May 14, 2018: Men Filed Anti-Discrimination Suit Against Woman Who Held Women's Empowerment Events, Israel Wins Politically Charged Eurovision Song Contest, Cate Blanchett Leads Women's March at Cannes

By Ian Zelaya May 14, 2018, 8:39 AM EDT

1. MEN FILED ANTI-DISCRIMINATION SUIT AGAINST WOMAN WHO HELD WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT EVENTS: Claire Wasserman, the founder of Ladies Get Paid—an organization that invites women to exchange leadership and career tips—produced women-only events including a conference that 150 women attended. But recently Wasserman was sued by several men after they were excluded from the events. MarketWatch: “George St. George vs. Ladies Get Paid—among other organizations and individuals related to the event—and Rich Allison vs. Red Door Epicurean, Ladies Get Paid and Claire Wasserman, both claimed the defendants violated the Unruh Civil Rights Act, a California anti-discrimination law. Wasserman, 31, and Ladies Get Paid eventually settled with Rava’s clients, in February. In order to pay their legal fees, Wasserman and her partner Ashley Louise have turned to crowdfunding. So far they have raised about $50,000 toward their $100,000 goal. If they can’t raise the money, they’ll go out of business, Wasserman said. Problems arose in 2017 when two of the chapters of Ladies Get Paid in San Diego and Santa Monica planned events at a restaurant and a local business office. The events were advertised as being for women, including trans women, and non-binary individuals. And, specifically, their invitations said men would not be allowed. After the event in San Diego, the restaurant and bar hosting the get-together received a notification that a lawsuit had been filed against it. A man, Rich Allison, claimed he had tried to attend the Ladies Get Paid event, but was turned away. Wasserman was 'stunned,' she said. Not long after, Ladies Get Paid hosted a similar event in Santa Monica. That event was also advertised as being for women and non-binary individuals, with men not permitted. Once again, a man tried to attend, but was not admitted and was refunded for his ticket."

2. ISRAEL WINS POLITICALLY CHARGED EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place Saturday in Lisbon, Portugal. The annual song competition also was highlighted by political controversy and censorship. NPR: “The winning song, 'Toy,' by Netta, was a return to the over-the-top, cheesy style that many people associate with the singing competition. During her performance Netta was flanked by two walls with shelves and shelves of the maneki-neko cat figurine, each waving its paw. Her backup dancers, dressed in black-and-pink jumpsuits, danced in jerky movements while making expressive faces. Frequently, both they and Netta would break out into a chicken dance, echoing a line in the song in which she appears to do a chicken impression. ... Aside from the glitter and pyrotechnics, it wouldn't be Eurovision without a political controversy of one kind or another. In previous years, those have mostly involved Russia. Last year, for instance, the Russian act was banned by Ukrainian authorities from coming to the country since she had visited Crimea after Russia annexed the peninsula. This year Russia submitted the same singer, Yuliya Samoylova, but she failed to qualify for Saturday night's final. This year, as in contests past, some of the audience booed as the Russian voting results were being read, a response to anti-LGBT policies in Russia. Eurovision has a large gay following, and rainbow flags are frequently seen in the crowd alongside national flags from competing countries. Chinese viewers of Tuesday's semifinal would have struggled to make out those flags, though, as Mango TV blurred out rainbow flags. China, which doesn't compete in the contest, also edited out two of the acts from the performance."

3. CATE BLANCHETT LEADS WOMEN'S MARCH AT CANNES: Actress and Cannes Film Festival jury president Cate Blanchett led a women's march on the festival red carpet Saturday, advocating for gender equality in the film industry. The Hollywood Reporter: “A hush spread over the normally chaotic red carpet as 82 women took to the iconic steps, standing in solidarity and silence to call attention to the low number of women who have been selected in the festival's official competition over the years. In total, 82 women participated in the event, including Blanchett, fellow jury members Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, Marion Cotillard, Salma Hayek, Leila Bekhti, Sofia Bouterra, Patty Jenkins and Agnes Varda, the latter of whom joined Blanchett to deliver remarks at the top of the stairs. Blanchett and Varda read out a statement, calling out the very few women that have ever been in competition. ... The number of women was significant: In the 71-year history of the Cannes Film Festival, 82 films directed by women have been featured in the main competition compared with 1,645 films by male helmers. Also significant: The showing preceded the gala premiere for the only female-directed film in competition this year, Eva Husson’s 'Girls of the Sun,' a drama about a Kurdish female fighters. Inside the energy was electric, with the DJs blasting ”I'm Every Woman” as the crowd waited in line. As Husson and her actresses made their way down the carpet, Beyoncé's 'Run the World (Girls)' came on and incited a bit of a dance party on that saw Emmanuelle Bercot and Golshifteh Farahani up the energy for the photographers. As they made their way inside the Palais, the capacity crowd of 2,300 greeted them with a standing ovation, and while this is routine before a screening, it was an extended applause from the guests, among them Blanchett and filmmakers like Pedro Almodovar."


I.B.T.M., a trade event that offers six global and regional events providing business solutions to meeting and event planners, has appointed Shane Hannam portfolio director. I.B.T.M. is part of Reed Travel Exhibitions. 


BALTIMORE:  Tribeca and Bloomberg Philanthropies will host a free screening of Black Panther May 18 at the UA House for the second annual City Pop-Up: Baltimore. The event will include a performance by Morton Street Dance. 

BOSTON:  Boston TechJam, a block party presented by local tech companies and leading industry groups, will take place June 14 at City Hall Plaza. 

CHICAGO:  Moxy Chicago Downtown has appointed Rob Mastro “Captain”—the hotel’s title for general manager—and Kayla Arthur general manager of food and beverage. The hotel is slated to open this month. 

LAS VEGAS:  Tiger Jam, the two-day charity event hosted by Tiger Woods, will take place May 18-19.

LOS ANGELES:  AmericaFest will take place July 4 at Rose Bowl Stadium. The family-friendly event offers classic American food, a motorcycle stunt show, games and inflatable rides for kids, and a fireworks show.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 22nd annual American Black Film Festival will take place June 13-17 at venues in Miami Beach. The festival’s presenting sponsors include HBO and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Events will include conversations with Jada Pinkett Smith and Ryan Coogler.

NEW YORK:  The American Heart Association's kick off cocktail party for the Hamptons Heart Ball took place May 10 at the home of event honorees Audrey and Martin Gruss. The ball will take place June 23 at the Southampton Arts Center. 

The 36th annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade will take place June 16. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Visit Orlando has announced that Orlando became the first U.S. destination to surpass 70 million annual visitors. In 2017, 72 million visitors traveled to Orlando, which is a five-percent increase from the previous year. The Orange County Convention Center also saw a record convention attendance in 2017 with 1.53 million attendees. 

TORONTO:  The second installment of the Audi Innovation Series—a Canadian speaker series that highlights creativity, design, and innovation in a number of industries—will take place June 5 at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. The event will feature a discussion between Marc Randolph, co-founder of Netflix, and Giorgio Delucchi, president of Audi Canada. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Ian Zelaya, and Deirdre Jahn in New York.

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