production staff of the Middle School Play In Dreams, I Am Invincible culminated in the long-awaited three performances of the show, Thursday at 4, Friday at 4, and Saturday at 6. And when I exited the theater, it was evident that — from little lines to blocking to simple character dynamics — every aspect of the show seemed as though it had been rehearsed a million times. The play, unique in many ways, required collaboration that this cast clearly gave wholeheartedly.
In Dreams, I Am Invincible watches a young boy, Jonas (Ariel Gurevich), as he navigates the many scary twists and turns of a dream, along with his fellow, almost-stranger companion Nik (Inara Kardar), and comes to terms with his actions and the way they affect those around him. Orchestrated by snarky, playful creatures Ike (Jack Fuld) and Pheeb (Sam Ahn), the entire dream is quirky and random and frightening, filled with many different vibrant and eccentric characters who all blur the line of reality in some way.
As the story progresses, more and more of these characters get introduced in different ways; although they are not a part of the main arc of the story, they are what truly define the play as engaging and unique and that solidify the complex plotline in place. In the first scene, we are introduced to many of these quirky characters, including a French artist (Betty Kubovy-Weiss), a melodramatically weepy Sad Clown (Mirabel Sandler), and an oblivious Bigfoot (Lili Wilson). Similarly, the Piano Player’s (Proof Schubert Reed) short, skilled, lively transitions give the show another layer. As the show progresses, small groups of stand-out character roles (historical garden statues or vicious, conniving teenage girls, for example) all pop up, playing crucial roles as connections to the reality which the dream parallels. Although all of these roles were small, they stood strong as highlights for the audience and were what gave the show true energy and character.
Ultimately, the play culminates in a huge scene: from Southern belle relatives to hopscotch-playing kids to the show’s core ingenues, all of the characters make up a vibrant and lively tapestry on stage. Jonas is put on trial for his many wrongdoings by the show’s true protagonist, Gus (Zach Everett-Lane), who, we climatically find out, is just a small, injured boy asleep in a hospital, dreaming of getting revenge on his tormentors, namely Jonas. Jonas is only able to escape the dream once he comes to terms with the ways in which he has hurt Gus and genuinely apologizes for what he has done.
Although this is the main arc of the story, and bullying the main theme in it, for me what made the play engaging and unique were the various other quirky characters in the dream world and how the environment that they were in-- a surreal one-- allowed those characters to make big choices.
A final highlight of the show for me was the acting of the character of Tess (Francie Brewster). For me, she was one of the most interesting characters in the play, her plaintive wisdom and calm layering the meaning of the show immeasurably and bringing color to the main plotline, while also grounding the world closer to reality.
Overall, the entire cast worked very well together and each scene was well thought-out and well acted. Although this play is not well-known or widely acclaimed, countless small choices made by the talented actors, directors, and crew made it a show worth watching.
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