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'I am that reporter." CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan, the reporter to whom Jeff Fager, longtime executive producer of '60 Minutes,' sent a threatening text message. (YouTube / CBS Evening News)


The Week in Women: Time’s up for 2 big executives at TV network, a shocking cartoon and a contrite comedian

By Brigit Katz on September 14, 2018

Youch, it’s been a doozy of a week, with plenty of people landing in hot water. Here’s a recap in case you missed any of the madness.

One of the first women to enter the Marines and become an infantry member is set to be discharged from the Corps after she confessed to engaging in a relationship with a subordinate, a fellow Marine to whom she is now married. Corporal Remedios Cruz, 26, one of three women to join First Battalion, Eighth Marines in January 2017, was charged with fraternization, adultery, and accessory to larceny in separate investigations that would have been tried in a court-martial in June. Cruz agreed to a plea agreement in which she admitted to engaging in fraternization. Her rank has been reduced from sergeant to corporal, and it has yet to be determined if she will leave with an honorable discharge. “The biggest mistakes I’ve made in the infantry were from my personal relationships,” Cruz said. “I really want to move on.”

The Herald Sun, an Australian tabloid, published a pretty shocking cartoon of Serena Williams that has been widely condemned as racist. The drawing depicted a scene from the recent U.S. Open, when Williams smashed her racket and accused a chair umpire of sexism after he docked her a game for a third code violation. Cartoonist Mark Knight drew Williams with exaggerated features that fellow illustrator Ronald Wimberly has described as “dehumaniz[ing] black and brown people by degrading their features into symbols of the subhuman.” Knight has said that his cartoon was only intended to critique Williams’ behavior, and had nothing to do with her race. Yeah. Just like we didn’t eat half a pizza while watching Rachel Maddow last night.

Time’s up for two big TV execs. The CBS television network found itself in major turmoil this week as two of its top executives abruptly departed. Les Moonves, the longtime head of the network, resigned after another six women accused him of sexual assault, with some of the incidents allegedly taking place as far back as the 1980s. The claims follow sexual misconduct accusations made by six women in July, which triggered an internal investigation into Moonves’ conduct at the network. He was accused of a number of offenses, including violent forcible kissing, exposing himself while at work and professional retaliation against women who declined his advances. Moonves has denied the accusations, saying that they “are not consistent with who I am.” Within days of his resignation, longtime 60 Minutes executive producer Jeff Fager was fired by CBS over a threatening text message he sent to CBS reporter Jericka Duncan, who had asked him for comment about sexual misconduct allegations that were made against him. Fager admitted his language in the text was harsh, but declared, “One such note should not result in termination after 36 years.” But then Dunn went on TV and read the text message to viewers and, well, yeah it seems like Fager had to go.

Comedian Norm Macdonald has apologized after suggesting that people who have been called out as abusers during the #MeToo movement have suffered more than their alleged victims. In particular, he mentioned Louis C.K., who has admitted to committing lewd acts in front of female comedians, and Roseanne Barr, whose sitcom was taken off the air after she made a series of unhinged and racist tweets. “There are very few people that have gone through what they have, losing everything in a day,” MacDonald told The Hollywood Reporter. “Of course, people will go, ‘What about the victims?’ But you know what? The victims didn’t have to go through that.” Oh, sorry, we’re just straining to hear the sound of the world’s tiniest violin.

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