June 14, 2023
The UK’s Phillip Schofield Scandal Explained, From TV to Parliament
It’s not every day that Britain’s Parliament discusses daytime television. But the resignation of the anchor Phillip Schofield, after admitting to a relationship with a much younger man employed by the same show, has dominated British news coverage for weeks, fueling tabloid headlines but also raising questions about workplace ethics. On Wednesday, executives from ITV, Britain’s largest ad-supported network, insisted in front of a parliamentary committee that they had done all they could to investigate persistent rumors about a star who repeatedly denied inappropriate behavior. “Nobody here, or on the management board, would ever turn a blind eye to something as serious as this,” Carolyn McCall, the network’s chief executive, told the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee. Inquiries among other employees failed to produce proof, she said, adding: “With evidence we would have been able to launch a formal investigation because the imbalance of power, the imbalance of dynamics in that relationship makes it deeply inappropriate.” Here’s a guide to the furor around Mr. Schofield, and why it has attracted so much attention. Until recently, one of Britain’s most prominent television personalities. Alongside his co-anchor Holly Willoughby, he made up half of a cheery duo that was a fixture of ITV’s midmorning discussion show “This Morning.” Mr. Schofield, 61, has been on the country’s screens for most of his adult life. Raised in Cornwall, in the southwest of England, he worked briefly in New Zealand before becoming one of the main faces of the BBC’s children’s programming in the 1980s and early 1990s, alongside . He has anchored “This Morning,” which blends current affairs and cooking with lifestyle stories and celebrity interviews, since 2002. But he and the show both gained in profile in the era of “Holly and Phil,” after Ms. Willoughby, now 42, joined him on “This Morning” in 2009. In 2020, Mr. Schofield, who had been married for 27 years and has two daughters, surprised his viewers by saying that he is gay. In an emotional interview with Ms. Willoughby, he praised his wife (to whom he remains legally married) and said that acknowledging his sexuality publicly was something he knew he “had to do.” Then, last year, Mr. Schofield and Ms. Willoughby fell afoul of public opinion when they were photographed at Queen Elizabeth II’s lying in state. They said they were reporting a segment for their show. Britain’s tabloids said they had simply skipped the miles-long line to view the coffin, an incendiary accusation when had become a symbol of national mourning. More recently, the old chemistry between the two co-anchors seemed to evaporate, and Britain’s tabloids suggested there were offscreen tensions between the pair. after claims of tension with Ms. Willoughby reached a peak (and ratings dipped). But shortly after that announcement, Mr. Schofield admitted in a statement to The Daily Mail that he had concealed a relationship with a much younger man who also worked on “This Morning.” Describing his “consensual on-off relationship” as “unwise, but not illegal,” Mr. Schofield said that he had lied about it to ITV, his colleagues — including Ms. Willoughby — Friends and his agent. Mr. Schofield has said that he first met the younger man when the man was a teenager — a 15-year-old drama student — after giving a talk at his theater school. He said they kept in contact via Twitter, and the younger man, whom the British media has not named, then gained work experience at “This Morning” before securing a junior Job there. In an emotional interview with the BBC, Mr. Schofield said the relationship had not turned sexual until his former lover was around 20. Challenged by the BBC, Mr. Schofield denied grooming the younger man, insisting that the friendship was initially completely innocent. He said he understood the affair could be seen as an abuse of power but “that wasn’t how it felt at the time.” Lawmakers wanted to know whether ITV did enough to investigate internal rumors about an affair between a powerful anchor and a junior employee (who has since left). The broadcaster said both men had misled it. On Wednesday the network’s general counsel, Kyla Mullins, said that the younger colleague denied a relationship with Mr. Schofield no fewer than 12 times. But some critics think the men’s explanations were accepted too readily. So ITV’s managers face questions about their safeguarding system for staff, as well as separate accusations that there was a “toxic” atmosphere on “This Morning” — claims that executives also denied on Wednesday. Some of Mr. Schofield’s supporters argue that there is a homophobic tinge to the criticism of him. Despite recent exposures under the #MeToo movement, they question whether the public reaction would have been so strong had his lover been a woman, or had this been a relationship between an older woman and a younger man. While apologetic — particularly to his former lover — Mr. Schofield argued: “If it was male-female, then it wouldn’t be such a scandal.” In his BBC interview, Mr. Schofield said that he had suicidal thoughts and that only the support of his two daughters had gotten him through recent events. But he held out little hope of a TV comeback. “I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart,” he said. “I have lost everything.” “What am I going to do with my days?” he continued. “I see nothing ahead of me but blackness, and sadness, and regret, and remorse, and guilt.” The show has gone on. After a break, Ms. Willoughby returned to “This Morning” on June 5, beginning with a speech that seemed to assume her audience would be as shaken by the crisis around the show as those working on it. “Right, deep breath,” she said, before asking her viewers: “Firstly, are you OK? I hope so.”
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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