As much as anyone can be "it," Zoe Saldana is "it" right now.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.


After all, we're talking about an actor who has played the main lady in some of the biggest movies of the last six years, including "Avatar," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Star Trek," and, most recently, the super badass real-life role in which she got married and her husband took her last name.

Yep. That happened. Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images.

It's hard to imagine any movie studio not wanting to work with this woman.

Except, according to Saldana, when she got pregnant, a lot of studios kinda sorta didn't.

But rather than accept that as the cost of doing business, Saldana spoke out about it in an interview with USA Today.

Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY:

"Let me tell you something, it will never be the right time for anybody in your life that you get pregnant," says Saldana, noting that last year, "the productions I was slated to work on sort of had a panic. I heard through the grapevine there was even a conversation of me being written off of one of the projects."

It takes guts to call out your bosses like that.

But that's exactly what she did. And with good reason.

It's pretty clear that many American companies haven't totally figured out what to do when their employees get pregnant yet.

Congrats, Sheila! And will you be helping train your replacement? Image via Thinkstock.

The United States is one of a very small group of countries that does not require employers to provide maternity leave.

And when employers do provide maternity leave, it's often unpaid.

Zoe Saldana's job is ... a little more glamorous than most. But that makes it all the more essential that she's using her platform to tell it like it is.

Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images.

And making sure that her bosses know that if they want to work with her, that means accommodating her right to be a parent at the same time.

Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY:

"Delays stalled production, and Saldana wasn't written out of any of her upcoming films. But her team fought to have child care included in her deals."

Clearly, Saldana is doing both career and family, and making Hollywood follow her lead.

More Americans should have the opportunity to do the same.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

Keep Reading Show less