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2 stories by the same writer highlight how differently we view talented men and women.

We've really got to stop doubting women's talents — for the sake of us all.

2 stories by the same writer highlight how differently we view talented men and women.

When news broke that Cathy Yan was tapped to direct the upcoming "Suicide Squad" spin-off "Birds of Prey," a lot of people were pretty excited.

Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. was first to report that Yan, whose only other feature-length credit was directing the small-budget darling of Sundance "Dead Pigs," would take the helm of the film fronted by Margot Robbie.

Yan will become the first Asian woman to direct a big-budget superhero movie and the third female director in the DC Extended Universe alongside Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman") and Ava DuVernay ("New Gods"). Given the less-than-pleasant reviews of director David Ayers' "Suicide Squad" (currently sitting at an abysmal 27% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), Yan's hire could be the key to saving the franchise.


Jen Yamato of the Los Angeles Times called the hire "a major milestone for women and directors of color in Hollywood, where studio directors remain largely white and male."

Yan attends the "Dead Pigs" premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Fleming framed Yan's hire as a pretty big risk.

On its own, of course, that's not really a problem. Let's be real: Handing over the keys of a franchise to a relatively inexperienced director is taking a pretty big risk. Tens of millions of dollars ride on these types of decisions. Here's what Fleming had to say (emphasis added):

"This is a bold bet for Warner Bros’ Geoff Johns and Walter Hamada, who oversee DC under Toby Emmerich. Yan got the job over numerous well established male directors, and because she is taking this giant leap with just one small-budget indie movie under her belt. That would be 'Dead Pigs,' a film that won the World Cinema Dramatic Award For Ensemble Acting at Sundance last January. Despite being a new talent, Yan’s presentation for 'Birds of Prey' was exceptional, and Robbie held firm to her desire for this film to be directed by a woman."

Margot Robbie will reprise her role as Harley Quinn in the upcoming "Birds of Prey" film. Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Samsung.

If you compare how the same writer at the same outlet described decisions to hire similarly inexperienced white men, however, there's a clear contrast.

Following the publication of the Yan announcement, TV writer Nancy Kiu called attention to Fleming's 2013 post on Deadline about Colin Trevorrow taking on "Jurassic World."

Here's an excerpt from that piece (again, emphasis added):

"Trevorrow made his jump to features on 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' which FilmDistrict acquired and released and which grossed $4 million. He’s making a humungous step up in every way by joining a franchise which, in three films, has grossed nearly $2 billion worldwide, with Universal preparing a theatrical rerelease of the first film in 3D on April 5.

Why Trevorrow? He met with the studio and filmmakers, and they felt he was a good match for the material, having grown up a huge fan of the trilogy and part of a new generation of directors steeped in all things dinosaur. They felt he would preserve and protect the characters in the story they created."

In other words, Trevorrow was celebrated for his personal accomplishment while a lot of hedging and second-guessing was applied to Yan.

As a culture, we have a tendency to second-guess women and people of color.

And we do this in ways we wouldn't second-guess white men — even when it's not intentional.

To be clear, Fleming and Deadline certainly aren't the only offenders. When "Wonder Woman" was about to be released, The Hollywood Reporter drew the ire of many over an article and tweet that referred to the hire of Patty Jenkins as a "gamble."

In hindsight, the concern seems pretty silly as "Wonder Woman" took in more than $820 million worldwide and accumulating some major critical praise.

This goes way beyond just how we write about movies. In fact, its effects are felt in just about everything we do.

A shocking and saddening 2017 study found that girls as young as age 6 had come to believe that women can't be brilliant. The researchers concluded that gendered stereotypes played a big role in girls' self-doubt.

"These stereotypes discourage women's pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance," the study's authors wrote.

Yan introduces her film "Dead Pigs" at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

That effect happens at the larger cultural level, but luckily, there's something we can do about it — focus. Focusing on which words we choose, whether we're expressing doubt (and doing so fairly) and why we might describe one person's career move as a "leap forward" versus a "gamble. However that applies in our individual lives with our colleagues, parents, or friends, we can all be more conscious about the powerful words we use.

Upworthy has reached out to Deadline writer Mike Fleming Jr. and will update if a response is received.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via The BC Cancer Foundation

Testicular cancer typically affects men between the ages of 16 and 44 and is the most common solid tumor to occur in men of this age group. These tumors grow rapidly and can double in size in just 10 to 30 days.

The disease is potentially fatal if not discovered early and accounts for about 11%-13% of all cancer deaths of men between the ages of 15-35. An estimated 9,60 people were diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2020, resulting in around 440 deaths.

So it's incredibly important for people with testicles to check themselves regularly.

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2020 was difficult (to say the least). The year was full of life changes, losses, and lessons as we learned to navigate the "new normal." You may have questions about what the changes and challenges of 2020 mean for your taxes. That's where TurboTax Live comes in, making it easy to connect with real tax experts to help with your taxes – or even do them for you, start to finish.

Not only has TurboTax Live helped millions of people get their taxes done right, but this year they've also celebrated people who uplifted their communities during a difficult time by surprising them with "little lifts" to help out even more.

Here are a few of their stories:


Julz, hairdresser and salon owner

"As a hairdresser and salon owner, 2020 was extremely challenging," says Julz. "Being a hairdresser has historically been a recession-proof industry, but we've never faced global shut down due to health risk, or pandemic, not in my lifetime. And for the first time, hairdressers didn't have job security."

Julz had to shut down her salon and go on unemployment benefits for the first time. She also had to figure out how she was going to support herself, her staff and her business during this difficult time. But many other beauty industry professionals didn't have access to the resources they needed, so Julz decided to help.

"My business partner and I began teaching basic financial literacy to other beauty industry professionals," she says. "Transitioning our business from behind the chair to an online academy was a challenge we tackled head-on so that we could move hairdressers into this new space of education, and create a more accessible curriculum to better serve our industry.

Julz connected with a TurboTax Live expert who helped her understand how unemployment affected her taxes and gave her guidance on filing quarterly estimated taxes for her small business. "I was terrified to sit at a computer and tackle this mess of receipts," Julz says, so "it was great to have some virtual handholding to walk me through each question."

In addition to giving Julz the personalized tax advice she needed, TurboTax Live surprised her with a "little lift" that empowered her to help even more beauty professionals. "When my tax expert Diana surprised me with a little lift, I was moved to tears," says Julz. "With that little lift, I was able to establish a scholarship fund to help get other hairdressers the education they deserve."


Alana, new mom

Alana welcomed her first child in 2020. "I think my biggest challenge was figuring out how to be a mom, with no guidance," she says. "My original plan was to have my mom by my side, teaching me the ropes, but because of COVID, she wasn't able to come out here."

She was also without a job for most of 2020 and struggled to find something new.

So, Alana took it as a sign: she decided to launch her own business so she could support her new baby, and that's exactly what she did. She started a feel-good company that specializes in creating affirmation card decks — and she's currently in the process of starting a second, video-editing business.

TurboTax Live answered Alana's questions about her taxes and gave her some much-needed advice as she prepared to launch her businesses. Thanks to their "little lift," they provided her with a little emotional support too.

"I got my mom a plane ticket to finally [have her] meet [my daughter] for her first birthday," Alana says. "I was also able to get a new computer," which helped her invest in her new business and work on her video editing skills. "It's helped my family and me so much," she says.


Michael, science teacher

When schools shut down across the country last year, Michael had to learn how to adapt to a virtual classroom.

"As a teacher, I had to completely revamp everything," he says, so that he could keep his students engaged while teaching online. "At the beginning, it was a nightmare because I had no idea. I had to go from A-Z within a couple of weeks."

Michael's TurboTax Live expert answered his questions about how working from home affected his taxes and helped him uncover surprising tax deductions. To top it all off, his expert surprised him with brand new science equipment and supplies, which allowed him to create an entire line of classes on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. "Now I can truly potentially reach millions of children with my lessons," he says. "I would never have taken that leap if not for the little lift from TurboTax Live."



Ricky, motivational youth speaker

As a motivational speaker, Ricky was used to doing his job in person, but, he says, "when COVID-19 hit, it altered my ability to travel and visit schools in person [because] schools moved to fully virtual or hybrid models."

He knew he had to pivot — so he began offering small virtual group workshops for student leadership groups at middle and high schools.

"This allowed me to work with student leaders to plan how they would continue making a positive impact on their school community," he says. He wasn't sure how being remote would affect his taxes, but TurboTax Live Self-Employed gave him the advice and answers that he needed to keep more money in his pocket at tax time — and the little lift he received from them has helped him serve even more students.

"[It] has been a major blessing," he says "There will be multiple schools and student groups from across the country that I can hold leadership workshops with to empower them with the tools to be inspirational leaders in their school, community, and world."

Plus, he says, it was great knowing he had an expert to help him figure out how being remote affected his taxes. "I felt confident and assured in the process of filing my taxes knowing I had an expert working with me, says Ricky. "There were things my expert knew that I would not have considered when filing on my own."

Filing your taxes doesn't have to be intimidating, especially after a year like 2020. TurboTax Live experts can give you the "little lift" you need to get your taxes done. File with the help of an expert or let an expert file for you! Go to TurboTax Live to get started.