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Mar 15
Her eye on the news
‘Dream come true’

Lilly Singh, a 30-year-old Indian-Canadian woman who rose to fame as a YouTube star, has been named to replace Carson Daly in NBC’s 1:35 A.M. late-night talk show slot. When Singh takes over in September, she will become the only woman currently hosting a late-night talk show on a Big 4 network.

The newly retitled A Little Late with Lilly Singh will seek to leverage the multifaceted star’s charisma and comedic talents with a combination of in-studio interviews and pre-taped comedy sketches, as well as some “signature elements” yet to be announced.

During an appearance on Thursday night’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Singh revealed her new role with a tongue-in-cheek reference to her traditional parents.

“An Indian-Canadian woman with her own late-night show? Now that is a dream come true,” said Singh. “I’m thrilled to bring it to life on NBC, and I hope my parents consider this to be as exciting as a grandchild.”

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I can’t even believe I am writing this caption. This is so surreal. What is happening? I NEED TO SIT DOWN. Okay. *breathe* I’m THRILLED (and crying) to announce that ya girl is getting her own @nbc late night show! AHHHHHHH!! And not only did I get to announce this dream come true on @fallontonight but @sethmeyers came out and surprised me as well! I’m so grateful and overwhelmed to be joining this incredible family. I’m numb. I can’t even process. This has been SO long in the making and I’m so happy I can finally share this with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! There’s so many people to thank and I will do so over the next few (or hundred) posts. Watch the segment live at 11:30pm est! And now… it’s time to work. It’s time to make magic. It’s time to hustle harder than ever before. Blessings 🙏🏽 #LillyOnFallon #TeamSuperAllDay

A post shared by Lilly Singh (@iisuperwomanii) on

Singh — who goes by the name “Superwoman” on social media to reflect her can-do approach to life — boasts more than 14 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, a book on the New York Times bestseller list, and a film resume that includes Bad Moms and HBO’s Fahrenheit 451. She is also the first openly bisexual woman of color to ever host a late-night talk show on broadcast TV.

Read the full story at Variety.

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Standing ovation

On Thursday night, attendees of the Broadway show Gloria: A Life got more than their money’s worth when Hillary Clinton showed up to the performance to the delight of the audience and cast.

The former Secretary of State and known theatergoer arrived with her friend, activist Jill Iscol, president of the IF Hummingbird Foundation, sources told The Cut. Gloria Steinem, the subject of the play, was also there, as was designer Diane von Furstenberg, who toasted Steinem during the show’s “talking circle,” during which audience members are invited to share their reactions.

Of all the reactions shared during the course of the night, however, two were unanimous — a pair of standing ovations for Clinton, who served as senator of New York for eight years.

Furstenberg’s tribute to Steinem honored the feminist icon’s decades of work in the service of advancing women’s rights. “You say you don’t have daughters,” said Furstenberg, “but we are all your daughters and sisters, granddaughters, and soon-to-be great-granddaughters.”

Clinton herself will be portrayed in a Broadway show later this year, played by Laurie Metcalf in Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton.

Read more at The Cut.

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Fighting on

One year on from the brutal assassination of Rio de Janeiro city councilmember Marielle Franco, enduring questions about who ordered the hit have become a rallying cry for the marginalized groups she championed.

A 38-year-old black gay politician who was born in Rio’s poverty-stricken Maré favela, Franco was a tireless opponent of the city’s use of heavily armed paramilitary militias. The militias police the city’s sprawling favelas, and have often been accused of violently terrorizing and murdering the city’s poor and LGBT citizens.

This week, two former police officers with connections to President Jair Bolsonaro were charged with killing Franco. One suspect, Ronnie Lessa, lived in the same condominium where Bolsonaro owns a home. The other, Elcio Vieira de Queiroz, has a photo of himself embracing Bolsonaro on his Facebook page. And according to police, the daughter of one of the suspects had dated one of Bolsonaro’s sons, who are both politicians themselves.

Activists allege that the former policemen were likely employed as contract killers on behalf of the militias, which Bolsonaro and his sons strongly support. Bolsonaro’s failure to condemn Franco’s murder — as well as his numerous comments and policy decisions targeting women, gays, and black Brazilians — have infuriated the late councilmember’s supporters.

“For years, we sold a postcard image of paradise, the country of Carnival, of happy, cordial people,” said Monica Benício, Franco’s surviving partner, in an interview with the New York Times. “The execution of Marielle, and the election of the current president, revealed to the world that we are racist, that we are sexist, misogynist, LGBT-phobic.”

But since Franco’s death, a new wave of black women have begun seeking political power to continue the work that she started. Renata da Silva Souza, Dani Monteiro, and Monica Francisco were all elected to Rio’s city council after Franco’s murder — putting three black women on the same council that once counted Franco as its sole black female member.

“Marielle still represents, if only in memory, a threat to the status quo,” said Souza, Franco’s former chief of staff. “She embodied the people who can be killed [with impunity].”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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Women as props

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke is facing criticism after announcing his campaign for president with a video of him talking — and his wife sitting next to him, not saying a word. Male politicians frequently have their wives stand beside them silently during speeches and announcements, a tableau so frequently trotted out it became the lynchpin of a hit TV show.

But critics say such behavior reinforces sexist notions that women should serve as props for powerful men in their moments of glory or downfall.

Other criticisms leveled at the former congressman suggested that his candidacy highlighted, unwittingly or not, the sharp contrast between how male and female presidential hopefuls are treated by the media. In a Vanity Fair profile of O’Rourke, the candidate’s 8-year-old son Henry told his dad that he would cry “all day” and “every day” if he ran for president. If O’Rourke had been a woman, some argued, his apparent willingness to set aside his duties as a parent would have been immediately weaponized against him.

O’Rourke’s media coverage, which often paints him as charismatic and charming, also contrasts with many gendered discussions of women candidates’ “likability.” When New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced her own presidential candidacy for 2020, for example, one of the first questions she was asked was whether she thought she was likable enough to win. President Obama infamously told Hillary Clinton she’s “likable enough” during a presidential debate, and current presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has faced scrutiny of whether she’s too tough on her staff.

Read the full story at The Cut.

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The robots are coming

Interested in how artificial intelligence will affect women’s futures? Come to the Women in the World Summit on April 11 to learn more about this topic from the panel, “AI: All Too Human?” See the full agenda here.

Women across the economic spectrum are more vulnerable than men to losing their jobs to technology, according to a study released on Wednesday by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

Among the positions with more than a 90 percent chance of becoming automated are administrative assistant, office clerk, bookkeeper, and cashier, all fields dominated by women.

“We’re already seeing some of that with tasks being replaced by computers,” said Chandra Childers, the study director and a senior researcher at the IWPR.

Drawing on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and research examining the possibility of automation based on current technology, the authors found that 58 percent of at-risk workers were women.

For every seven men in occupations with a 90 percent chance of automation, there are 10 women.

The researchers noted that while women work in the positions most likely to be automated, they also dominate those at lowest risk for automation, such a child care and nursing.

These care positions tend to pay $20,000 to $25,000, an annual salary below the poverty line for a family of four and far less than the salaries of male-dominated positions that are not at risk of automation, including executives and legislators.

“We need a push to improve the quality of those jobs,” said Childers of care work.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a jobs increase of 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, and new jobs may be created for the displaced women, Childers said.

Another potential solution for women in at-risk positions is training for higher wage positions.

But for women already years or decades into their careers, skill building can be a challenge.

Taking care of children or aging parents, jobs that disproportionately fall on the shoulders of women, leave little time for training, said Childers.

The research does not predict how quickly automation will take hold, but looks to the jobs where current technology makes automation possible.

Childers said the timeline will largely depend on customers and clients who interact with workers in these positions.

“If people get used to technology, the speed will increase,” she said, noting that customers were initially wary of self-checkout machines but now use them regularly.

(Reporting by Kate Ryan; Editing by Jason Fields. Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate chenge. Visit www.trust.org)

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