Actress Claire Foy Will Receive $275K in Salary Back Pay for “The Crown”

Claire Foy in 'The Crown' (HelloGiggles)

Claire Foy in ‘The Crown’ (HelloGiggles)

Within the past few years, pay inequality continues to be a reoccurring topic. Now some companies are finally stepping up and doing something about it.

It had been previously reported that actress Claire Foy was paid significantly less for her work on the Netflix series “The Crown” than her co-star Matt Smith. This error is made more egregious by the fact that Foy plays the title character Queen Elizabeth II. (Smith plays her husband Prince Philip.) The thinking behind the pay disparity was that Smith was more well-known from his work on “Doctor Who.”

Foy is now slated to receive salary backpay to make up for this not-so-small slight. She’ll receive $275K in backpay. We don’t know for sure whether this completely makes up the wage gap between Foy and Smith: Foy’s salary per episode has been previously reported, but Smith’s never has.

Left Bank, the production company responsible for “The Crown,” has since issued this mandate:

“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen.”

Damn right.

 

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Facebook Can Tell When You’re In a Relationship

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

Facebook Relationship Status interface (Daily Mail UK)

It’s no secret that Facebook knows everything about its users at this point. The social network knows your favorite movies and TV shows, where you’ve worked, and what you read. Of course, this is all information users manually input. But Facebook can also glean information from a user’s patterns of how they use the site. One thing Facebook can tell from this is when a user starts a relationship.

In 2014, Facebook’s data scientists noticed something interesting: When a couple enters the courtship period, timeline posts increase (presumably both for interaction purposes, and so the other party can see how awesome/funny/interesting, etc. the first person is).

For the visual learners, here’s a chart to illustrate this:

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity as it relates to relationship status (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Once two people are firmly “in a relationship” (as defined by posting an anniversary date), the number of posts decrease, but the tone of said posts becomes happier overall. This probably points to the fact that the couple are spending more time together in person and have no need to post on each other’s walls.

Here’s what that looks like:

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

Facebook activity in terms of relationship status and positive emotions (The Atlantic/Facebook)

According to Facebook Data Scientist Carlos Diuk, here’s how the data science behind the study breaks down:

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts (“day 0”), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

Facebook’s parameters for this study were users who had “Single” as their relationship status 100 days before changing it to “In a Relationship,” and who were in a relationship 85 days after their posted anniversary date. Anniversary dates used were between April 11, 2010 and October 21, 2013.

In other words, Facebook can tell when you’re…Facebook official.

Link Between Tonsils and Appendix and Fertility Discovered

Tonsils (Daily Mail UK)

Today in “Things You (Probably) Wouldn’t Guess:” Scientists have discovered that the presence of tonsils or an appendix affects fertility.

A study conducted by University of Dundee and University College London found that if woman had either organ removed, they were more likely to both to become pregnant, but also to get pregnant earlier in life. (If you remember from middle school math class, this is what’s called an inverse relationship.) The study followed 530K+ women in the UK over a 15-year period. Over 54K women had their appendix removed, 112K+ women had their tonsils removed, and 10K+ women had both appendices and tonsils removed.

Women who’d had their appendix removed got pregnant at a 34% higher rate than women who still had their appendix. Women who’d had their tonsils removed got pregnant at a 49% (!) higher rate than women who still had their tonsils. And women who’d had both procedures got pregnant at a 43% higher rate than women who had not undergone both procedures.

It’s not clear yet why these things are linked together. But it flies in the face of long-time conventional medical wisdom, which had previously declared that removing a woman’s appendix affected her future fertility due to scarring around her fallopian tubes (a crucial passage for her eggs).

 

 

Thursday Trends: Female Celebrities’ Fluid Sexuality

Maria Bello (Salon)

Maria Bello (Salon)

Last week, actress Maria Bello released her new memoir. “Whatever…Love Is Love” chronicles Bello’s journey as a single mom who self-identified as straight, but then unexpectedly fell in love with her female best friend. She penned a piece for “The New York Times” in 2013 that centered on worrying how her son would react to the news. (If you’re wondering, his response is her memoir title verbatim.) From there, Bello decided to redefine her relationships in a way that worked for her, and she now sexually identifies as a “whatever.”

Bello isn’t the only female public figure whose sexuality has shifted within the public eye. Oscar-winning actress Tatum O’Neal recently revealed that she likes and has been dating mostly women for some time now. O’Neal didn’t self-identify as lesbian or bisexual (she had previously been married to, and had children with, tennis ace John McEnroe), and says she’s “not one or the other.”

The millennial generation also has its share of sexually fluid women who eschew labels. Actress Amber Heard dated photographer Tasya van Ree before marrying actor Johnny Depp earlier this year. She also doesn’t label herself “one way or another.” Actress Lindsay Lohan famously had a volatile relationship with DJ Samantha Ronson, but then publicly self-identified as straight years after the relationship was over.

Though the majority of examples come from entertainment, the political sphere can claim on entrant. Chirlane McCray, wife of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, self-identified as a lesbian when she met her now-husband in 1991. Years earlier in 1979, McCray had written an essay for “Essence,” titled “I Am A Lesbian,” which centered on gays and lesbians within the black community. McCray’s essay didn’t receive much attention until just before her husband decided to run for mayor in 2012.

What’s interesting about McCray’s case is how others in the media reacted to it: Many termed her some variation of “former lesbian.” But McCray never self-identified as anything remotely resembling that. Here’s how she responded in 2013 when asked if she self-identified as bisexual:

I am more than just a label. Why are people so driven to labeling where we fall on the sexual spectrum? Labels put people in boxes, and those boxes are shaped like coffins. Finding the right person can be so hard that often, when a person finally finds someone she or he is comfortable with, she or he just makes it work.

It’s fantastic how so many women (and people in general) are gaining the courage to step outside the box and do what works for them, especially in terms of sexuality and relationships. What I love about the above examples is that they’re all open to new experiences and don’t use labels to limit them. And that’s just beautiful.

#ThrowbackThursday: “Playboy,” 1953

Marilyn Monroe cover for 'Playboy,' Dec. 1953 (NY Daily News)

Marilyn Monroe cover for ‘Playboy,’ Dec. 1953 (NY Daily News)

“Playboy” creator Hugh Hefner put out the first issue of his influential magazine in December 1953. It featured actress Marilyn Monroe on the cover and centerfold. Hef knew exactly what his mag (originally titled “Stag Party”) was all about: The introduction to Volume 1, Number 1 clearly states that the periodical isn’t a “family magazine.”

Today, this legendary first issue that spawned an empire is up for auction. Put up by Nate D. Sanders in Los Angeles, it’s expected to go for $2.7K. This first issue is very rare, as only around 54K copies were printed since Hefner wasn’t sure if it would be successful. Luckily for him, it took off immediately, and American culture was never the same.

 

Black Stars on “Vogue” Covers in 2014: By The Numbers

Lupita Nyong'o, 'Vogue' Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

Lupita Nyong’o, ‘Vogue’ Magazine Jul. 2014 (IB Times)

A recent “Daily Mail” article points out that (American) “Vogue” had more black cover stars during 2014 than during any previous year.

While this still isn’t ideal in terms of diversity, it seems the magazine is on the right path in including equal representation, both on the cover and within its pages. Let’s just hope things keep progressing upwards.

Here’s how the numbers break down:

Number of “Vogue” issues in 2014: 12

Number of cover stars in 2014: 15

Number of black cover stars: 4 (26%+)

Number of black models: 1 (Joan Smalls, who shared the cover with Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss)

Number of black actresses: 1 (Lupita Nyong’o)

– Number of black musicians: 2 (Rihanna and Kanye West)

 

Number of black cover stars in recent years:

– 2013: 2 (Michelle Obama and Beyoncé)

– 2012: 1 (Serena Williams)

– 2011: 1 (Rihanna)

 

Most recent time the September issue featured a black star: 2010 (Halle Berry)

Previous to 2010, the last time the September issue featured a black star: 1989, 21 years previously (Naomi Campbell)

 

Number of “Vogue” publications that did not use any black/people of color cover stars in 2014: 5 (“Vogue UK,” “Vogue Paris,” “Vogue Ukraine,” “Vogue Netherlands,” “Vogue Russia”)