Tag Archives: speaks

Corbyn speaks at rally where the Israeli flag was set on fire and Hitler placards spotted

The Israeli flag was burned at the protest, which organisers claimed was one of the biggest in support of Palestine in British history. They claimed 180,000 people gathered near London’s Victoria Embankment and proceeded to march on Hyde Park.

Here they listened to speeches including by Mr Corbyn and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

However, there was outrage on social media after some placards referenced the Nazis or the Holocaust.

One said: “Stop doing what Hitler did to you!”

Another described Israel’s actions as “Holocaust Part 2”.

Video posted online showed flags of Israel, the world’s only Jewish majority state, being burned.

The protest went ahead despite the beginning of a ceasefire in Gaza which ended 11 days of conflict.

At least 230 militants and civilians in Gaza were killed by Israel air strikes whilst 12 civilians died in Israel from rocket attacks.

Violence saw militants launch thousands of rockets towards Israel from Gaza whilst the Israeli’s responded with artillery and air power.

READ MORE: Joe Biden left red faced as US President told to ‘grow up’

“We have considered the rights of the group to protest and also our duty to keep the wider community safe.”

Other British cities also saw pro-Palestine protests including Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh.

A number of prominent writers spoke out following reports of anti-Semitic imagery at some demonstrations.

Dan Hodges tweeted: “OK, I’m going to ask this again.

“When are we going to start treating the racism of the pro-Palestinian campaign groups in the same way we would treat the racism of organisations like the EDL and the BNP?”

Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard said: “It is perfectly possible to have a pro-Palestinian rally that isn’t full of antisemitic hate speech.

“It’s just that whenever there is one, it is.

“Those who organise the rallies never, ever do anything to stop this.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which organised Saturday’s march, has said anti-Semitism is not welcome at its demonstrations.

Earlier this week, following reports of anti-Semitic incidents, Mr Corbyn tweeted: “Those who use human rights abuses as licence for antisemitic hate only undermine their cause.

“I have always condemned antisemitism & will continue to.”

Jeremy Corbyn and the event organisers the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been approached for comment.

Mr Corbyn MP and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have been contacted by Express.co.uk for comment.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Lorraine Kelly speaks out after her family dog’s appearance on ITV show sparks concern

However, following the puppy’s debut, some viewers expressed their concern that Ruby could have overheated under the studio lights in her jumper.

One Twitter user told Lorraine: “@reallorraine coat to hot for dog in studio.”

Fortunately, Lorraine was quick to reassure the viewer, as she insisted the ITV studios are always kept “very, very cool”.

She wrote back in view of her 644,000 followers this afternoon: “We always keep the studio very very cool and Ruby was fine but thanks so much for your concern xxx.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Brian Conley: EastEnders newcomer speaks out over his resemblance to Bradley Walsh

Comedian Brian Conley is often mistaken for his pal Bradley Walsh, he has revealed. The 59-year-old TV star has joked that it’s less likely to happen now that he has gone grey and grown a beard, ahead of his stint on EastEnders.
The actor is joining the BBC soap opera as Terry Cant, the long-lost father of Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy.

He will make his debut on the long-running programme tonight.

Meanwhile, Bradley, 60, who also kicked off his career as a comedian, is best known for presenting ITV quiz show The Chase.

He previously starred in Doctor Who and rival soap Coronation Street.

READ MORE: Piers Morgan jibes ‘hapless’ Alastair Campbell over ‘worst gaffe’

When asked if the pair are often mistaken for each other, during a recent interview, Brian said it happened to both of them.

He went on to detail several occasions that they had been mistaken for each other, during a chat with Radio Times.

Brian, who starred on the West End in Dolly Parton’s musical 9 to 5, said he was approached by fans outside the Savoy Theatre.

They thought he was Bradley despite his name being on the theatre poster.

Brian and Bradley are not likely to get offended by the mix-up, which has happened for a number of years, as they are good friends.

They even had starring roles in each other’s wedding party when they tied the knot to their respective partners.

“But we are close – we were ushers at each other’s wedding and, at one time, we even lived on the same road in Watford,” Brian continued.

“Mind you, I won’t get mistaken for him anymore with my new lockdown look – I’m all grey and I’ve got a beard, so now I’m more like Martin Kemp… a younger Martin Kemp, though, to be honest!”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Piers Morgan speaks out on Prince William and Kate Middleton 'fleeing' on wedding day

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

It is ten years since the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot at Westminster Abbey.

The ceremony was witnessed by 2,000 guests inside the Abbey and was broadcast to millions of people around the globe.

Piers was an anchor working for CNN at the time of the big event and has since taken to the micro-blogging site to share a heartwarming moment from the event.

In view of his 7.9 million followers, the ex-GMB host shared a photo from the royal wedding where he was pictured alongside Cat Deeley and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

READ MORE: Louise Minchin breaks silence on Dan and Piers rivalry after host quit

In the photo, Piers and Cat showed their astonishment as they pointed towards their screen.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge could be seen “fleeing” from their wedding ceremony in Prince Charles Aston Martin.

Piers penned: “#tbt 10years ago today… I was anchoring @CNN’s Royal Wedding coverage with @catdeeley @andersoncooper when we suddenly spotted Prince William & his bride Kate fleeing in Prince Charles’ vintage @astonmartin.Happy Anniversary @KensingtonRoyal.”

Fans flocked to comment on the post, as people gushed over the heartwarming photo.

 

Taking to their official account, the couple penned: “Thank you to everyone for the kind messages on our wedding anniversary. We are enormously grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our lives as a family. W & C.”

On the couple’s big day, viewers across the globe may recall the royal couple kissed in public on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the approval of their adoring well-wishers.

The modern pair chose to drive their own wedding car on the road to their new life together.

William sat at the wheel of the blue Aston Martin with his new wife the Duchess of Cambridge by his side.

Elsewhere, Piers’ replacement on GMB has been announced with Alastair Campbell expected to take the reins next month.

The former Labour MP will sit alongside Susanna Reid who has been joined by a roster of presenters since Piers announced he had quit his role on the ITV show.

He has since offered some advice to Alastair in a cheeky tweet after GMB shared: “Welcome to the team! We can’t wait for some fiery debates, don’t hold back.”

Piers replied: “I’d hold back.”

 

Johnny Depp: Mads Mikkelsen speaks out on 'changing' Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Last year Johnny Depp was accused of being a “wife-beater” by a British publication and his ex-wife, Amber Heard. The star’s position in the Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean, remains uncertain, but he was officially asked to step down from his Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts. Late last year Warner Bros announced Marvel star Mads Mikkelsen will be taking over as the villain Gellert Grindelwald.

Mikkelsen has now broken his silence on taking hold of Depp’s iconic character in the upcoming movie, which is yet to be given a title.

Speaking to Total Film, Mikkelsen said he approached Grindelwald in a similar fashion to the role of Hannibal in the NBC show. 

He explained he took inspiration from Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of the serial killer at the time and has done the same with Depp.

He said: “This is obviously a more direct comparison because it’s the next film.

“So we have done a few bridges that will allow us to recognise it, but we’ve also said we have to make it our own.”

READ MORE: Pirates of the Caribbean: Depp almost worked with another 007 star

Addressing how he will be changing the character now he is no longer being played by Depp, Mikkelsen said: “I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since I saw him as a young man.

“To try to bring his intensity and his way of doing it into my work is a no-go.

“I have to find my own, because his is unique, and I just have to let that be, and find a different path.”

The James Bond star also gave some insight into how the production of the film is coming along, announcing: “We’ve wrapped it up.”

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Mikkelsen revealed what would be different between the two actors’ portrayals.

He joked: “Well it’s going to be me, so that’s a difference,” before getting serious about the situation.

He continued: “No, this is the tricky part. We’re still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I’m going to do.

“And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn’t completely detach from what he’s already masterfully achieved.”

Depp announced his exit from the Harry Potter franchise back in November 2020 on his Instagram account. He wrote: “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.

“Firstly I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.

“Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected that and agreed to that request.

“Finally I wish to say this, The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading. Sincerely, Johnny Depp.”

The Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter films are available on NOW.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is due out on July 15, 2022.

SOURCE

‘I genuinely was so hurt’: UFC presenter Olivi speaks out after being ‘snubbed’ by ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith

Author: RT
This post originally appeared on RT Sport News

UFC reporter Megan Olivi has revealed her hurt at being overlooked by fellow broadcaster Stephen A. Smith earlier this year.

After UFC 260 in late March, the ESPN mouthpiece sent out a tweet in tribute to the talents of the MMA championship’s punditry team, but notably missed Olivi out. 

“Ummm hey there – you’re forgetting someone,” she butted in, with a reply that received close to 4,000 likes. 

Yet again Smith failed to acknowledge her.

At a Q&A session after the UFC 261 weigh-ins on Friday, Olivi was broached on topic by reporters and admitted: “That was actually tough for me”.

“I don’t love social media in general, but then to play such a big role in terms of pre and post-fight interviews, like, I’m the one onsite doing them…”

“Then to do all the hits on the broadcast and be a part of this team and literally the only women on the pay-per-view team – there’s no other desk host, there’s no one on the pre- or post-show. It’s literally just me.

“And I’ve worked to be here. I wasn’t handed this. It’s been a very long journey, as people who have seen me 10 years ago I’m sure can attest to. I’ve done everything the right way to get here, and to not get the acknowledgement as my male colleagues got, I genuinely was so hurt,” she confessed, even though it was “nice” to see colleagues and fans defend her honor.

But despite outlining that the treatment is something “the women in this room have dealt”, the American doesn’t believe it is something Smith, who has often fallen foul of the women in the MMA community, did intentionally.

“I don’t think he did it on purpose. I don’t think there was any intent,” Olivi stressed, before then seeming to doubt Smith’s knowledge of the sport.

“I don’t think he was trying to be rude by any means. I just think it didn’t really matter to him. I don’t know how much he actually watched. I know he’s supposed to be an MMA insider and he does his best, but he has a lot on his plate, as well.”

“I also wonder if he was helped with the tweet, if maybe it was just, ‘OK, here are the people on the broadcast’,” Olivi pondered.

“It would be nice if he was like one day like, ‘Oh sh*t,’ I didn’t see this. But I don’t think that’s the character we’re dealing with,” she concluded.

Also on rt.com ‘I don’t want to see them punching each other in the face’: ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith slammed for polemic on women’s MMA

As mentioned, this is not Smith’s first rodeo when it comes to ticking off females in Olivi’s profession.

A couple of months ago, the presenter paid $ 8 million per year for his thoughts said he just didn’t “want to see women punching each other in the face” in combat sports. 

I think that there’s an awful lot of women who are incredibly qualified to do the jobs they’re doing,” continued Smith’s outburst on Larry Wilmore’s ‘Black on the Air’ podcast.

Where I jump off the bandwagon is where they try to engage physically.

For example, I don’t ever want to see a woman boxing a man. I don’t want to see that. I don’t want to see a woman in the UFC fighting a man – even though there are some women out there that will kick the dude’s butt.”

As he ranted further, however, it became clear that Smith’s issue was with women fighting full stop, and not just against men.

When I think about pugilistic sports, I don’t like seeing women involved in that at all,” Smith said.

I just don’t like it. I wouldn’t promote legislating laws to prohibit them from doing so, but I don’t want to see women punching each other in the face. I don’t want to see women fighting in the Octagon and stuff like that. 

“That’s just me,” he signed off.

Also on rt.com ‘Apologize’: Conor McGregor slams ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith for comments following Donald Cerrone clash at UFC 246

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Derek Chauvin Trial Juror Speaks Out: 'I Could Feel Their Pain'

Author John Eligon
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

MINNEAPOLIS — Hearing the prosecution’s medical experts, one after the next, testify that a lack of oxygen killed George Floyd was already enough to convince Lisa Christensen that Derek Chauvin was guilty of murder.

Then the defense witnesses took to the stand — and they only solidified her confidence in the prosecution’s case.

When one of them, Barry Brodd, a police expert, suggested that someone could rest comfortably in the prone position, face down on the pavement, he lost her, Ms. Christensen said. Then came the defense’s medical expert, Dr. David Fowler, Maryland’s former chief medical examiner. She did not buy his explanation that a combination of drugs, pre-existing medical conditions and even carbon monoxide were to blame for Mr. Floyd’s death.

“I just don’t think it was real believable,” Ms. Christensen said of the defense’s case. “The prosecutors were true to their opening statements. They said in their opening statements, ‘Believe your eyes. What you see, you can believe.’ And for me, that was true.”

Ms. Christensen, 56, had a rare view of the trial of Mr. Chauvin: She was one of 14 jurors selected to serve on the case.

For three weeks she sat anonymously in a courtroom on the 18th floor of a courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, referred to only as Juror 96 as she listened to 45 witnesses and the arguments of the lawyers in one of the most consequential police killing cases the country has ever seen.

Ultimately, she did not get to help decide Mr. Chauvin’s fate. Once all the testimony and arguments had wrapped up, the judge, Peter A. Cahill, told her and another juror that they were the alternates. So they were sent home while the remaining 12 were sequestered in a hotel room to deliberate.

But in an interview on Thursday, it seemed like Ms. Christensen’s view of the case aligned with the rest of the jury, which took just 10 hours to convict Mr. Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, of all three charges he faced in the killing of Mr. Floyd, a Black man, including second-degree murder.

None of the jurors who deliberated and decided Mr. Chauvin’s fate have chosen to speak out, so Ms. Christensen’s description of how she saw the trial is the only insight yet provided into how members of the jury perceived the case.

Ms. Christensen, who said she entered the trial having seen very little of the gruesome video of Mr. Floyd’s murder, described an experience that was more taxing than she could have imagined. It was filled with unexpected twists, from the mundane — a mini-crisis when the Cheetos ran out in the jury room — to the extraordinary, when the police killed a 20-year-old man six blocks from her home in the suburb of Brooklyn Center, Minn., during the trial.

“It was more emotional and more draining than I thought,” she said of her jury service.

Very little was ordinary about this trial. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, very few people were allowed in the courtroom. And because of the high-profile nature of the case, jurors were anonymous and had to be shuttled in and out of the courthouse as discreetly as possible.

Before court each day, jurors convened at meeting places outside of Minneapolis, depending on where they lived, Ms. Christensen said. Her meeting spot was behind a sheriff’s outpost in Brooklyn Park. (The other gathering points were at sheriff’s facilities in Plymouth and Golden Valley, and a public works facility in Bloomington, she said.)

The jurors would load into vans with out-of-state license plates that would drive them to the courthouse’s underground parking lot, within an area fortified by temporary fencing.

Ms. Christensen, who is white, said that while she felt that Mr. Chauvin was in the wrong, she did not view the case through the larger prism of racial justice. She believes that there is a problem with racism in the country, but said she was not well versed on the nuances of it.

She recently got into a dispute with her roommate, who is Black, when she asked him why Mr. Floyd and other people don’t just comply with police commands. “Several times they had to say, ‘Get out of the car’ or ‘Put your hands on the steering wheel.’ And for whatever reason, he just didn’t do it.” But she said that even if she did not understand Mr. Floyd’s resistance, he was treated improperly by the officers.

Her feelings were solidified during the testimony of Dr. Martin J. Tobin, a pulmonologist called by the prosecution. He gave a detailed explanation of how humans breathe, even instructing the jurors to feel different parts of their throat and neck as he testified. He also analyzed Mr. Floyd’s breathing from a video that showed Mr. Chauvin kneeling on his neck.

“He pointed out exactly when Mr. Floyd took his last breath,” she said. “So that was powerful. And then I feel like all the doctors that the prosecutors presented pretty much said the same thing in so many different ways. I feel like they all came to the same conclusion.”

Asked if there was a moment when she doubted the prosecution’s case and thought that maybe Mr. Chauvin was not guilty, Ms. Christensen was unequivocal: “No.”

If the medical experts were decisive for her regarding Mr. Floyd’s cause of death, Ms. Christensen said testimony from bystanders helped her to understand how out of line Mr. Chauvin was. Sitting close to the witness box, she teared up at times when witnesses cried as they recalled seeing the life slowly pressed out of Mr. Floyd. One moment in particular that got to her, Ms. Christensen said, was when a girl on the stand fought back tears, but her chin quivered.

“I was hearing what they were saying, but I also felt it,” she said. “I could feel the guilt. I could feel their pain.”

The bystanders did not seem like an angry mob to her, as Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer suggested, Ms. Christensen said. Rather, they seemed to have more awareness of the situation than Mr. Chauvin and the three other officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s fatal arrest.

“How can all these different people stand on the sidewalk and notice there is something wrong in this situation — I mean, even a 9-year-old could tell you something was wrong,” she said. “How come grown officers, that this is your profession, you’ve had multiple hours of being trained, that you guys can’t tell there’s something wrong?”

Ms. Christensen said she felt that Eric J. Nelson, Mr. Chauvin’s lawyer, had made good points about what a “reasonable officer” would do as he explained his client’s actions in the nearly 17 minutes leading up to the moment that he took Mr. Floyd to the ground and knelt on him. But it seemed like he could offer no good explanation for Mr. Chauvin’s actions in the nine minutes and 29 seconds he knelt on Mr. Floyd, she said.

And she did not believe that Mr. Chauvin could have explained it away, so she said it was probably a good idea that he did not testify on his own behalf.

“I don’t think he comes across as like a likable kind of guy,” she said. “And maybe that’s just because we’ve seen the video so many times and that picture. Him sitting in the courtroom, he just gave off a cold vibe.”

Forgotten Wenger signing at Arsenal speaks out on his future under Arteta

Konstantinos Mavropanos says he’s still in the dark over his future at Arsenal[1] and admits he could stay at Stuttgart beyond this season.

The Arsenal centre-back, signed by Arsene Wenger in 2018, penned a new deal with the Emirates club before joining Stuttgart on a season-long loan in July.

The Gunners were keen to keep the Greek defender on their books while he developed elsewhere, but Mavropanos suggests he hasn’t had much contact with his parent club.

So little in fact that the centre-back is considering making his loan move permanent, with Stuttgart said to be on board with signing Mavropanos in the summer transfer window.

Konstantinos Mavropanos says he's still in the dark over his future at Arsenal
Konstantinos Mavropanos says he’s still in the dark over his future at Arsenal

Mavropanos told Bild:[2] “I can’t say that at the moment (if I will return to Arsenal).

“Things can change quickly in football. I still have two months here in Stuttgart and would like to end the season with the team as high up as possible.

“The door at VfB is open for me [to stay another year] – that’s very good, but I can only think specifically about the future when we have talks with Arsenal for the new season.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hasn’t spoken out about Mavropanos personally in recent weeks, but he did claim to be keeping in regular contact with players out on loan.

“We’re having meetings very often to assess what they’re doing and obviously, we’re getting all the information and watching their games because I want to keep a very close eye on what they’re doing,” said the Spaniard.

The Arsenal centre-back was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2018
The Arsenal centre-back was signed by Arsene Wenger in 2018

“We were talking for example with Ben Knapper, who is our loan manager, who is in charge of monitoring everything we are doing, and we are in contact with the players. Let’s see.

“It’s good news that they are playing and it’s good news that they have the possibility to have a lot of minutes because that’s going to give us a much better perception of where they are and how we can use them.”

References

  1. ^ Arsenal (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Bild: (www.bild.de)

[email protected] (Jake Polden)

Prince Charles Speaks Somberly About ‘Dear Papa’ Prince Philip In Touching Tribute: ‘I Miss Him Enormously’

Just a day after the passing of Prince Philip at age 99, Prince Charles described his dad as ‘a very special person’ in an emotional televised statement.

Prince Charles[1], 72, is heartbroken over the loss of his father Prince Philip[2]. “I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth,” Charles said outside of his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire on Saturday, April 10. “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” he added.

He spoke somberly as he addressed media, wearing a navy blue suit, light purple shirt and burgundy tie. Charles went on to reflect about his “dear papa[3],” who was also formally known as the Duke of Edinburgh upon his 1947 wedding[4] to wife Queen Elizabeth[5], 94. “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” Charles said of his dad, who was 99 years old when he passed.

Prince Philip & Prince Charles
Prince Philip is seen with his eldest son Prince Charles. (Shutterstock)

“He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth[6], who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow,” he went on. “It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you,” he concluded the touching tribute before heading back into his home.

Philip’s recent hospitalization — which involved heart surgery — has been particularly difficult on eldest son Charles. The usually stoic Prince of Wales was seen wiping tears from his eyes as he left King Edward VII Hospital in London[7] on February 20. At the time, Philip was admitted as a “precautionary measure.” He was later released from hospital on March 16, and photographed in a vehicle headed back to Windsor Castle. Sadly, the Queen’s husband of 72 years — who is also the father of Charles’ siblings Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 61, and Prince Edward, 57 — passed away on Friday, April 9.

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
Prince Charles is seen with his father, the late Prince Philip, and mother, Queen Elizabeth. (Shutterstock)

“It is with deep sorrow that her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” a statement from the palace said, confirming his passing. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Palace. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family will join people around the world in mourning his loss[8].”

BBC reports that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the service will include a maximum number of 30 attendees — which also includes his grandson[9] Prince Harry[10], 36, who is living in California. The appearance will mark Harry’s first visit to the United Kingdom since his controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey[11]. His pregnant wife Meghan Markle[12], 39, will remain at home in Montecito.

“I can confirm that the Duke of Sussex will be attending his grandfather’s funeral and will be following COVID-19 protocols for travel to and from the U.K. as well as during his time in the country,” a representative confirmed to HollywoodLife. “The Duchess has made every effort to travel alongside the Duke, but unfortunately, she did not receive medical clearance from her physician,” they also said. It’s unclear of their 1-year-old son Archie would travel with Harry to the memorial.

References

  1. ^ Prince Charles (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ Prince Philip (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ dear papa (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ 1947 wedding (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ Queen Elizabeth (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ the Commonwealth (hollywoodlife.com)
  7. ^ King Edward VII Hospital in London (hollywoodlife.com)
  8. ^ mourning his loss (hollywoodlife.com)
  9. ^ includes his grandson (hollywoodlife.com)
  10. ^ Prince Harry (hollywoodlife.com)
  11. ^ Oprah Winfrey (hollywoodlife.com)
  12. ^ Meghan Markle (hollywoodlife.com)

Cassie Gill

Ex-Facebook recruiter speaks out about 'a problematic system' that fails to deliver diverse talent

A former Facebook recruiter is speaking out against the tech giant’s hiring system and workplace culture, which he says fail to reach the company’s diversity goals and alienates people of color. 

Rhett Lindsey, who left Facebook in November after working there for just 11 months, told The Washington Post in an interview published Tuesday that the metrics the company has adopted in its hiring system fail to actually recruit diverse talent. [1]

Lindsey alleged that some potential candidates can be rejected over vague terms like “cultural fit,” noting that at least a dozen qualified applicants of color who he referred for interviews to Facebook were eventually rejected in part due to this reasoning. 

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“There is no culture fit check mark on an application form, but at Facebook it is like this invisible cloud that hangs over candidates of color,” he explained. 

Lindsey, as well as other current and former Black employees involved in Facebook hiring efforts, also told the Post about problematic workplace culture that they said can be harmful to workers of color. 

For example, Lindsey recounted one August 2020 incident in which he attended a virtual meeting to talk about Facebook’s efforts to hire more Black engineers. 

According to videos of the meeting reviewed by the Post, a white manager played a Drake song in the background whose chorus repeats the phrase “Where the [n-word]s be at?,” five times. 

Lindsey asked in the chat system during the meeting why they were playing the song, adding that he was “really disappointed,” which was followed by nine other employees also vocalizing their frustration. 

The Post reported that a manager eventually apologized, though Lindsey said the incident, “shows you the insensitivity and the lack of awareness.” 

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The allegations from Lindsey, who has since launched his own start-up to promote diversity and inclusion in job recruiting, come as Facebook also faces an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claim filed by potential job recruits last summer. 

Facebook operations manager Oscar Veneszee Jr., who is Black and still works at the company, along with two applicants who were denied jobs brought the claim in July, and a third rejected applicant joined the case in December, Reuters reported last month. [2]

Veneszee told the Post Tuesday that more than half a dozen qualified candidates from minority groups who he submitted to Facebook were all rejected because they were not deemed a “cultural fit.” 

However, when reached for comment, Facebook told The Hill that the company does not measure candidates for cultural fit, but that potential employees are asked how they would respond to specific situations and if these line up with Facebook’s “five core values.” 

Facebook also told The Hill that it does not complete visual inspections of job candidates, and recruiters are instead asked to use objective criteria in measuring candidates, such as membership in a professional society. 

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, “We’re focused on diversity and inclusivity as well as advancing racial justice, both in our own workplace as well as in how we recruit candidates to work here,” and that it has “added diversity and inclusion goals to senior leaders’ performance reviews.” 

“We take seriously allegations of discrimination and have robust policies and processes in place for employees to report concerns, including concerns about micro aggressions and policy violations,” the spokesperson added.

References

  1. ^ The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Reuters reported (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Celine Castronuovo)