+
Pop Culture

Kerry Washington subs for Jimmy Kimmel and immediately changes the lives of two fellow actors

All within the beginning monologue, no less.

kerry washington jimmy kimmel, jimmy kimmel

You get insurance! And you get insurance!

Actress Kerry Washington recently filled in as host on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," and within just seconds of delivering the show’s opening monologue, changed the lives of two fellow actors.

“Acting is one of those jobs that seems very glamorous,” the “Scandal” star began. “Sometimes it is, but in reality it can also be very tough.”

She went on to share part of her own acting journey. “When I first started out I had to supplement my income by being a substitute teacher, yoga instructor, a hostess at a restaurant…so it meant a lot to me the first time that I qualified for that sweet Screen Actor’s Guild health insurance.”

The Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) is the primary labor union for professional actors. Its main function is to establish fair payment contracts and provide benefits (like health insurance) to TV and movie performers—as well as radio personalities, voiceover artists, dancers and stunt performers … almost anyone who works in the front-facing side of the entertainment industry.


In August 2020, SAG raised its premiums and eligibility for health insurance. The change went into effect during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many productions had shut down filming. With stricter eligibility requirements and less opportunities to work, many actors—at least 10% of SAG’s 33,000 members, according to The Hollywood Reporter—lost their former health plan.

Losing health insurance is never a good thing. But losing it during a global pandemic is devastating. That’s what makes Washington’s act of kindness such a huge deal.

Calling two “very deserving and talented individuals” to the stage, Washington explained that the two (seemingly randomly picked) actors only needed to say one line, any line at all, and they would get to keep their coverage.

Daniel William Jordan, who went the extra mile by dressing up like a mailman, was a little over $400 short of qualifying for insurance. Madeline McCuskey, on the other hand, only needed $40. As SAG's normal day rate for one episode of television is a little over $1,000, both actors would become eligible for saying literally anything on the show.

People in the YouTube comments section were floored to find out that coverage could be lost so easily

“It's insane that someone can be $40 short of being able to qualify for healthcare,” one person noted.

Another actor added, “I’ve been in that position myself, falling $95 short of coverage last quarter. Kudos to the show and these actors!”

Both Jordan and McCuskey were showered with colorful confetti, and exited the stage knowing they’d have one less thing to worry about.

You can watch the full video below.


This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less