Weekly Briefs

Highlights of the 2018 Emmy Awards

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards of 2018 marked the least-watched broadcast of the awards show on record, drawing an audience of 10.2 million views on NBC. Just after winning an Emmy for outstanding directing for a variety special for his work on the Academy Awards, Director Glenn Weiss proposed to his girlfriend Jan Svendsen. Betty White, 96, received a standing ovation as she took to the stage to deliver a speech; in her more than 80 years in show business, White has racked up eight Emmy statues. Streaming services HBO and Netflix tied with 23 wins between the Primetime Emmys and Create Arts Emmys from a few weeks ago. President of the Television Academy Haima Washington said, “We are more diverse, inclusive and dedicated to telling stores that represent all of us in 2018.”

Julie Chen leaves ‘The Talk’

Julie Chen announced her departure from CBS’s “The Talk” on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The decision comes a little more than a week following her husband, CBS chairman and CEO Les Moonves, left the broadcasting network amid sexual misconduct allegations. From the set of “Big Brother”, another CBS show Chen hosts, Chen revealed, “I have been at ‘The Talk’ since the day it started nine years ago…But, right now, I need to spend more time at home with my husband and our young son. So I have decided to leave ‘The Talk’.” As of Sept. 18, there has been no announcement on Chen’s departure from the 20-season-long reality show; there has also been no announcement of the show’s renewal for its 21st season.

The relationship of ‘Sesame Street’ puppets Bert and Ernie

Former “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman told LGBT magazine Queerty in an interview that came out on Sunday, Sept. 16, “I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple,” in regards to Bert and Ernie’s relationship. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind “Sesame Street” posted a response about Bert and Ernie. “As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. … they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.”

US to cut refugee admission to 30,000 in 2019

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration is proposing to cut refugee admission to 30,000 in 2019. The 2018 refugee admission cap of 45,000 refugees is the current lowest cap in the refugee admissions program’s history. With four months left of President Obama’s leadership, 53,716 refugees were admitted in the 2017 fiscal year. According to the United Nations, there are currently more than 68 million displaced people worldwide, including more than 25 million refugees.

Nearly 600 people sign a letter of support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Psychologist and professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter alleging Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were in high school more than 30 years ago. Known professionally as Christine Blasey, Dr. Blasey alleged that Kavanaugh, while drunk, pinned her on her back to a bed and put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Kavanaugh has denied the allegation, saying, “This is a completely false allegation,” on Monday, Sept. 17. Dr. Blasey has been invited to testify before the Senate, but has not responded according to an aide of Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). At the time of publication, nearly 600 women from Dr. Blasey’s high school have signed a letter saying they support her and believe her allegations. On Saturday, Sept. 22, Ford accepted the request to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to her lawyer. The logistics of her hearing are currently uncertain.