MSNBC Did the Right Thing by Suspending Ed Schultz: Statement from Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Director of the Documentary Film MISS REPRESENTATION

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Statement from the director of the documentary film, MISS REPRESENTATION

This statement is from Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Director of the film MISS REPRESENTATION.

"I want to praise MSNBC for suspending political commentator Ed Schultz for calling Laura Ingraham “a right-wing slut.” There is no place in rational political debate for this kind of sexist, demeaning language. His words were offensive and unacceptable. Unfortunately, Schultz’s behavior is all too common and is the continuation of a problem that is insidious in our media. I thank Schultz for quickly acknowledging his fault and apologizing to Ingraham, as well as agreeing to meet with the Women’s Media Center to address ways to avoid this kind of language in the future.

"I made the documentary film MISS REPRESENTATION to address this issue of how women are systematically misrepresented in the media. We are under the illusion that as a nation
and culture, we have made major progress when it comes to women’s rights, but injustices towards women in the media have only worsened with the 24-7 news cycle, ranting commentators on cable news shows, and the advent of infotainment and reality television. Today’s media is sending a very dangerous message to young people that women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders.

"It was gratifying to see our partner, the Women’s Media Center, spring into action yesterday, demanding that MSNBC immediately suspend Schultz for his abusive language. We applaud the Center’s ongoing and effective work. This is a teachable moment and in fact, this may be a teachable year. Maureen Dowd noted recently in her New York Times column that this fall’s television season will be dominated by old-fashioned stereotypes where women play stewardesses, Charlie’s angels, and Playboy bunnies. As a counterpoint, my film MISS REPRESENTATION will air on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in October also during the fall television season. As part of MISS REPRESENTATION’S Call to Action Campaign we will be hosting a series of four major conferences entitled, REPRESENT US. Our campaign provides concrete action items that one can take at the individual, community, corporate and policy levels. My hope is that the film, the campaign, and the conferences will provide essential commentary and insight, holding up a mirror to both the media and our society. Together, I believe we can stop this damaging trend and create a better world for our sons and daughters. This change can only come about through courageous personal actions. I challenge each of us to take a stand."

Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Director / Writer of Miss Representation
For information about the film: http://www.missrepresentation.org
For information about the OWN airing: http://www.oprah.com/own-doc-club/OWN-Documentary-Club_1

For information about the REPRESENT US Conferences: http://www.missrepresentation.org/conferences.html

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