Hollywood Cynicism Finds a New Low in College Bribery Scandal

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

People from outside Hollywood keep asking me about the college bribery scandal. I live here, after all, and I have a bunch of college- and postcollege-age kids.

They want to know, of course, how common it is for people to bribe their way into elite universities. Even my kids want to know who else was doing it.

How do I know?

The fact that I had never heard the slightest suggestion that there was a bribery ring implicating a fake charity, a professional SAT test-taker, college sports administrators and desperate celebrity parents looking for the kind of guarantees life is not supposed to give you — none of that matters.

Also Read: Lori Loughlin’s YouTuber Daughter Olivia Jade Is Dropped by Sephora as College Admissions Bribe Case Unfolds

To everybody else, that’s what Hollywood represents. Two actresses and an owner of CAA (TPG’s Bill McGlashan, who exited the firm last week) may as well be the entire industry. A culture of privileged cheaters. (And of course Lori Loughlin’s daughter Olivia was on the yacht of USC chairman Rich Caruso in the Bahamas when the indictments came through).

Coming on the heels of an endless stream of disclosures of alleged sexual assault by famous actors and powerful executives, of sexual harassment, rape, casting couch extortion and — thank you, Michael Jackson — pedophilia, it’s pretty damn ugly.

My cynicism calculator has gone off the charts. It’s hard to fathom that Emmy and Golden Globe winner Felicity Huffman might face jail time after being charged with a felony she’s accused of committing on behalf of her daughter.

Meanwhile the international media is still feeding on the carcass of “Everybody in Hollywood knew about Harvey Weinstein.” (I just gave another interview on the matter last week to a major French TV network.)

And the Michael Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland” is raising questions about the late pop star’s circle: Who knew what and when and why and how and what do we do now?

Also Read: ‘Generation Wealth’ Director on Why Kardashians, Trump Dominate Our Culture (Video)

Bennett Raglin for Own Network

I’m getting tired of making excuses for our crowd.

When I moved to Los Angeles just over 20 years ago, my biggest fear was raising my children in this culture. At the time, documentarian Lauren Greenfield had just published “Fast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood,” a photography book chronicling the absurdly lavish lifestyles that wealthy and privileged children in L.A. enjoyed. I wrote an article about the book and emerged further terrified that my kids’ friends would have birthday parties in the penthouse suite of the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, that every bar mitzvah would be on the Sony lot and that by the end of high school they’d all end up in rehab.

That turned out to be an oversimplification. Not false necessarily, but not the whole story. And by comparison, I can’t say that our political leadership and the titans of tech measure up any better than Hollywood parents. (Full disclosure: two of my children went to or still attend USC — one of the universities implicated in the worst abuses — and one of them knows Olivia Loughlin, though not well.)

Like most of the readers of this post, I know that the Hollywood community is mainly made up of hard-working men and women with solid values, who chose to become the world’s storytellers because of their passion to share and communicate. And yeah, maybe to get rich and famous too.

But it seems that we live in a time that all our assumptions will be challenged, when our sacred idols will be left in ruins, and that the values we believed in as a democratic society — equal opportunity, social justice — will need to be restated and reaffirmed in a way that does not lead to hilarious parody Lori Loughlin clips on Twitter.

But for now, prepare for a not-short period of a caricature of Hollywood and what we are all about.

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Top Crisis Managers to Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin: ‘Just Stay Quiet and Disappear’

Why Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin’s Mug Shots Probably Won’t Be Released

Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin Arrested in College Admissions Cheating Scam Case

Hollywood Insider DeVon Franklin Knows ‘The Truth About Men’ – And He Tells Us Everything (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

DeVon Franklin has been part of Hollywood for decades and has had an insider’s vantage point on the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements as it has shaken the industry.

“There’s fear,” Franklin told TheWrap of the sentiment among some men he knows in Hollywood. “There are other men who are saying, ‘You know what: We do have to step up,” he added.

Also a New York Times best-selling author and preacher, Franklin has written a new book titled “The Truth About Men.” In it, he uses the age-old adage applied to men — that they can be “dogs” — to uncover some harsh realities about what drives men to both good and bad behavior.

Also Read: Producers Amy Pascal and DeVon Franklin to Talk Mentorship at WrapWomen’s BE Conference

“There’s something in our behavior we have to begin to address,” Franklin said. “As men, we don’t know how to love because we don’t know how to love ourselves and receive love,” he added, arguing societal norms fail men when it comes to love and intimacy, which is at the heart of a lot of issues that have come to light in the era of #MeToo.

Franklin is an award-winning film and television producer, author, preacher and spiritual success coach. Franklin serves as president/CEO of Franklin Entertainment, a multimedia entertainment company with a first-look film deal at 20th Century Fox. As a filmmaker, Franklin is producing “Breakthrough,” starring Chrissy Metz, which is in theaters on Easter. Additionally, he produced the hit animated film “The Star” and “Miracles From Heaven.”

Franklin is set to appear at WrapWomen’s BE Conference on Thursday, April 25 in Santa Monica, California, for a featured discussion with his longtime mentor — producer and former Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive Amy Pascal, who produced the Academy Award-winning animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” along with several other award-winning, nominated and blockbuster films.

Watch more of TheWrap’s interview with Franklin in the video above. His book “The Truth About Men” is on sale now.

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BE Conference Tickets Announced

Producers Amy Pascal and DeVon Franklin to Talk Mentorship at WrapWomen’s BE Conference

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Producer and former Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive Amy Pascal will talk about the benefits of mentorship with producer and author DeVon Franklin at WrapWomen’s BE Conference on Thursday, April 25 in Los Angeles.
Pascal is a veteran e…

Hollywood Studios Are Releasing 5 Times More Films With Female Directors This Year (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A record 18 percent of movies slated for release in 2019 from Hollywood’s six major studios have a female director, a substantial jump from just 3 percent in 2018, TheWrap has found.

Sixteen of the 87 studio films slated for release in 2019 have at least one woman credited as director — up from just three last year, when fully half of the majors (Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros.) had zero female directors on their wide-release slates.

Another sign of progress: For the first time in history, all six major studios have at least one film directed by a woman on their slates in 2019.

And perhaps as a reflection of public outcry about gender parity in Hollywood from organizations like Women in Film, the female-directed projects reflect a wide gamut of genres and budgets, from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s big-budget superhero movie “Captain Marvel” for Disney to Greta Gerwig’s starry literary adaptation of “Little Women” for Sony to Gurinder Chadha’s Sundance darling “Blinded by the Light” for Warner Bros.’ New Line division.

It’s a notable change from a 2018 where one would be hard pressed to find any film directed by a woman. Last month, studies conducted by USC and San Diego State found that just four of the top 100 highest-grossing films in 2018 and 15 percent of the top 500 were directed by women, both counts signifying a drop from the year before. But this year’s slate of studio releases may be a sign that diversity efforts in Hollywood are starting to bear fruit.

“It’s what we have known for a long time. Movies about and by women are showing they can be successful at the box office, and the industry is following,” Women in Film Executive Director Kirsten Schaffer told TheWrap. She notes that diversity initiatives like WiF’s Reframe program are finding success because they are challenging studios to look at every stage of how they make their movies.

“When people start the work of examining that unconscious bias, that’s when we see the systemic changes necessary. They start thinking about who makes the decisions, which directors and producers are the first considered for hiring. And it goes down from there for every aspect of a film’s production.”

Also Read: Female Protagonists in Top-Grossing Films Hit All-Time High in 2018 – Yet Men Still Dominated

Indeed, some studios are trying to send the message that they are asking such questions about themselves. Last week, Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos announced in a company-wide memo that the studio would establish a “Content Creation Council” with the goal of making Paramount’s greenlight and development process more inclusive at all levels of production.

“Special attention will be paid to our storylines, our talent in front of and behind the camera, our vendors and our shooting locations,” Gianopulos wrote.

Reps for all six studios declined to comment for this story, though all confirmed their current release slates.

For this survey, TheWrap did not consider releases from art-house divisions like Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics, which often rely on acquisitions as opposed to developing projects in-house and hiring the filmmakers involved.

Here is the 2019 outlook at each studio, as well as major projects slated for 2020 or currently in development.

Also Read: Grammy Awards Analysis: Women Seize the Spotlight, But Kendrick Lamar Still Can’t Catch a Break

Marvel Studios


As usual, the current box office kings have the smallest number of 2019 releases, with just 10 films (at least until the studio completes its expected acquisition of Fox’s film and TV assets). Of those 10, two with $100 million-plus budgets have women sharing a director credit. First is next month’s “Captain Marvel” (pictured above), which Anna Boden directed with “Mississippi Grind” partner Ryan Fleck, making her the first woman to direct a Marvel Studios release.

Then, in November, “Frozen” director Jennifer Lee returns with the film’s sequel, “Frozen II,” which is co-directed by Chris Buck. Lee was also named chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation following the departure of John Lasseter amid sexual misconduct accusations.

Disney has announced several female-directed films beyond this year, including Niki Caro’s live-action remake of “Mulan,” set for 2020.

Pixar’s Domee Shi, who won the Best Animated Short Oscar on Sunday for “Bao,” is in the early stages of developing her feature debut. Meanwhile, at Marvel Studios, Australian director Cate Shortland is reportedly attached to direct “Black Widow” while “The Rider” director Chloe Zhao is attached to direct “The Eternals,” though neither project has been officially announced by Disney, who declined to comment for this story.

See the full Disney 2019 slate below:

“Captain Marvel” 3/8 (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck)
“Dumbo” 3/29 (Tim Burton)
“Penguins” 4/17 (Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson)
“Avengers: Endgame” 4/26 (Anthony and Joe Russo)
“Aladdin” 5/24 (Guy Ritchie)
“Toy Story 4” 6/21 (Josh Cooley)
“The Lion King” 7/19 (Jon Favreau)
“Artemis Fowl” 8/9 (Kenneth Branagh)
“Frozen II” 11/22 (Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck)
“Star Wars: Episode IX” 12/20 (J.J. Abrams)

Also Read: Guerrilla Girls Bring Back ‘Senate Is More Progressive Than Hollywood’ Campaign

Universal/Will Packer Productions


Four of the 16 films on Universal’s slate — not counting two still-unspecified placeholders — are directed by women. First up is Tina Gordon Chism’s April comedy “Little,” (above) starring “black-ish” standout Marsai Martin alongside Regina Hall and Issa Rae, followed a month later by Gail Mancuso’s “A Dog’s Journey,” the sequel to the 2017 family film “A Dog’s Purpose.”

Later in the year, the studio will release DreamWorks Animation’s “Abominable,” which is co-directed by Jill Culton, who became the first woman to direct a CGI animated feature with “Open Season” in 2006. And on Thanksgiving, Melina Matsoukas’ thriller “Queen & Slim” will be released, starring Jodie Turner-Smith and Daniel Kaluuya in the titular roles.

One title that was removed from the 2019 slate was “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” which was supposed to be the feature directorial debut of Emmy winner Michelle MacLaren. A Universal spokesman tells TheWrap that the film is still in development. Meanwhile Universal’s 2020 slate includes the Jordan Peele-produced remake of “Candyman,” which Nia DaCosta will direct.

Also Read: Why Hilary Swank Is So Optimistic About Filmmaking’s Diverse Future (Video)

Universal’s indie wing, Focus Features, has three films directed by women coming this year: Laure de Clermont-Tonnerr’s “The Mustang,” due March 15, Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet Tubman biopic “Harriet” and Emerald Fennell’s adaptation of the thriller novel “Promising Young Women.” The latter two films do not have a specific date but are set to release by year’s end.

Here is the full slate:

“Glass” 1/18 (M. Night Shyamalan)
“Happy Death Day 2U” 2/13 (Christopher B. Landon)
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” 2/22 (Dean DeBlois)
“Us” 3/22 (Jordan Peele)
“Little” 4/12 (Tina Gordon-Chism)
“A Dog’s Journey” 5/17 (Gail Mancuso)
“Ma” 5/31 (Tate Taylor)
“The Secret Life of Pets 2” 6/7 (Chris Renaud)
“Yesterday” 6/28 (Danny Boyle)
“Hobbs & Shaw” 8/2 (David Leitch)
“Good Boys” 8/16 (Lee Eisenberg)
“Abominable” 9/27 (Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman)
“The Hunt” 9/27 (Craig Zobel)
“Last Christmas” 11/15 (Paul Feig)
“Queen & Slim” 11/27 (Melina Matsoukas)
“Cats” 12/20 (Tom Hooper)

Also Read: #OscarsSoMale? Lack of Major Female Nominees Sparks Outcry



Sony has already released the first of its four female-directed titles this year, Catherine Hardwicke’s remake of “Miss Bala.” The film has flopped at the box office, grossing $14.7 million after a month in theaters against a $15 million budget.

Later this year, three films directed by women will be a part of Sony’s holiday slate, starting on November 1 with Elizabeth Banks’ revival of “Charlie’s Angels.”

Then, two potential awards contenders will be released on Thanksgiving and Christmas: “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers and directed by “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” filmmaker Marielle Heller (pictured above), and Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig’s directorial follow-up to “Lady Bird,” an adaptation of “Little Women” starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Meryl Streep.

Beyond 2019, Sony has at least two more films by women in development: Clea DuVall’s “Happiest Season” and Paloma Baeza’s “Toymakers Secret.” The studio also has acquired overseas distribution rights for seven films by women through its Stage 6 Films label, including global rights for Heidi Ewing’s “Arrivals” and Camille Stochitch’s “Adventures of Dally and Spanky.”

A Sony spokesperson noted that in a recent study conducted by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the studio had more films with women and/or people of color in lead roles than any other studio in 2018.

Sony’s 2019 slate is as follows:

“Escape Room” 1/4 (Adam Robitel)
“A Dog’s Way Home” 1/11 (Charles Martin Smith)
“Miss Bala” 2/1 (Catherine Hardwicke)
“The Intruder” 5/3 (Deon Taylor)
“Brightburn”5/24 (David Yarovesky)
“Men in Black: International” 6/14 (F. Gary Gray)
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” 7/5 (Jon Watts)
“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” 7/26 (Quentin Tarantino)
“The Angry Birds Movie 2” 8/16 (Thurop Van Orman)
“Overcomer” 8/23 (Alex Kendrick)
“Black and Blue” 9/20 (Deon Taylor)
“Zombieland: Double Tap” 10/11 (Ruben Fleischer)
“Charlie’s Angels” 11/1 (Elizabeth Banks)
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” 11/22 (Marielle Heller)
“Jumanji 3” 12/13 (Jake Kasdan)
“Masters of the Universe” 12/18 (Adam and Aaron Nee)
“Little Women” 12/25 (Greta Gerwig)

Also Read: Female Directors Dropped to Just 8 Percent of the Top 250 Films in 2018, Study Finds


Cornerstone Films

Like Sony, Warner Bros. has a larger slate than most of the rest of Hollywood thanks to the presence of New Line and Village Roadshow and partnerships with companies like Legendary Pictures. Warner has four films from women this year — even after Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman 1984” was bumped from November 2019 to June 2020.

The first of WB’s female-led slate is Katt Shea’s adaptation of the classic YA novel “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase,” due March 15. May will bring another YA adaptation with Ry Russo-Young’s “The Sun Is Also a Star.” August will see the release of Gurinder Chadha’s New Line-produced drama “Blinded by the Light” (above); and in September, Warner will release “The Kitchen,” Andrea Berloff’s tale of a group of widows who take over their husbands’ criminal empire after their death.

Along with “Wonder Woman 1984,” Warner’s 2020 DC movie slate also includes Cathy Yan’s “Birds of Prey,” starring Margot Robbie, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Rosie Perez. A third DC film, “The New Gods,” has Ava DuVernay attached as director and is in development.

Here is Warner Bros.’ slate:

“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” 2/8 (Mike Mitchell)
“Isn’t It Romantic” 2/14 (Todd Strauss-Schulson)
“Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” 3/15 (Katt Shea)
“Shazam” 4/5 (David F. Sandberg)
“The Curse of La Llorona” 4/19 (Michael Chaves)
“Detective Pikachu” 5/10 (Rob Letterman)
“The Sun is Also a Star” 5/17 (Ry Russo-Young)
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” 5/31 (Michael Dougherty)
“Shaft” 6/14 (Tim Story)
“Annabelle 3” 7/3 (Gary Dauberman)
“Minecraft” 7/10 (Peter Sollett)
“Blinded by the Light” 8/14 (Gurinder Chadha)
“It: Chapter Two” 9/6 (Andy Muschietti)
“The Kitchen” 9/20 (Andrea Berloff)
“Joker” 10/4 (Todd Phillips)
“The Goldfinch” 10/11 (John Crowley)
“Motherless Brooklyn 11/1 (Edward Norton)
“Doctor Sleep” 11/8 (Mike Flanagan)
“The Good Liar” 11/15 (Bill Condon)
“Superintelligence” 12/25 (Ben Falcone)

Also Read: Female Filmmakers Share War Stories, From Breast Feeding on Set to Male Insubordination


Reed Morano (Photo: Getty Images)

Of the 12 films on Paramount’s slate, only one is directed by a woman: Reed Morano’s “The Rhythm Section,” which had its release date pushed to November 2019 after lead star Blake Lively suffered an on-set injury.

While no films by female directors are currently slated after “The Rhythm Section,” a studio rep said that six woman-led films are in active development — including Ry Russo-Young’s “Nightlife” and Lisa Cholodenko’s remake of the Oscar-nominated German film “Toni Erdmann.”

Here is Paramount’s slate this year:

“What Men Want” 2/11 (Adam Shankman)
“Wonder Park” 3/15 (No credited director)
“Pet Sematary” 4/5 (Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer)
“Rocketman” 5/31 (Dexter Fletcher)
“Limited Partners” 6/28 (Miguel Arteta)
“Dora the Explorer” 8/2 (James Bobin)
“Crawl” 8/23 (Alexandre Aja)
“Gemini Man” 10/4 (Ang Lee)
“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” 10/11 (D.J. Caruso)
“Terminator: Dark Fate” 11/1 (Tim Miller)
“Sonic the Hedgehog” 11/8 (Jeff Fowler)
“The Rhythm Section” 11/22 (Reed Morano)

Also Read: Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020


20th Century Fox

Finally, there’s Fox, whose 2019 slate is complicated by its impending acquisition by Disney. It’s difficult to say how many of Fox’s films and developing projects will see release after the merge is finalized later this year. But for now, Fox does have one film with a female director on this year’s slate: Roxann Dawson’s faith-based film “Breakthrough,” which is set for release in April (pictured above).

Fox’s indie wing, Fox Searchlight, only has two films currently slated for 2019, neither directed by women. This month, however, the studio acquired rights to “Nomadland,” Chloe Zhao’s follow-up to “The Rider” and starring Frances McDormand in her first leading role after winning an Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Fox’s current slate is as follows:

“The Kid Who Would Be King” 1/25 (Joe Cornish)
“Alita: Battle Angel” 2/14 (Robert Rodriguez)
“Ad Astra” 3/15 (James Gray)
“Breakthrough” 4/17 (Roxann Dawson)
“Dark Phoenix” 6/7 (Simon Kinberg)
“Ford v. Ferrari” 6/28 (James Mangold)
“Stuber” 7/12 (Michael Dowse)
“The New Mutants” 8/2 (Josh Boone)
“Spies in Disguise” 9/13 (Nick Bruno and Troy Quane)
“The Art of Racing in the Rain” 9/27 (Simon Curtis)
“Kingsman: The Great Game” 11/8 (Matthew Vaughn)
“Call of the Wild” 12/25 (Chris Sanders)

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Women, Non-White Directors Show No Gains in Last Year’s Top 100 Grossing Movies, USC Study Finds

Brie Larson: Women Directing Feminine Movies Are ‘Radical’ (Video)

Emma Thompson Explains Her Refusal to Work With John Lasseter: Why Give Him a ‘Second Chance’?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Emma Thompson, who this month withdrew from an upcoming Skydance Animation film after the company’s hiring of former Pixar head John Lasseter, challenged the company about why it was appropriate to give the executive “a second chance” after he left his previous gig after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct.

In a letter to Skydance executives obtained by the L.A. Times, the Oscar-winning actress questioned why women should feel comfortable working under Lasseter. She also challenged a letter that Skydance CEO David Ellison has sent to staffers saying that Lasseter was contractually obligated to behave professionally.

“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘professionally,’” Thompson wrote. “The message seems to be, “I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.’”

Also Read: Emma Thompson Drops Out of Skydance Animated Film ‘Luck’ Due to John Lasseter Hiring

Earlier this month, Thompson pulled out of a voice role for the animated film “Luck,” citing Lasseter’s hiring as her reason for leaving the project.

In her letter, Thompson said that she loved the director of the film “Luck,” Alessandro Carloni, and that she regretted her decision to leave the project but felt it necessary to continue to speak out.

“I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising,” Thompson said. “I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.”

Thompson had no additional comment. Reps for Skydance did not immediately respond to comment.

Read the full letter via the L.A. Times.

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Amazon Nabs Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson Comedy ‘Late Night’ for $13 Million

Emma Thompson Says ‘Love Actually’ Crying Scene Was Inspired by Cheating Ex Kenneth Branagh

Emma Thompson to Star in HBO Limited Series ‘Years & Years’

Time’s Up CEO Lisa Borders Resigned After Son’s Sexual Misconduct Allegation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lisa Borders, the CEO of Time’s Up, abruptly resigned her post this week after her son was accused of sexual misconduct and her position became untenable, the organization told TheWrap on Thursday.

Borders, who had been in the job just over three months, resigned this week citing “family concerns that require my singular focus.”

TheWrap has learned that Borders agreed to resign after her son Dijon Borders, a healer based in Los Angeles, was accused of sexual misconduct in a session with a woman who went to the police.

Also Read: Time’s Up President Lisa Borders Resigns After Three Months

In a statement, Time’s Up told TheWrap:

“On Friday, Lisa Borders informed members of TIME’S UP leadership that sexual assault allegations had been made against her son in a private forum. Within 24 hours, Lisa made the decision to resign as President and CEO of TIME’S UP and we agreed that it was the right decision for all parties involved. All of our actions were fully guided by our support for survivors.

We respect the rights of all survivors to own their own stories. We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced sexual harassment, assault or related retaliation in the workplace or in trying to advance their careers to contact the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund for assistance.

We remain committed to our mission to create, safe and dignified for women of all kinds.”

Dijon Borders, 36, has a lifestyle and healing business where he offers services from photography to inspirational podcasting to sessions where he pleasures women.

On a recent podcast he described one such session: “I’ve been doing Shakti invocation sessions. I provide an experience for women to feel safe and open….Part of me stepping back from sexuality was to master my own sexual energy. When I show up in those sessions I’m not being guided by my own desire. I’m being guided by serving the opening of this woman…  Normally when I do it, I’m providing this experience for the woman, she’s having a good time.”

But a woman who apparently went through one such session, Celia Gellert, told the L.A. Times that she felt “violated” when, “she alleged, he touched her genitalia, kissed her neck and brushed his erect but clothed penis against her body during the session.”

‘Criminal Minds’ Star AJ Cook Sues Ex-Manager David Guillod for Hiding Sexual Assault Accusations (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Criminal Minds” star A.J. Cook is suing her former manager, David Guillod, for not disclosing that he faced multiple sexual assault accusations — and says he should repay money he earned from her and other actresses, including Gina Rodriguez, Kristin Chenoweth and Paula Patton.

The lawsuit, which was filed late Monday and seeks $1.6 million for Cook, argues that Guillod’s concealment of his “sexual predator” past could have harmed her image and reputation as a strong advocate for women. The lawsuit lists several previously unreported allegations against Guillod, and accuses him of scheming with Cook’s lawyer to overcharge her for his services.

Stories of morality clauses for actors are nearly as old as Hollywood. But Cook’s lawsuit is a rare attempt to hold a manager responsible for personal accusations that might reflect poorly on his famous clients.

In a statement, a representative for Guillod accused Cook of trying to “piggyback” on the #MeToo movement to get out of paying her debts. Guillod has denied any wrongdoing since TheWrap first reported on four sexual assault accusations against him in November 2017.

“This frivolous lawsuit is a reaction to two lawsuits filed against A.J. Cook and her attempt to distract from her own financial liability,” the statement said. “Mr. Guillod has represented Cook for over 20 years and together made her a household name. She has now elected in her own greed and self servicing manner to piggyback on a very important movement in an effort to circumvent her paying commissions owed. As Ms. Cook has no claims against Mr. Guillod she has elected to revisit unfounded claims made again him. No criminal or civil charges have ever been brought against Guillod.”

Cook’s attorney, Michael J. Saltz, said: “Mr. Guillod’s victims will soon be testifying in this matter. As it is our intent to prove that the claims against Mr. Guillod are both disturbing and true, and that Mr. Guillod’s failure to disclose this information to Ms. Cook is both illegal and inexcusable.”

Also Read: Sex Crime Case Against ‘Atomic Blonde’ Producer David Guilllod Goes to L.A. Prosecutors


Cook’s case is a countersuit in response to Guillod’s former company, Primary Wave Entertainment, suing her in October 2018 for at least $333,000 in unpaid commissions. She said she stopped paying the company when she fired Primary Wave because of the accusations against Guillod.

Cook was one of several women — including Rodriguez, Chenoweth and Patton — who exited Primary Wave after the TheWrap reported multiple accusations of misconduct against him in November 2017.

Though Rodriguez, Chenoweth and Patton could all be called as witnesses in the case, none are parties to the lawsuit, and it does not specify what damages they could receive.

TheWrap first reported on Nov. 2, 2017, that “Ted” actress Jessica Barth accused Guillod of sexually assaulting her in 2012. Two days later — on Nov. 4 — Cook texted Guillod, according to a screenshot his rep provided to TheWrap.

“Thinking of you,” said the text. “Hang in there.”

Later that day, Guillod resigned as co-CEO of Primary Wave.

A few days later, Cook was still thinking of Guillod — but now she was thinking of firing him. She left Primary Wave on Nov. 9, 2017. Rodriguez had exited by then, too.

On Nov. 10, 2017, TheWrap published another story detailing more accusations — that Guillod raped a former assistant on a company retreat in 2014 and sexually assaulted two other women at his home in Los Feliz in 2015. Only Barth’s name has been publicly released.

Over the next few days, news broke that Chenoweth and Patton were also exiting Primary Wave.


Besides recounting the four previous accusations, Cook’s lawsuit includes several new ones. No names or dates are provided, but the lawsuit alleges that:

• One unnamed “very famous child actor” fired Guillod for making sexual comments to her when she was 15 and he worked at Handprint Entertainment. (He exited the company in 2002.)

• Guillod once exposed himself to an unnamed female client by poking his penis through a hole in a script when he worked at United Talent Agency. (He left UTA in 2009.)

• Guillod sexually harassed women at Handprint, UTA, Paradigm Talent Agency (which he left in 2011) and his own company, Intellectual Artists Management.

Intellectual became part of Primary Wave Entertainment in a 2015 merger. Cook’s lawsuit names PWE as well as Guillod as defendants.

“PWE has been in litigation with Ms. Cook for unpaid commissions since October 2018, and therefore cannot comment directly on her just filed countersuit,” the company said in a statement. “That said, PWE remains committed to our core values of respect and inclusion, with a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment or abuse of any kind, including the work we do with our clients. In November 2017, within 48 hours of learning the extent of the allegations against our former colleague Mr. Guillod, we parted ways with him, and other than matters of separation, have no business with him. We stand by the ethical business practices that have served us well for 13 years.”

Cook’s attorney said that Guillod’s failure to disclose the accusations to Cook could have damaged her reputation and career.

“She prides herself on, and has run her career in a manner consistent with, supporting female empowerment issues and women’s rights,” said Saltz, of the firm Jacobson, Russell, Saltz, Nassim and De La Torre. “She is at risk of losing credibility in her brand if people presume that she knowingly made a person accused of multiple rapes and/or sexual assaults the representative of her and her brand.”

Also Read: 3 More Women Accuse ‘Atomic Blonde’ Producer David Guillod of Rape: ‘I Was Covered in Blood’


In its October 2018 lawsuit, Primary Wave accused Cook of breach of contract. The other litigation referenced in the Guillod statement on Tuesday was between Cook and attorney Neil Meyer, who sued her in August 2018.

“Mr. Guillod forced A.J. Cook to bring all of her claims against him by orchestrating the filing of two frivolous lawsuits based upon oral contracts that are unenforceable as a matter of law,” Saltz said. “As such, Mr. Guillod should not be surprised that Ms. Cook is defending herself in Court and pursuing her affirmative claims after Mr. Guillod’s attempt to illegally pressure Ms. Cook into paying moneys she does not owe backfired.”

Cook said she hired Meyer as her attorney in 2013, at Guillod’s recommendation. Meyer represented her in negotiations with ABC Studios, which produces “Criminal Minds.”

Cook contends that Meyer and his firm, Meyer & Downs, raised its fee from 2.5 percent per episode of “Criminal Minds” to 5 percent without her agreement, and that Guillod, as her manager, arranged for the increased payments to be made to Meyer & Downs without her consent.

Cook said that when she decided to leave Primary Wave because of the accusations against Guillod, Meyer urged her not to go.

“A.J. was appalled that Meyer… could even suggest that A.J. continue to employ someone accused of raping multiple women and committing sexual assaults and to otherwise have her name and brand sullied by such an affiliation with Guillod and the company that knowingly employed such a person,” the suit said, referring to Primary Wave.

She said that after she left Guillod, she learned of what she called excess payments that he had authorized to Meyer. She then stopped paying both Meyer and Primary Wave. She contends that Guillod and Primary Wave then met with Meyer to provide confidential information about Cook and encourage Meyer to file a “frivolous lawsuit” against her.

“It is my policy not to comment on ongoing litigation,” Meyer told TheWrap on Tuesday.

Cook said Primary Wave also publicly disclosed confidential terms of her contracts with ABC Studios to harass and embarrass her.

Cook’s lawsuit argues that Guillod and Primary Wave “have collected commissions from their female clients under false pretenses and in violation of their fiduciary duties… and should therefore be forced to disgorge all of their ill-gotten gains and make restitution back to their female clients.”

Cook’s lawsuit alleges breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, intentional concealment of material facts and unjust enrichment.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the 2014 accusation from the retreat, a spokeswoman for the office said Tuesday. The investigation has been open for more than a year.

Accusations against Guillod are also under review by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, but representatives for the office have declined to say what accusations are being investigated.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Atomic Blonde’ Producer David Guillod Under ‘Active Investigation’ for 2014 Rape Accusation (Exclusive)

3 More Women Accuse ‘Atomic Blonde’ Producer David Guillod of Rape: ‘I Was Covered in Blood’

David Guillod Resigns as Co-CEO of Primary Wave Following Sexual Assault Accusations

Alyssa Milano Responds to Les Moonves’ Attempted Comeback: ‘We Can’t Expect That Not to Happen’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano responded to the news that toppled executive CBS Les Moonves had begun to make an attempted comeback in Hollywood with a new company by calling on others in the industry to protect the women around them.

“That’s gonna happen. We can’t expect that not to happen,” Milano told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday. “We can’t put all these men on an island and say, ‘Eh, they’ll figure it out. Let them eat themselves.’”

The key, Milano said, is to implement systemic protections for women that won’t allow offenders to go on unaccountable for bad behavior.

Also Read: Fired CBS Chief Les Moonves Quietly Sets Up New Venture, Moon Rise Productions

“They’re going to get jobs again,” she said. “So I think it’s our responsibility to figure out what that re-entering into the workplace looks like, and how women will feel comfortable within that space. What we can do is set down policy so women — and men — feel safe working around Les Moonves.”

Milano has been an outspoken leader in Hollywood’s #MeToo movement, up to and including the ouster of Moonves as CBS chief executive amid a multitude of sexual misconduct allegations last fall. The movement has seen a number of accused abusers lose work, but a few, including Moonves and comedian Louis C.K., have already begun to make an attempt to revive their careers.

But Milano, and the other actresses and directors appearing alongside her on a panel to discuss women at the helm of movies and series for Lifetime, said they wouldn’t allow Hollywood to regress back to a point where people look the other way in the face of abusive or harassing behavior.

Also Read: Alyssa Milano Calls for Accountability, Rehabilitation ‘Protocol’ Amid John Lasseter Backlash

“I don’t think we can go back,” said “Jane Green’s To Have and To Hold” star, Erika Christensen.

“I won’t allow anybody to go back,” added Milano.

“Holding people accountable … that can be contractual, as well,” she said. “If you’re funding Les Moonves, or planning on working with him, you have to have an ironclad contract that enables full due process … There’s a lot of things that can go into place.”

Also Read: Alyssa Milano: Red MAGA Hats Are the New White Hoods – Let’s Take a Stand (Commentary)

Monika Mitchell, who directed Christensen in “To Have and To Hold,” cautioned not to underestimate the collective pull of women in decision-making positions in the industry.

“What I have felt much more strongly since 2016 is the ability to say ‘I won’t work with that person,’” Mitchell said. “I think if the 10 of us went, ‘I won’t work with that person,’ it actually means something now.”

“I think a statement has been made that everyone is aware of. We are saying that we are not going to take this anymore,” said actress Tiffany Hines, who stars in Lifetime’s “Pride & Prejudice in Atlanta.”

Also Read: Les Moonves to Pursue Arbitration for $120 Million Severance Denied by CBS

The women all agreed, the #MeToo movement is here to stay and its lasting effects on the industry will surely be felt going forward.

“I always joke that when animals are on set, the Humane Society is everywhere and yet women are made to get totally naked with not one protection mechanism anywhere,” Milano said. “I think all of that is totally going to change.”

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Alyssa Milano: Red MAGA Hats Are the New White Hoods – Let’s Take a Stand (Commentary)

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Guerrilla Girls Bring Back ‘Senate Is More Progressive Than Hollywood’ Campaign

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Twenty years ago, the feminist art collective Guerrilla Girls put out a sharp campaign comparing female representation in politics and Hollywood, declaring that the U.S. Senate was more progressive than the ostensibly liberal film industry. Now they&#8…

Pamela Adlon’s Goal for Her ‘Better Things’ Set: ‘Model for a Kinder, Gentler Work Place’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Better Things” co-creator, star, writer and director Pamela Adlon “had already seen some s–t” in this business by the time she was 19, which is the current real age of Mikey Madison, the actress playing her eldest TV daughter.

Now the 53-year-old Adlon, who began working in entertainment at age nine, is “trying to make a model for a kinder, gentler work place,” she told reporters Monday at FX’s Television Critics Association press tour.

She doesn’t want Madison or other FX daughters Hannah Alligood and Olivia Edward to go through what she  has.

Also Read: John Landgraf Foresees ‘Many More Cycles’ of Ryan Murphy’s ‘AHS’ and ‘American Crime Story’ on FX

“I think I was 15-years-old and I did an independent movie and a director asked me to drop my towel, and that it would be so funny to see my butt — and I was like a little girl,” she told TV critics at the Pasadena media event. “So, I like now, that I’m in a place that I hire people and I make a safe space.”

Adlon has seen some “ugly air,” as she put it, in Hollywood and throughout other businesses: “Abuse of power, people being rude… mismanaging, wasting people’s time, hurting people psychologically and emotionally,” she rattled off.

And it’s not only men who can let a high-level position to go their head, Adlon warned, nor is such abuse always sexually motivated. Season 3 of “Better Things” will tackle exactly these issues — it premieres Thursday, Feb. 28 at 10/9c on FX.

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‘Miss Bala’ Director Catherine Hardwicke on How Gina Rodriguez’s Heroine Is Symbol of ‘Female Empowerment’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Miss Bala” director Catherine Hardwicke was ready to show Mexico in a different light and portray a female character that was both a badass and could be the quiet girl next door – and that’s what she got in her new movie starring Gina Rodriguez. As Hardwicke puts it, all in the “agency of female empowerment.”

“Miss Bala” is based on the 2011 Mexican film of the same name and is set at the U.S.-Mexico border. It follows Gloria (Rodriguez) who must take matters into her own hands when her friend is kidnapped in Tijuana.

“The original character is very passive — she doesn’t do anything active to save herself and many bad things happen to her,” Hardwicke said in an interview with TheWrap. “We made a bigger effort to show Gloria with agency and trying to figure out how to save herself… I’ve always loved Mexico, I’ve always loved the culture and that fertile mix of two cultures along a border. All these combinations I got excited about, and I thought, let’s do a re-imagination of the story and identity. I got excited to show Mexico in a different way.”

Also Read: ‘Miss Bala’ Film Review: Gina Rodriguez Remake Misses the Target

For Hardwicke, Gloria represents female empowerment, who must discover her strength and skills in the midst of a crisis.

“One thing we were really interested in doing was making her feel really grounded,” she explained. “A real girl that could be your best friend — she’s your makeup artist, she takes yoga classes, but she hasn’t been trained as a Navy SEAL. These women are just super badasses, but we still wanted to make it feel like she is an ordinary girl.”

On a personal note, Hardwicke is pleased with the progress she’s seen in the hiring of more female directors, but adds that they still have a long way to go.

“There are certain barriers to break down in terms of a male actor to be directed by a woman,” she said. “Jack Nicholson was directed by a woman in ‘What Women Want,’ Brad Pitt had his wife Angelina Jolie direct him in a movie, but there are not too many times when men are at the top of their game and they are being directed by a woman.”

See Video: Gina Rodriguez Plays a Dangerous Game in First ‘Miss Bala’ Trailer

“Miss Bala” also stars Ismael Cruz Cordova and Anthony Mackie, and hit theaters last Friday. It grossed $6.8 million its opening weekend.

See below for TheWrap’s Q&A with Hardwicke.

Why remake the 2011 film? What drew you to the story?

I had not seen the 2011 movie, and [producers] Pablo Cruz and Kevin Misher, they had the idea. This movie has a kernel of something that could be opened up and made more accessible to more people. It was Mexico-centric, and it was made at a time where they were symbolically showing the violence in Mexico. The original character is very passive — she doesn’t do anything active to save herself and many bad things happen to her.

Then there was the idea that the characters lived on both sides of the border, and they didn’t feel Gringo enough to feel fully accepted in America, but they weren’t fluent enough in Spanish to be Mexican. A lot of people now straddle that moment in time: the identity crisis. Who am I? Where do I fit in? My Vietnamese dentist told me she went back to Vietnam to visit but doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t feel accepted there or here. We made a bigger effort to show Gloria with agency and trying to figure out how to save herself. I’ve always loved Mexico, I’ve always loved the culture and that fertile mix of two cultures along a border. All these combinations I got excited about, and I thought, let’s do a re-imagination of the story and identity. I got excited to show Mexico in a different way.

Any drug cartel movie is difficult to pull off. What were your biggest challenges?

We weren’t trying to imitate an existing cartel. We did various amounts of research about new generations and other people getting into it with all the difficulties they had in their life. We created this new cartel for Tijuana. Tijuana is the busiest, biggest border in the world — more people cross that border every day. It’s a very vibrant and intense place to be. That was interesting… that was maybe in some ways less dangerous territory than if we were trying to imitate a real cartel leader.

What was the hardest/most fun scene to shoot?

That shoot-out scene was fun and intense. It was one of my favorite scenes, and we started on it Day One. Everyone was like, “are you crazy?” I just knew I’d be able to plan it out better. That’s actually filmed right next to the U.S. border and you see the border wall. I went there and I was like, wow, this is cool. It had this western feeling — dusty and everything. I got out my miniature cars, we went to the location, I planned it out like a military strategy. I was in my war room figuring it out, but then we also went to the real location and we would have rental cars and the stunt guy would be pretending to be the sniper. The pre-visualization was awesome. At one point, we needed five extra drivers so we asked the rental car drivers, “Do you guys want to be in an action scene?” They played the parts of all the drivers. Everyone got into it and helped me figure it out.

That one was the most fun because we got to blow up cars and crazy things happened. A real police chase came right through the set, so that was three extra cop cars we didn’t have in our budget. They were the real cops trying to shut us down. Another location that was fun was the Valle de Guadalupe, the red rocks in wine country in Baja that had that modern glass building — that was a beautiful location.

What do you think Gloria represents for women?

One thing we were really interested in doing was making her feel really grounded. A real girl that could be your best friend — she’s your makeup artist, she takes yoga classes, but she hasn’t been trained as a Navy SEAL. These women are just super badasses, but we still wanted to make it feel like she is an ordinary girl. We wanted to make you ask yourself, how would it feel for you in this instance when you had to show some way to save your friend and use your own wits and skills that you have to get out? Anything that Gloria was going to do, we were like, “Could we do that? Could we run across that lot in a rain of bullets?” The idea was that she found a depth of strength and character that she never knew she had. She was basically a double agent. That was kind of interesting, that she was really finding her power, all in the agency of female empowerment.

Also Read: Catherine Hardwicke to Direct ‘Miss Bala’ Remake for Sony

How do you feel about female directors once again being shut out from the Oscar nominations?

I think we knew it going into the nominations, because none of the female-directed movies were getting the push, the money, the buzz, the lightning in a bottle, the marketing campaign. There is still looking at this, asking, why? When will it change? When will women have the chance to get better material, opportunities to work with bigger actors, bigger budgets? When a wonderful movie like “Leave No Trace” came out, it didn’t have an Oscar campaign. How can they be supportive when a wonderful movie does come out?

People have been trying to be more progressive about hiring female directors. Do you think we’re actually seeing progress?

It’s a leaky pipeline that we’ve been talking about. Every year, Sundance and other festivals have been very progressive about actively making sure there are more female-directed movies and diverse stories. That’s great, but the leaky pipeline is: what happens after these festivals? A lot of studies have shown this — if a movie directed by a woman or a man does well at Sundance, a majority of male-directed movies get more marketing budgets, get seen by more people, and they are perceived more successful.

You’ve done so many movies and shows in your career — is there an idea you haven’t been able to play with yet?

There have been a lot of situations where there are still a lot of barriers to break, like beautiful literary properties, valuable IP that would help get people into theaters, novels, things that already have a want-to-see factor built in. Those are important things for women to be invited to direct. We’re seeing step-by-step that things are happening. [“Wonder Woman” director] Patty Jenkins did a great job, for example. There are certain barriers to break down in terms of a male actor to be directed by a woman. How do you break down that barrier? We were trying to think about that the other day. Jack Nicholson was directed by a woman in “What Women Want,” Brad Pitt had his wife Angelina Jolie direct him in a movie, but there are not too many times when men are at the top of their game and they are being directed by a woman. Hopefully the world is opening up, and people are opening to possibilities. Fingers crossed.

Is there anything else you want to say in regards to “Miss Bala?”

I do want to embrace Sony’s awesomeness. The movie is starring a Latina as an action hero and the movie has almost an all Latinx cast and crew. And a woman director, an African-American woman as our editor, and a lot of cool game-changing elements. There’s a lot of gender balance and diversity.

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In ‘Miss Bala,’ Mexico’s Drug Wars Terrorize Beauty

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Why Hilary Swank Is So Optimistic About Filmmaking’s Diverse Future (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hilary Swank says it’s a “beautiful time for storytelling,” telling TheWrap at the Sundance Film Festival that she is optimistic about the increasing opportunities being provided to women in acting.

“We’re being more inclusive of everybody…I’m seeing more stories across my desk that are more diverse and interesting and representative of the world that we’re living in,” Swank told TheWrap CEO Sharon Waxman in an on-camera interview.

Swank is at Sundance for her latest film, “I Am Mother,” a postapocalyptic thriller set in a future where automation has led to societal collapse.

Also Read: Rosanna Arquette Says Harvey Weinstein Should Go to Jail: ‘Absolutely’ (Video)

The two-time Oscar winner plays a human woman discovered by a child and her android caretaker, who has watched over the child since she was an embryo.

Swank says the role is an example of how older women in Hollywood are getting more interesting roles, following a 2018 in which actresses such as Glenn Close and Olivia Colman have earned Oscar nominations and critical acclaim for meaty roles.

But for Swank personally, the actress said she’s never had a problem finding challenging or engaging roles.

Also Read: The Orchard Successor Company Lands North American Rights to Documentary ‘Halston’

“I’ve always chosen roles that are real people, so I never have to worry about how I look or how I look on film,” she said. “It’s about something we connect to inside.”

Hear Swank’s thoughts in the clip above.

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Patricia Arquette on Her Golden Globe for Playing an ‘Unlikable, Sexually Unapologetic’ 50-Year-Old

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

You don’t want to mess with Patricia Arquette anymore. For those of us who remember her as the wispy-voiced, quirky girl with the curves in “True Romance” and “Flirting With Disaster” (my personal favorite) a million years ago — that’s just not on the menu.

Most of us know she has become a champion for pay equality for women, and God bless her for that. But her new character on screen is a doughy, unattractive, ethically compromised prison guard on Showtime’s “Escape From Dannemora” who’s a different kind of breakthrough, as she told me last night.

“We got to see a different kind of person that we see in our life, that we see around us, but we really almost never see in Hollywood,” she said, walking out of the Golden Globes ballroom with her statue in hand for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture made for Television. “To be a 50-year-old of a certain body type who’s unapologetically sexual and actually feels OK about sex and being loved — that was really a gift.”

Also Read: Patricia Arquette Apologizes for F-Words That Got Her Bleeped During Golden Globes Acceptance Speech

Arquette plays the unsmiling Tilly, an employee at the Clinton correctional facility in the sleepy upstate New York town of Dannemora who becomes romantically entangled with one of the inmates (Benicio del Toro) to the point that she helps him and another inmate (Paul Dano) escape from the prison.

“It’s so liberating,” Arquette said of the role in the fact-based, seven-episode limited series, which Ben Stiller both directed and executive produced. Here’s my full conversation with Arquette as she took the measure of her win:

What about this character was important to you?

After 28 years in the business, I feel like the mantra that I’ve always heard over and over again — and I don’t know if it’s because I am a woman — I can do a great fighting scene and the feedback is, “That was great, but maybe a little too angry” or I do a great emotional scene and they say, “That’s great, but maybe it’s too painful, can you make her more likable?” Or, “She doesn’t look pretty when she cries.”

I never got that from Ben or the studio. They were like, “We don’t care if these characters are likable. We trust the audience. Let them see all these people with all these nuances. They can decide for themselves.” To be unsaddled from that need to be likable, to be pleasing in any kind of way I feel is more integral.

We got to see a different kind of person that we see in our life, that we see around us, but we really almost never see in Hollywood. To be a 50-year-old of a certain body top who’s unapologetically sexual and actually feels OK about sex and being loved. That was really a gift too. Sometimes people try to pretty it up or dumb it down. It’s so liberating. By Showtime and Ben Stiller. Both of them.

Also Read: ‘Escape at Dannemora’ Subject Joyce Mitchell Calls Ben Stiller a ‘Son-of-a-Bitch Liar’

Was that character what was on the page?

They were like: This is what she looks like. They were all fine with that. This is Tilly and this is fine. The writers thought she was complicated and different. They saw her point of view. They thought she was difficult. And the actors were really supportive.

And of course it’s still very much men in positions of power, other than our DP [director of photography], who was a woman. But in general, these men are super supportive of this really complicated and different voice of a woman.

Also Read: ‘Escape at Dannemora’: Did Richard Matt Really Have a Photo of Hillary Clinton in His Jail Cell?

You aren’t playing the game anymore. 

I’m excited about right now. Hollywood is starting to realize… Unfortunately for them, it’s like, “Wow, it actually pays big dividends to have diversity. Who would have ever known we would make a lot of money?”

But also it makes better movies. We’re kind of just beginning to explore other human beings. We’ve been so trapped in this model and concept for so long that I’m so excited about the new voices of tomorrow.

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CBS and a Pattern of Toxic Masculinity: Protecting the Predators, Not the Victims

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The bodies and the settlements at CBS keep piling up. There were two on Thursday alone.

Actress Eliza Dushku was secretly paid $9.5 million to settle her contract after she complained about sexual harassment from the star of “Bull,” Michael Weatherly, we learned in The New York Times.

This followed a revelation earlier in the day from Cybill Shepherd, the smart and sassy blonde on ’90s network television, that her show was canceled shortly after she rebuffed a sexual advance by CBS chief Les Moonves.

Also Read: CBS Paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Claim Against ‘Bull’ Star Michael Weatherly

According to the Times, Weatherly made comments about Dushku’s appearance in front of the crew. She said he made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome.

What happened when she complained? Did a human resources professional consult with her and make Weatherly take sensitivity training?

Ha-ha, kidding.

No, Dushku was written off the show after she confronted Weatherly. She got a check and Weatherly is still on the air. Weatherly apologized in the Times after having reflected on his behavior as “both not funny and not appropriate.”

In Shepherd’s case, she said Moonves invited her to dinner when she was the star of “Cybill.”  “His assistant and my assistant made a dinner date and we went to it and he was telling me his wife didn’t turn him on and some mistress didn’t turn him on,” Shepherd said. She turned Moonves down, left the dinner and “quite shortly afterwards” her show was canceled.

Also Read: Cybill Shepherd: My CBS Show Would’ve ‘Run Another 5 Years’ If I Hadn’t Shot Down Les Moonves’ Advances

The pattern of behavior is undeniable at this point. Men who should have been called out for bad behavior instead protected one another. Women who dared raise their voices were punished and paid off, their careers set off course, shamed into silence.

The evidence of a toxic male culture at CBS is overwhelming, led by a chairman who had a staffer “on call” for oral sex.

Let’s take a brief look at some of what we have learned about what was tolerated and hidden at CBS:

  • “60 Minutes” producer Jeff Fager was fired in September following a New Yorker report in which he was accused of groping a former intern at a party and turning a blind eye toward sexual misconduct by his employees.
  • CBS paid $5 million to settle a lawsuit against the revered Don Hewitt, who created “60 Minutes” and was accused of sexual assault decades ago.
  • Mark Harmon, executive producer and star of “NCIS,” was accused of intimidating Pauley Perrette after his pit bull attacked a crew member and Perrette objected to the dog returning to the set. Perrette left the show in May this year and declined to give a reason.

Then there’s:

  • Charlie Sheen and his prostitutes.
  • Charlie Rose and his interns.
  • An executive producer at “CBS This Morning” exiting this week in part because he too turned a blind eye to complaints about sexual harassment.

And then there’s Moonves himself, accused of sabotaging the career of Ileana Douglas, accused of sexual misconduct by a dozen women, accused of demanding oral sex from at least four employees and having an employee “on call” for blow jobs, according to the internal draft report of a law firm’s investigation into network culture prepared for the network’s board of directors.

Also Read: Les Moonves to Exit as CBS CEO Amid New Sexual Misconduct Accusations

The draft has notably not been denied by CBS, which seems most concerned about all the leaks to the media.

Moonves, whom I had truly admired until very recently, built the success of the network on his unabashed male appeal. He created shows that had machismo and viscerally seemed to get the desires of middle American men. This showmanship drove the network to No. 1 status, always skewing male.

Moonves’ signature shows included “Two and a Half Men,” Jerry Bruckheimer’s “CSI” and the Harmon-led “NCIS” franchise. His hit CBS shows were the brawny “SEAL Team” and “SWAT” and “Magnum PI” and “FBI” and “Hawaii 5-0.”

And a legal procedural called, um, “Bull.”

If you wanted light entertainment, female stars and gay people  — say, “Will and Grace” — you had to go to NBC. “Ellen”? That was on ABC.

If toxic masculinity lay behind all this, I shudder to think of how that seeped into our broader American culture.

Also Read: ‘CBS This Morning’ EP Ryan Kadro to Step Down After Charlie Rose Sexual Misconduct Settlement

But how far will CBS go to change an environment that is clearly many levels of rotten? How many good shows with interesting female characters never saw the light of day because everybody knew how things went in the network’s executive offices? How many more board members were like the late Arnold Kopelson, whom the Times reported once said in a meeting:  “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff… Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.”

CBS’ vice chairman is a woman, Shari Redstone. And I feel badly for the many good people at CBS who have nothing to do with this but are caught up in a culture that simply must change.

“The allegations in Ms. Dushku’s claims are an example that, while we remain committed to a culture defined by a safe, inclusive and respectful workplace, our work is far from done,” the network told TheWrap in statement. “The settlement of these claims reflects the projected amount that Ms. Dushku would have received for the balance of her contract as a series regular, and was determined in a mutually agreed upon mediation process at the time.”

I’m gratified to see CBS take note, but it remains to be seen if Redstone, her new board of directors and the traumatized leadership at the top will achieve the hard work of cultural change.

Related stories from TheWrap:

CBS Paid Eliza Dushku $9.5 Million to Settle Sexual Harassment Claim Against ‘Bull’ Star Michael Weatherly

Cybill Shepherd: My CBS Show Would’ve ‘Run Another 5 Years’ If I Hadn’t Shot Down Les Moonves’ Advances

‘CBS This Morning’ EP Ryan Kadro to Step Down After Charlie Rose Sexual Misconduct Settlement

Carrie Underwood, Karen Fairchild Lead CMT’s Push for More Women in Country Music

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The 2018 Artist of the Year awards honored only female country artists for the first time in history.

As Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild accepted her award at CMT’s Artist of the Year Awards, she pulled out her phone. She promised she wasn’t being rude–she just didn’t want to forget any one of the 35 female artists and acts she listed during the award show in late October that honored an all-female slate of musicians for the first time this year.

The moment, labeled one of the most powerful 45-seconds of an award show this year, was a plea for more support and radio play for country’s female stars. The genre has been under fire for years for its favoritism of male artists of the so-called “bro country” variety. In fact, the percentage of female country songs charted by Country Aircheck dropped to 10.4 percent in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2016, and there were no solo women artists in the 10 most-played songs on country radio in 2017, according to Billboard year-end charts. A radio consultant recently claimed in Elle that women’s voices are a biological “irritant” to listeners.

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All of which served as context for Fairchild’s speech. “I can’t say enough about CMT for just honoring women and celebrating women when it’s really important right now. And I’m humbled and I hope I can live up to this honor,” she said, alongside her bandmate Kimberly Schlapman.

“I just want to say in case anyone’s watching that Danielle Bradbery, Runaway June, Kelleigh Bannen, Kassi Ashton, Ashley McBryde, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Lucie Silvas, Jillian Jacqueline, Heather Morgan, Abby Anderson, Aubrie Sellers, Tenille Townes, Rachel Wammack, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Ruthie Collins, Maggie Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Lindsay Ell, Jana Kramer, Clare Dunn, Lauren Alaina, Margo Price, the Sisterhood Band, Natalie Stovall, Kree Harrison, Brooke Eden, Candi Carpenter, Lillie Mae, Emily Hackett, Little Feather, Kalie Shorr, and Lacy Cavalier are there for you to support–and play on the radio if you want to.”

Carrie Underwood made clear while accepting her own Artist of the Year award that she wasn’t there because she’s a woman. “We’re here because we’re damn good at what we do,” she said. Underwood’s Cry Pretty album earned the best sales week of the year by a female in September, unseating Cardi B as the record-holder.

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In Celebration of a Defining Year for Women

Leslie Fram, senior VP of music strategy for CMT, says the network believed this was the perfect time to honor the women of country, calling it a “defining year for women, not only in music but in general.”

“CMT has been bold about supporting female artists at a time where it’s been a challenge with terrestrial radio, internet radio, and streaming services,” Fram says. “We’ve been at the forefront of supporting female voices, so it made sense to turn ‘Artist of the Year’ into a celebration of women.”

The night’s honorees included Loretta Lynn, Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Fairchild and Schlapman, and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.

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“I am a country artist and also a really big feminist and I feel really supported by CMT,” said Kalie Shorr during a red carpet interview before the event. “I was on the ‘CMT Next Women of Country Tour’ earlier this year. It was my first tour and it just blew open these opportunities for me. Anytime I get to party with CMT and celebrate women is a good day for me.”

The Next Women of Country franchise is CMT’s way of supporting women year-round. It started as a campaign in 2013 to support female artists by airing their music videos and content created at CMT’s studios in Nashville. It’s since expanded into a tour, serving as an incubator program for undiscovered artists and showcases emerging female artists. Several alumnae have achieved critical acclaim, including Morris, Brandy Clark, and Kacey Musgraves.

“A lot of new artists don’t go on tour if they don’t have a song on the radio,” Fram explains. “We had some pretty substantial artists headline the tour, like Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride and Sara Evans, and they brought young females with them like Maggie Rose to Lindsay Ell.”

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The assumption that country music fans don’t want to listen to lady crooners likely comes from the 2015 controversy dubbed “tomatogate,” when trade publication Country Aircheck quoted consultant Keith Hill asserting, “if you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.” According to Hill, country radio’s predominantly female listener base prefers male artists. “I play great female records, and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females,” he said at the time.

What an incredible night full of amazing, strong, talented, gorgeous, smart, sweet women! I am honored to be in your company and am in awe of each and every one of you! Thank you @cmt for recognizing women in Country Music! ????: @ShearerPhoto @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/aiVlNCvDam

— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) October 18, 2018

In pre-recorded interviews that aired during the ceremony, honorees addressed country’s gender imbalance directly.

Ballerini, who highlighted that “bro country” has been a thing for a while, said, “we’re not saying this music’s bad–we’re just saying that you’re leaving people out.” Morris, meanwhile, debunked the idea that women don’t want to hear women. “I will have to call B.S. on that one, because I grew up listening to women. That’s why I’m here today,” she said.

.@MarenMorris looks up to a fellow #CMTAOTY honoree when it comes to her career. Watch and find out who… pic.twitter.com/G1ud4K4TO3

— CMT (@CMT) October 16, 2018

“These ladies are influencing the next generation, but they were influenced by some amazingly talented, strong, bold women. Without them they wouldn’t be standing on that stage,” says Margaret Comeaux, vice president of music and event production for CMT, who produced the Artist of the Year show. “People like Loretta Lynn. Good God. You’re hard pressed to find ladies like that. In a time when no one was really standing up for women, she did. That came out very naturally in the interviews.”

The Artist of the Year awards will always be about celebrating the Top 5 artists of the year, says Comeaux, but they are willing to center the ceremony around whatever is happening in the industry. “I think we found in the last two years that it’s a show that can morph into what it needs to be. It’s about celebrating the artists and our format,” she adds. “We’re always going to continue to keep pushing things forward.”

Visit the Viacom Newsroom for more insights.

By Nicole Bitette

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Mira Sorvino, Anita Hill, HAIM, David Oyelowo, Rosanna Arquette, Nancy Dubuc, Jill Soloway and more participated in TheWrap’s inaugural Power Women Summit.

Women of #MeToo Gather for Much-Needed Moment of Healing

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For the past year, actress Rosanna Arquette has been a leading voice in the #MeToo movement, headlining events, giving interviews and lending her star power to the fight against sexual misconduct in the workplace.

But even though she’s no stranger to the stage, she said being applauded for her activism by 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry at the “Power Women Summit” in downtown Los Angeles late last week was so overwhelming, she completely blanked out.

“I had a little shutdown,” she told TheWrap, almost apologetically. “I kind of went out of my body for minute. I felt really emotional being with the girls.”

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Arquette, who was among the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct last year, was one of more than two dozen activists honored at the event, aimed at achieving gender equity in entertainment and media. For many, it was their first time receiving a thunderous ovation for their activism.

“You could feel this energy, like going to your first day of school or something,” Arquette said. “I was so nervous. Are the girls going to be mean? Is everything going to be OK?”

Coming forward has taken a toll on many #MeToo accusers. For some, the last year has been marked with a barrage of attacks from internet trolls. Others have lost their jobs. Almost all have experienced what experts call “secondary traumatization.”

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Being recognized for their role in the grassroots movement along with fellow activists served as a moment of catharsis for many.

The event, which was organized by TheWrap, featured some of the most recognizable names within the fledgeling movement, including actresses Mira Sorvino and Jessica Barth, both Weinstein accusers, and Illeana Douglas, who accused Les Moonves of sexual misconduct in July. Other speakers included women’s rights icons Anita Hill, who became a national figure in 1991 when she accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.

Like many women activists and accusers in attendance, Arquette said she had communicated with several of them over email and Twitter, but that in many cases, this was the first time they had met in person.

“It makes me cry,” she said choking back tears. “I feel very emotional about it.”

As Arquette spoke, a steady stream of women politely interrupted our chat to thank her for her “courage” and to ask for a selfie. Arquette, best-known for her iconic roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “Desperately Seeking Susan,” graciously obliged.

“It’s just been a really inspirational day and it makes me feel happy to be a woman right now more than ever,” she said.

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The day was emotional for Barth, too.

Barth, known for playing Tami-Lynn McCaferty in the “Ted” films, said meeting the women and getting such a vocal recognition from the crowd caught her off guard.

“It was just really powerful to be in the same room with everybody who’s kind of been through this in the past year,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get choked up at all.”

For Barth, like Arquette, seeing the sea of faces cheering her on was “monumental.”

“To hear this movement being talked about is a shift of how we’re looking at sexual abuse in our culture,” she said. “It’s just really freeing to come together as a community of survivors.”

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As part of the event’s programming, the women were invited to a special closed training session on how to cope with trauma, conducted by trauma specialist and Weinstein accuser Louise Godbold.

Godbold said the training session was attended by roughly 100 women, including #MeToo founder Burke and actress Mira Sorvino — who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct last October.

“It was quite an extraordinary experience,” Godbold told TheWrap. “I do these training all the time and I’ve never felt such unity and support.”

“I presented the information the way that I usually do because I’m very familiar with it and yet the underlying thing was a sense of, we’re all in this together,” Godbold said, adding that she had a difficult time holding back tears throughout the day.

Chantal Cousineau, who last year was one of nearly 400 women to accuse director James Toback of sexual misconduct, said being in a room full of supportive women was “moving” but that the real reward was the chance to show others her ability “to stand up” for herself.

“It’s amazing to finally be heard and seen from a survivor’s perspective,” she said.

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Arquette said the event served as “a safe space for everybody to swap stories and ideas and to connect with filmmakers and artists and politicians.”

“It’s just really a great vibe,” she said. “Women should rule the world.”

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Hollywood Women Make History at First Power Women Summit: Takeaways and Next Moves

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hollywood women made history Thursday and Friday.

With 1,500 women from all across the media and entertainment industry, the Power Women Summit was the largest gathering ever of women in Hollywood aimed at moving forward on the goal of achieving gender equity in entertainment and media.

Let’s take a moment and grasp what that means. Women in Hollywood are not like any other group that may be gathering across the country for a purpose. The critical mass of women at this event were the nation’s storytellers. The creators of our popular culture. The shapers of “what’s cool” for our children. The journalists who decide what is news. The celebrities and social media influencers who model trends, behaviors, catch phrases and the next big thing.

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Photo by Randy Shropshire

What they say and do in their professional lives has a profound impact on the cultural conventions of our nation and, indeed, our world.

Seeing the sea of faces all turned in rapt attention to listen to Anita Hill talking about the need for people of conscience to do the long and hard “dirty work” of creating systemic change, I wanted to tell them that they were already a privileged group. That they were already the anointed, just by having achieved a spot in this incredibly competitive place. That they were some kind of elite, endowed with special powers and obligations for that reason.

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Make no mistake: The women at the Power Women Summit showed up for 50/50 gender equity, the stated theme. They weren’t there for the manicures. (Just kidding, there weren’t any manicures.)

Their enthusiasm and gratitude and pure delight at connecting with their peers across the day on this issue was palpable. It seems obvious that this gathering answered a crying need, a year after the explosion of #MeToo, after the toppling of one media titan after another, after the litany of insults toward women by our president and just a few days before the midterm election. A need to connect, to be heard and to believe that concrete change is achievable.

We didn’t know how many people would actually show up. As organizers, we aimed for a critical mass of 1,000, and ended up with half that number again. The main stage auditorium was standing room only for most of the day. More than 25 #MeToo survivors attended, and many were recognized on stage. The dozen-plus breakout panels were a raucous run for seats to hear experts talk about pay equity, clearing the path for diversity, leveraging social media, including men in the drive for equity and many other topics.

When we opened the main auditorium doors for the afternoon session, I was amazed to watch a flood of women run – run–  for seats to hear from Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc and legendary executive Sherry Lansing and Olympian Ibtihaj Mohammad. (Here’s a video of what the Summit looked like by our intrepid social media guru, Sree Sreenivasan. And here’s a link to the coverage of the speakers and panels. )

By the end of Day Two, I had a stream of young women saying they wished it would go on for another day.

The conference created an inspirational environment by citing quotations of remarkable women in history: Madeleine Albright, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall and others.

But here are some words from women at the Summit that are also worth memorializing.

* Poet Hollis Wear Wong:  “Let us embrace the danger of being wholly ourselves/ 
Let us cultivate the heat needed to blaze a new trail forward/ 
We need not a rearrangement, but an uprooting
/ Unapologetic intersections
/ And radical inclusion
/ Refusing to stop even when conditions improve for some/ 
Knowing we are not well until we are all well
/ Knowing we will be pushed past comfort and respectability
/ Past all that we’ve been told from birth is possible
/ Into the unconditional, the truly liberated, the truly equal, the truly free.”

* Anita Hill: “We must make unequivocally clear, even if the government isn’t prepared to protect women from sexual violence, we are. We will do it ourselves. We deserve to work in harassment-free workplaces, and we deserve to have an equal chance to display our very talents throughout these industries, and throughout workplaces all over. These are not privileges that should be limited to men — these are rights we all have.”

* Alana Haim: “I don’t want to ask for more, I never want to ask for more. I just want to ask for equal.”

* Jill Soloway:  “What does it mean to have balance in all leadership, not only as directors and producers on board, but all areas? To us, 50/50 means balance and 2020 means clear vision.”

* Tarana Burke: “I have to get up every day to decide to survive. There are some days where I say, I can’t do it today… It’s not about being bold and brave — it’s about resilience. This is what we’re doing — we’re bouncing back, every day.”

I feel profoundly grateful to all those who helped create this landmark event. The women of Hollywood now have an annual gathering created especially dedicated to their success, and I hope they will continue to build on the historic foundation that was established last week.

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Emily Ratajkowski Says Chrissy Teigen and Donald Trump Have One Thing in Common

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Chrissy Teigen and Donald Trump probably don’t agree on much, but Emily Ratajkowski says the two have  one thing in common.

(Sorry, Chrissy!)

“Let’s think about Trump for a moment — he’s really good at social media, he’s made the media sort of have to catch up, and I would love to see that from the left,” Ratajkowski said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. “As women, we can do that so well. Chrissy Teigen, for example, doesn’t have to talk to a reporter, she is just there responding to things on her Twitter from her couch. That’s inspiring — we can all do that.”

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She added that everyone’s goal on social should be to be “as honest as possible, and as authentic — that’s what Trump and Chrissy Teigen have in common — and they don’t have a whole lot in common!”

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Teigen has been a strong critic of the president on social media, which resulted in Teigen being blocked by Trump in July 2017. But it was one of her tamer tweets that finally sent Trump over the edge.

“Lolllllll no one likes you,” she tweeted in response to a Trump tweet that some Republicans “do very little to protect their President.”

See Video: Emily Ratajkowski Talks Getting Arrested With Amy Schumer

Teigen recently said the presidential blocking has given her anxiety because every day in America pretty much begins with a “flurry of presidential” tweets that she can’t see. When Teigen sees people responding to them and freaking out over things Trump tweeted, she has no idea what everyone is talking about. “Do I get in the bunker or not?” she said.

Ratajkowski attended TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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