Actor Rose Marie shamed her harasser in 1954 and paid dearly for it.

To hear some critics tell it, sexual harassment and assault are modern problems brought on by loosening sexual mores, the infiltration of women into male spaces, and the abandonment of "traditional" values.

A tragic counterpoint is the story of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" star Rose Marie who, at 94, wrote an op-ed for the Hollywood Reporter about being harassed at work in 1954 and her heartbreaking experience when she tried to verbally shame her harasser.

Rose Marie. Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.


Marie wrote that her moment came on the set of the musical "Top Banana." The actor and comedian clapped back at her harasser — a producer on the film — and, predictably, suffered professional consequences as a result.

The producer of the film came up to me after I'd run through the song called "I Fought Every Step of the Way," which had boxing references, and said that he could show me a few positions. He wasn't referring to boxing. I laughed it off, but he said he was serious and that the picture could be mine.

Well, in front of everyone onstage, I said, "You son of a bitch, you couldn't get it up if a flag went by." Needless to say, that didn't go over well with him, and all my musical numbers were cut from the film. I had no idea that his reaction to my refusal would be so bad.

I realized then that the rumors of the casting couch weren't jokes and why some actresses were getting breaks and why others, sometimes way more talented, weren't.



Marie's story illustrates why victims of harassment and abuse often don't "fight back."

A recent University of Michigan analysis found that less than a third of all people who have experienced workplace harassment reported it. Of those who didn't, most were afraid of being branded "troublemakers" and being subjected to sidelining, marginalization, or worse.

Those fears are founded. A 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission analysis found that 75% of reporters experienced some form of retaliation.

If we're only hearing about these stories now, that may be because victims finally feel they will be believed.

Dustin Hoffman. Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images.

The stories themselves span decades. In 2004, former writers assistant Amaani Lyle sued Warner Bros. for racial and gender-based harassment she said she endured in the "Friends" writers room almost 20 years ago. (Lyle ultimately lost the suit in 2006.) Earlier this year, writer Anna Graham Hunter described being verbal harassed by actor Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Death of a Salesman" in 1985 — 32 years ago. And those are just the very tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to gender-based harassment and abuse, there was nothing good about the "good ol' days."

Women were harassed, abused, intimidated, and blackballed in the workplace back then too. Their overwhelmingly male bosses helped forge a culture of silence where victims were often too isolated and too professionally vulnerable to speak out.

We should be grateful that those days are, slowly but surely, coming to an end.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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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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