SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 the BEST of FALL MARGARET ATWOOD THE RELUCTANT PROPHET PLUS MICHAEL B. JORDAN, RYAN MURPHY & MORE time.com
VOL. 194, NO. 10 | 2019 4 | Conversation The View Features △ 7 | For the Record Britain’s iconic Houses Ideas, opinion, Big Tech’s Friendly Face of Parliament need not The Brief innovations just a face-lift but a gut Microsoft’s Brad Smith has assumed the role of global renovation News from the U.S. 29 | Kate McQuade ambassador for the embattled tech industry and around the world on teaching By Romesh Ratnesar 38 Photograph by trauma literature Ben Quinton for TIME 13 | Consumers to the snowflake Battle Lines bear the brunt of generation ON THE COVERS: the escalating U.S.- The party that wins statehouses will determine the China trade war 31 | Ian Bremmer shape of Congress for the next decade By Philip Elliott 44 Photographs by on China’s Mickalene Thomas 15 | Stateless in confident patience The Perils of Parliament for TIME India with Hong Kong U.K. lawmakers are debating Brexit in a palace that is 16 | A Tennessee 31 | No battle of falling down around them By Billy Perrigo 48 school bans Harry the sexes in space Potter Fall Arts Preview 33 | Breakfast, the 17 | The new family meal Margaret Atwood returns to Gilead with The Testaments authenticity of By Lucy Feldman 54 Valerie Harper 37 | Should children drink Inside Ryan Murphy’s TV empire By Sam Lansky 58 22 | TIME with . . . juice? former U.N. Hollywood star Michael B. Jordan is building more than ambassador a brand By Kara Brown 62 Samantha Power Plus: Fall’s most anticipated TV, movies and books 24 | Dorian’s wrath 68 | 6 Questions for brain expert Gina Rippon TIME (ISSN 0040-781X) is published weekly, except for two weeks in February and December and one week in January, May, June, July, August, September, November due to combined issues by TIME USA, LLC. PRINCIPAL OFFICE: 225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281-1008. Periodicals postage paid at New York, N.Y., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS (See DMM 507.1.5.2); Non-Postal and Military Facilities: Send address corrections to Time Magazine, PO BOX 37508 Boone, IA 50037-0508. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement # 40069223. BN# 888381621RT0001. © 2019 TIME USA, LLC. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUBSCRIPTIONS: For 24/7 service, please use our website: www.time.com/myaccount. You can also call 1-800-843-8463 or write Time Magazine PO Box 37508 Boone, IA 50037-0508. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. Your bank may provide updates to the card information we have on file. You may opt out of this service at any time. uuuuuuu 2 Time September 16, 2019
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Conversation WHAT YOU Behind the Cover SAID ABOUT ... HOLLYWOOD MOMENT In a new video on TIME.com, actor Michael the left behind ecOnOmy Alana Semuels B. Jordan (below) talks about how “intimidating” it is to play someone as accomplished as real-life civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson, whom and Malcolm Burnley’s Sept. 2/Sept. 9 cover Jordan depicts in the upcoming legal drama Just Mercy. “I want people to think. I want people to ask questions ... feel inspired and feel story on life as a tipped worker on minimum optimistic that you can make a difference,” he says about the impact he hopes the film will have. See the full interview—and more video from wage inspired readers with experience wait- the Fall Arts Preview—at time.com/entertainment ing tables to dish on the realities of the job. CAPTURING THE MAGIC Each of this week’s three cover subjects— Jordan, author Margaret Atwood and showrunner Ryan Murphy—was Walter V. Guittard of photographed by American visual artist Mickalene Thomas, whose 2008 screen print of First Lady Michelle Obama is held in the collection Fort Myers, Fla., thought ‘All jobs of the National Portrait Gallery. he and his wife were should be “lucky” to retire from good jobs.’ the restaurant industry at 65 after working for TAMARA DRAUT, 35 years, but “waiting tables ain’t what it used New York City to be.” Some readers who work in restaurants said they like relying on tips, which they feel allows them to earn more than they would with a set salary. Michelle Pendergrass, who was a server in Seattle and Bonita Springs, Fla., said she’d found people tip the same regardless of the minimum wage. But Grace Aspinall of Clifton, Va.—who once got a $2 tip on a $118 bill—had sympathy for the people in the story, and a plea for everyone else: Add $5 to whatever you were going to tip, “because these people work so darn hard.” OctOpus’ Garden In the same issue, Tik TIME FOR bonus KIDS As TIME Root’s feature on the race to build a commer- students return politics to school, TFK cial octopus farm shocked some readers. Given offers them Subscribe to TIME’s free and their fami- politics newsletter and get our knowledge about sentient species, An- lies more to exclusive news and insights learn. This week on timeforkids from Washington, sent straight noula Wylderich of Las Vegas thought it “cal- .com, find news for kids about to your inbox. For more, visit fires in the Amazon, Lego’s plan time.com/politicsemail lous” to “‘grow’ them like crops.” Cathy Wal- for Braille Bricks and more. lach of New York City said such an effort was ironic amid increased awareness of the effects ‘Avarice of factory farming, and too often Franziska Edwards of Se- ▽ ▽TALK TO US trumps our attle found it a “horrify- send an email: follow us: common ing” example of humans [email protected] facebook.com/time sense.’ trying “to have their cake Please do not send attachments @time (Twitter and Instagram) ELAINE LIVESEY- and eat it too” by “dodg- Letters should include the writer’s full name, address and home BETHANY MOLLENKOF FOR TIME FASSEL, ing the effects of over- telephone and may be edited for purposes of clarity and space fishing” without cutting Los Angeles consumption. “Should humans grow octopus? Back Issues Contact us at [email protected] or call 1-800-274-6800. Reprints and Permissions Information At least the question is being asked,” wrote is available at time.com/reprints. To request custom reprints, visit timereprints.com. Advertising For advertising rates and Mary Lynne Zahler of North Canton, Ohio, our editorial calendar, visit timemediakit.com. Syndication Please recycle For international licensing and syndication requests, visit this magazine, and who noted the importance of thinking about timeinc.com/syndication. remove inserts or samples beforehand where food comes from.
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SOMETHING BOTH SIDES CAN AGREE ON: ENDING ALZHEIMER’S. alz.org/united
For the Record ‘His is a ‘DETAILS ARE ‘I affirm government IRRELEVANT our lasting IN TERMS responsibility.’ with no OF DECISION- mandate, MAKING.’ FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, no morals and, as of JOE BIDEN, German President, at a today, no former Vice President and 2020 presidential candidate, Sept. 1 ceremony marking majority.’ arguing on Sept. 3 that his habit of mixing up names and dates the 80th anniversary of the doesn’t affect his judgment; his statement came after the JEREMY CORBYN, Washington Post reported that a war story he told combined invasion of Poland leader of Britain’s opposition details from at least three different events 96 Labour Party, on Sept. 3, when Prime Minister Boris ‘The definition of an athlete is Age of the oldest active someone who on the court treats male scuba diver, WW II Johnson’s Conservative Party you like your worst enemy but off lost its majority after one the court can be your best friend.’ vet Ray Woolley, who lawmaker defected and 21 plunged 42.4 m (nearly were expelled for joining COCO GAUFF, a rebel bid to make a “no 140 ft.) for 48 min. deal” Brexit illegal tennis player, on opponent Naomi Osaka, who consoled the to mark his Aug. 28 15-year-old after beating her at the U.S. Open on Aug. 31 birthday, beating his ‘If you personal record by don’t go out holding your 1.8 m and 4 min. girlfriend’s Ariana Grande hand in She’s suing For- public, you ever 21, arguing it might get used a model that a Marvel looked like her on movie.’ social media KRISTEN STEWART, star of the upcoming Charlie’s Angels movie, to Harper’s Bazaar, on pressure to downplay her sexuality ILLUSTRATIONS BY BROWN BIRD DESIGN FOR TIME 304.8 BAD WEEK GOOD WEEK Speed in m.p.h. achieved by Bugatti’s new sports car in Taylor Swift a test track in the German With Lover, she scores the biggest town of Ehra-Lessien sales week for any album since 2017’s SOURCES: AP; BILLBOARD; CNN; NE W YORK TIMES; NPR POLITICS PODCAST; IOWA PUBLIC RADIO Reputation 7
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MADE IN CHINA An employee works at a factory in Qiqihar, China, on Aug. 27, days before new U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports kicked in THE PEOPLE LEFT OUT WHEN INSIDE THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF INDIA COUNTS RESIDENTS RHODAÕS VALERIE HARPER BEHIND THE MOVEMENT NOT TO NAME MASS SHOOTERS PHOTOGR APH BY WANG JIAN WEI
TheBrief Opener ECONOMY of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California, San Diego, School of Global Policy and As trade war escalates, Strategy. “It’s really slowing down human progress in so pocketbooks suffer many ways.” By Charlie Campbell/Beijing Far from nearing an amiable conclusion, the trade war has now reached the stage where “each side [is] T o manufacTure flaT-rolled sTeel, defending itself and figuring out how to impose costs you need to start with a steel slab. For on the other,” says Paul Haenle, a former White House a company called NLMK USA, which adviser under the Obama and Bush Administrations makes carbon flat-rolled steel in Farrell, and current chair of the Beijing-based Carnegie- Pa., there’s nowhere to get those slabs domestically. Tsinghua Center. The question is how much both the That’s meant it has to source them from China— U.S. and China can lose and still declare victory. and pay a 25% import tariff—or find an overseas supplier exempt from the tariffs. Meanwhile, prices trade’s function as a political cudgel has lately have climbed as companies in the same situation scramble to find new supplies. As its costs rise, seen a renaissance, as evidenced by its use in NLMK USA is taking fewer orders and running fewer shifts. “It’s made it very difficult for us to situations like Japan and South Korea’s escalating compete,” says Bob Miller, president and CEO of NLMK USA. dispute over reparations for historic abuses during The Trump tariffs that have already led to Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. But cutbacks across the U.S. were joined on Sept. 1 by a new round of 15% levies on more than $125 billion 15% even as the tactic grows in popularity, its usefulness in imports, from wireless headphones to lawn mowers. This brings the average tax on Chinese Tariff rate on remains in question—especially given the increased imports up to 21.2% from just 3.1% when Donald $125 billion of Trump entered the White House, per the Peterson Chinese imports risk of trade wars’ fueling diplomatic or even military Institute for International Economics. American to the U.S., as businesses like NLMK USA are being drafted into confrontations. the trade war whether they like it or not. “[This of Sept. 1 hike] is going to have a bigger negative effect on Trump’s hard line with China is popular with his the U.S. economy than any of Trump’s previous 584 increases,” says James H. Nolt, a senior fellow at the base, and even some Chinese business leaders quietly World Policy Institute. “This is hitting the United Percent increase States where it’s particularly vulnerable right now.” in the average praise the U.S. President for pushing Beijing to enact In retaliation, Beijing on Sept. 1 began tariff on Chinese what they consider to be much needed reforms to the imposing additional tariffs on 1,717 U.S. exports, imports since Trump such as soybeans and car parts. While European state-oriented economy. But there is little sign China exporters say they’re being offered incentives took office to set up in a newly expanded free trade zone plans to enact the sweeping systemic changes to its in Shanghai, their American competitors are $75B complaining of increased red tape. Beijing’s 5% policies on intellectual property, forced technology levy on American crude oil marks the first time Value of U.S. the fuel has been in the crosshairs since the exports subject to transfers, market access and industrial subsidies that world’s two biggest economies began their tussle retaliatory Chinese over trade more than a year ago. tariffs announced would appease the Trump Administration. Beijing has The Chinese economy is also feeling the pinch. last month consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it Growth in its manufacturing sector slowed in August for the fourth month in a row, and Trump engages in unfair trade practices, and portrays the U.S. has also threatened to use emergency presidential powers to force American companies out of China. as the aggressor. In uncharacteristically spiky rhetoric, On Sept. 2, China’s Commerce Ministry complained to the World Trade Organization that the new state news wire Xinhua accused the U.S. of “acting as a tariffs “severely violated” a truce that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to at the G-20 ‘school bully’” in a Sept. 1 op-ed. summit in Osaka in June. “It’s costly for China and the whole global economy,” says Susan Shirk, chair It’s also unclear what exactly Trump hopes to achieve. He wants China to cut assistance for state- run companies, for example. But it’s unlikely that doing so would address the $419 billion U.S. trade deficit with China, which the President claims costs American jobs. Around 80% of China’s exports come from the purely private sector, and almost half from PREVIOUS PAGE: XINHUA/SIPA USA; OPPOSITE PAGE: RINGO H.W. CHIU—AP multinationals like Walmart that simply manufacture in China, according to Nolt. Ironically, economists say the only way to really bring that figure down would be for the Chinese state to intervene to artificially stymie trade with the U.S. “What Trump really wants is way beyond China’s capacity to give,” says Nolt. And so the trade war rumbles on. Further tariff in- creases are expected in October and December, encom- passing almost everything China sells to the U.S., from golf shoes to iPhones. If they’re enacted, new research by University College London and the London School of Economics shows, Americans could lose something else this year: up to $970 per household.—With report- ing by alana semuels/san francisco • 14 Time September 16, 2019
LOST AT SEA James Miranda, a resident of Santa Barbara, Calif., mourns on Sept. 2 at a harbor NEWS near where an early-morning fire sank a boat of recreational scuba divers with more than 30 people TICKER trapped below deck. Rescue workers searched the waters around Santa Cruz Island where the Conception sank, but by the following day, all 34 remaining people who had been onboard were Iran says no to presumed dead and it appeared that only the boat’s five crew members had escaped. bilateral talks THE BULLETIN with U.S. India’s register of citizens leaves nearly Iran’s President 2 million people off the list—and at risk Hassan Rouhani said that he’d never hold when india’s naTional regisTer of STRUCK OFF The NRC process in Assam bilateral talks with the Citizens (NRC) was published on Aug. 31, has roots in a history of acute anxiety about U.S., and that dialogue after a six-year effort to catalog all legal resi- successive waves of immigration to the state on reviving a nuclear dents of the state of Assam, some 1.9 million by Bengali speakers, many of whom are deal could resume only people—mostly Bengali speakers accused of Muslim. When Prime Minister Narendra being “infiltrators” from Bangladesh—were Modi came to power in 2014, he seized on if the U.S. lifted all left off the list. Their exclusion, the first step the issue, which dovetailed with his Hindu- sanctions on Iran. His in an experiment the Indian government nationalist message: that India’s Hindus are Sept. 3 announcement says it wants to replicate nationwide, puts being displaced by Muslims, who make up them at risk of statelessness. Rights groups 14% of India’s population. came alongside warn it could also presage a humanitarian reports that French crisis in the world’s largest democracy. WHAT NEXT It’s unclear if India can actually President Emmanuel expel people, as most people left off the NRC Macron offered Iran CITIZENS OF NOWHERE To be deemed hold no other citizenship. It would be illegal $15 billion in credit to a true citizen, residents of Assam had to under humanitarian law for India to make keep the old deal alive. provide documentation dating prior to them stateless, and Bangladesh is unlikely to March 24, 1971, the day before the eruption accept the people India attempts to deport. Pence stays of a war with East Pakistan that spurred a With thousands already detained in Assam, at Trump golf wave of migration. Rights groups say that at least 10 new detention camps are being club in Ireland burden of proof is too high for many fami- built, and family separations seem likely. lies that don’t keep meticulous records dat- And the government still wants to roll out the Vice President Mike ing back nearly half a century, and espe- NRC nationwide. “We will,” Home Minister Pence stayed at cially for women, the illiterate and people Amit Shah said, “remove every single President Trump’s who have fled persecution. infiltrator.” —billy perrigo private golf club during an official trip to Ireland at Trump’s “suggestion,” Pence Chief of Staff Marc Short said on Sept. 3. Facing criticism of taxpayer funds going to the President’s business, the Vice President defended the move as “logical.” Italy leaves right-wing party out The anti-establishment Five Star Movement in Italy backed a coalition with its former political rival, the center-left Democratic Party, in order to keep the far-right League out of power. Led by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the new government is to be sworn in on Sept. 5. 15
TheBrief News NEWS GOOD QUESTION extensively on mass shooters. “They accu TICKER rately recognize that the more victims you Can refusing to name kill, the more attention you get.” Trump halts mass shooters help deportation of prevent violence? The numbers may support that idea. sick migrants “Widespread national media attention paid AfTer An Aug. 31 mAss shooTing in WesT to these events may be playing some role in The Trump Texas, as questions swirled about the event actually precipitating some of the events,” ex Administration that had left seven people dead and 22 in plains Sherry Towers, a researcher at Arizona backtracked Sept. 2 jured, Odessa police chief Michael Gerke de State University who published a 2015 paper on its decision to start clared that one question would remain un on the contagion effect in mass shootings. forcing out migrants answered: the shooter’s identity. who had previously Yet simply erasing shooters’ names is un been allowed to “I’m not going to give him any notoriety likely to solve the problem, and experts note stay while receiving for what he did,” Gerke said at a press con that the decision must be balanced against lifesaving medical ference on Sept. 1. Later that day, however, other factors, like the public’s right to know. treatment in the U.S. other lawenforcement officials identified the “What likeminded individuals applaud is the The protections for gunman, who had been killed by police. act, not the actor,” says James Alan Fox, who sick migrants and their teaches criminology at Northeastern Univer family members had Police officers and media outlets are in sity and has authored numerous books on mass been quietly ended creasingly choosing to downplay the identi killings. He says that the contagion effect has ties of perpetrators to avoid potentially in little to do with naming perpetrators and show in August. spiring others to carry out similar atrocities. ing their photos, and that a bigger problem is Following an armed rampage in a Virginia a tendency for media to describe shooters in a U.N. report Beach municipal center in late May that left way that makes them seem larger than life. spreads blame 12 dead, Virginia Beach police chief James Cervera said authorities would mention the Others believe focusing on how to talk on Yemen gunman’s name only once, “and then he will about mass shootings detracts from the pri be forever referred to as ‘the suspect’” to mary factor that studies suggest is most likely A Sept. 3 U.N. report keep the focus on the victims. And after a ter to drive such violence: easy access to guns. found that the U.S., the rorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, Towers’ 2015 study of mass shootings looked New Zealand, in March, New Zealand Prime at correlations between gun violence and two U.K., France and Iran Minister Jacinda Ardern refused to mention things often blamed for it. “We found there may be complicit in the perpetrator’s name at all. was no relationship to mental illness, but we potential war crimes found that there was a very significant rela in Yemen by arming “Publishing the names and photos of tionship to the prevalence of firearm owner the Saudi-led coalition these perpetrators often essentially reward[s] ship,” Towers says. “We hypothesize that in its fight against them with fame and attention,” says Adam media is playing a role, but it certainly is not Houthi rebels there. Lankford, a criminology professor at the the only dynamic that’s going on.” The report came two University of Alabama who has written days after a coalition —AlejAndro de lA gArzA airstrike on a Houthi prison killed more than 100 people. Harvard BANNED BOOKS frosh allowed Surprising censorship U.S. entry A Tennessee Catholic school, it was reported Aug. 31, banned Harry Potter books for containing Ismail Ajjawi, a “actual curses and spells.” Here, other unpredictable prose prohibitions. —Suyin Haynes Palestinian refugee and Harvard freshman, WITCH HUNT TOO ADVENTUROUS TOPLESS TROUBLE was denied entry to the The classic The Lewis Carroll’s Where’s Waldo? U.S. in August after, Wonderful Wizard he says, Customs and of Oz was written Alice’s Adventures in was one of the most Border Protection by L. Frank Baum in Wonderland—and frequently challenged officials questioned 1900 in Chicago, but its wealth of talking his friends’ social- 28 years later, the creatures—was books in the U.S. media activity. Ajjawi city’s public library banned in China from 1990 to had been sent back banned the book, in 1931 under an to Lebanon but was partly for showing official mandate 1999—all because allowed into the U.S. women (including that it was wrong for it included a cartoon on Sept. 2—just in witches) as leaders. animals to speak depicting the side of time to start classes. human languages. a woman’s breast, measuring 1/16th of 16 Time September 16, 2019 an inch on the page.
Milestones BOOK: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS; HARPER: E VERET T; LINDBERGH: GINO BEGOT TI — CAMERA PRESS/REDUX RULED Harper’s Rhoda headscarf—seen here in a mid-1970s publicity DIED That North still from the show—became her signature look Carolina’s state Peter Lindbergh legislative maps are DIED Fashion visionary an unconstitutional gerrymander, by a Valerie Harper The erA of The super three-judge panel in model began with one image: Raleigh on Sept. 3. TV’s pioneering real woman models Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi SETTLED over The course of six decAdes in shoW business, Campbell (in portrait below), Google, with the Valerie Harper played dozens of roles. Even after receiving a Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Federal Trade cancer diagnosis in 2009, she kept popping up, delightfully, in Patitz on the cover of the Commission, for film, TV and on the stage, where she started out as a chorus girl January 1990 issue of Brit $170 million—a in the late 1950s. But the actor, who died on Aug. 30 at 80, will ish Vogue. The man who record fine—over be remembered most for her irresistible performance as Rhoda brought them together was allegations that Morgenstern, the mouthy, vivacious neighbor of television’s origi German photographer Peter YouTube invaded nal single career girl, Mary Richards. Lindbergh, whose mono children’s privacy. chromatic interpretation of First on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, then as the lead in hit highlow glamour launched REACHED spinoff Rhoda, Harper spent the ’70s embodying a relatable the women to international An agreement “in foil to Moore’s aspirational hero. Like so many young women of superstardom. In doing so, principle” between her generation, Rhoda—a frank, neurotic Bronx Jew with a self he changed the visual culture the U.S. and the deprecating sense of humor—both benefited from and struggled of contemporary fashion. Taliban, U.S. envoy with unprecedented independence. Despite her outward bravado, Zalmay Khalilzad she wrestled with bodyimage issues. She got married, then Lindbergh, who died said on Sept. 2. If survived divorce in an era when such splits remained stigmatized, Sept. 3 at 74, was one of the the deal succeeds, it even as they were growing more common. industry’s most trusted pho could herald the end tographers. His affinity for of America’s longest- And if Mary Richards begat Carrie Bradshaw and Ally McBeal, shooting in black and white running war. then it was Rhoda Morgenstern who paved the way for the was as wellknown as his dis lovably flawed female characters who’ve ruled sitcoms for the taste for ageism and artifice. ANNOUNCED past decade: Liz Lemon, Mindy Lahiri, Issa Dee. Harper won He championed women as That former leaders four Emmys for the role, but the awards won’t define her legacy. they were, in strippeddown of the Colombian Rather, she will be remembered for the estimable extent to which yet elegant portraits, inti guerrilla group FARC she broadened and humanized the representation of women. To mate images that defied the will be returning see her impact, just turn on your TV. shallowness often associ to war, they said ated with fashion. The world in a video posted —judy bermAn may look for “perfection Aug. 29. The group’s and youth,” he told TIME in current political 2016, but beauty “is about leader said he is still emotions.” Lindbergh pho committed to peace. tographed the world’s most famous faces—but in his ARRESTED pursuit of real beauty, what Opposition activists he was really looking for who have led recent was soul. —cAdy lAng street protests in Moscow, by police 17 on Sept. 2, ahead of local and regional elections Sept. 8. TARGETED Immigrants from other African countries, in violent riots in Johannesburg on Sept. 1 and 2. At least five people were killed and 189 arrested. REQUESTED That customers no longer openly carry firearms in stores, by Walmart and Kroger on Sept. 3, following a series of mass shootings in the U.S.
TheBrief TIME with ... Former U.N. ambassador POWER’S different lily pads in the human-rights pond, from Samantha Power has a POLICIES journalism to law to academia to nonprofits. Only lot of stories to tell—and after one of her bosses mentioned that his kid no problem talking Libya was Obama’s roommate at Occidental College and She was could give him a copy of A Problem From Hell did By Belinda Luscombe prominent things begin to stream into place, both profes- in getting sionally and personally. “But for Bosnia, there’s “i believe in oversharing,” says samanTha the Obama no book,” says Power. “But for the book, there’s Power. She’s not kidding. Her answer to the jour- Admin no Obama. But for Obama, there’s no Cass. But for nalistic equivalent of a warm-up pitch—So how’s istration to Cass, there’s no kids.” teaching going?—is 16 minutes long and touches intervene in her views on geopolitics, Ebola, diplomacy, Face- Libya, which Cass is her husband, Cass Sunstein, 64, another book, President Trump, President Obama, U.S. led to the appealingly earnest nerd, former player in the leadership, the importance of expertise, disillu- toppling of Obama Administration, best-selling author and sionment and optimism in the Harvard student Muammar professor at Harvard. He’s in India for the week, body, the U.N., human rights, climate change, Gaddafi. lecturing. The kids are Declan, 10, and Rian, 7, China, Bosnia, political prisoners and being Irish. both born while she worked at the White House. Syria Power, 49, admits to bingeing on whatever time Perhaps noticing the mild panic in my eyes as The U.S. stood she can get with her children now, having been ab- my brain tries to process even half of it, she checks by despite her sent from more of their earlier life than she liked. herself. “Sorry,” she says. “I’m going to get more entreaties. Her working-mom anecdotes are not like other succinct with the passage of time.” This was to be “Syria is the people’s: “I’m on the phone,” during talks on Rus- the only verifiable falsehood of the whole day. one where I sian sanctions, she says, “and Declan is frustrated think: Is there yet again that he can’t get my attention and he Power, for those who’ve forgotten, was the something I marches away saying, ‘Putin, Putin, Putin! When human-rights shield-maiden who served in the could have is it going to be Declan, Declan, Declan?’” People Obama Administration, first as a member of the argued laugh at that tale, she says, “in a way that I haven’t National Security Council and eventually as U.S. differently?” quite figured out.” ambassador to the U.N. She was an unlikely pick she says. because, after her years as a war correspondent, She brings the same skill set to bear on parenting she was the opposite of diplomatic in the criticism America that she uses in her work: doggedness, persuasion, a she ladled out to prior U.S. administrations in her “There’s no penchant for a story. Her son is an enthusiastic base- best-selling and Pulitzer Prize–winning account other country,” ball player, and she coaxes him into spending some of the Bosnian war, A Problem From Hell. Also be- she says, of his rare downtime before tennis camp in the leafy cause she was memorably fired from then Senator “that is going yard of their historic Concord, Mass., home, playing Obama’s presidential campaign when she called to be the ball with her. A sports nut, she does not let him off Hillary Clinton “a monster” in front of a reporter. team captain easy, even calling an imaginary game as he pitches. mobilizing Her new book, The Education of an Idealist, solutions to While she loves being with her kids and teach- sounds like it’s going to be the tale of what happens the toughest ing, Power admits when pushed that her favorite when journalistic rubber meets administrative and problems.” job was at the U.N. Her successes there were not, political road, when the finger pointer becomes the on the surface, enormous. She did not broker peace appointee and finds out how hard it is to solve any- in Syria, and she acknowledges that the Obama thing. Power dispenses with that notion in the book Administration backed the wrong horse in Yemen, and in person. Instead, she insists, “It’s about how which became even more of a human-rights trav- you get better at prosecuting your idealism.” esty after President Trump took office and doubled down on that bet. “We are complicit in systematic A combination of memoir, treatise and call to war crimes,” she says of the situation there. action, Education explains quite a lot about the passion that has animated Power’s endeavors. In But the response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic her telling, both her parents were brilliant and lov- proved that the same scramble-the-jets approach ing, but her father was an alcoholic. A few years America used for warfare could be—and should after they split and she moved from Ireland to the be—deployed for humanitarian purposes. “So few U.S. with her mother, who is a kidney specialist, threats stay confined within any one country,” she he died, alone and broke. It suddenly dawned on says, that it’s simply pragmatic to work with other Power that she had made scant effort to make sure countries to nip crises in the bud, even if it doesn’t he was O.K. It’s almost as if she decided, at age 14, initially seem to be in America’s national interest. never to make scant effort again. Her other abiding lesson from that time, the one While her life since then looks strategic and she passes on to her students, is that it’s O.K., as she linear, Power spent her early years hopping onto titles one chapter, to “shrink the change,” to not expect everything to happen at once. “Sweeping 22 Time September 16, 2019 change,” she notes, “actually usually comes as a
result of incremental changes.” By way of example, I hated that that was the impression that I was she points to a small initiative she undertook to try to combat the global rise of despots and the leaving.” During our interview, she gets so excited concurrent democratic recession. She and her team found 20 female human-rights activists who were about a story, she grabs my copy of her book to read in prison and set about bringing awareness to their stories. Eventually 16 were released. The number the passage and begins to tear up as she reads her was tiny but demonstrated “the most powerful superpower in the history of the world, if it puts its ‘Putin, own words. mind to it, and is respectful of culture and building Putin, coalitions, is able to use its tremendous leverage” Putin! Refreshingly, all that diplomatic training has for small but significant acts too. When is it going to not made Power self-conscious or killed her taste Power has an almost endearing way of not be Declan, quite understanding the effect she’s having on Declan, for the overshare. She reveals some secrets of an people. She seems oblivious as to how her height, Declan?’ blaze of red hair, deep voice, résumé or intensity unnamed ex-boyfriend—and puts just enough in- might make others feel inferior. After leaving a DECLAN POWER prestigious position at Harvard to work in Obama’s formation in the book to make it possible to Google senatorial office, she inadvertently came across a SUNSTEIN, chat between two colleagues that described her as who he is. And when discussing how Obama’s attention-seeking and snotty. “I was shocked,” she Power’s son, on says. “I didn’t think of myself as high and mighty. his mother’s upcoming memoir will perform compared to his work-life balance wife’s monster best seller, she says wryly, “I’m sure he hasn’t noticed. He’s not competitive at all.” In so many ways, Power is like America. She has impressive resources, a lot of high ideals and enough belief in herself to go it alone, if necessary. “I believe that individuals can make a profound dif- TONY LUONG FOR TIME ference,” says Power. “I’ve seen it.” Idealists have been having a bit of a rough time of it recently, jos- tled aside by ideologues and realists and autocrats, but Power is holding fast. Like the U.S., her record is not unblemished, but she’s still swinging. 23
LightBox In full flood Through the wind and rain of Hurricane Dorian, volunteers walk a flooded road in Freeport, on the island of Grand Bahama, after rescuing several families that arrived in the area on small boats on Sept. 3. The storm tore through the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane at the end of Labor Day weekend— only the second of that intensity to make landfall there since 1983—and reached record sustained wind speeds at its peak, leaving several dead and thousands of homes destroyed. Photograph by Ramon Espinosa—AP ▶ For more of our best photography, visit time.com/lightbox
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SOCIETY THE RESILIENCE OF SNOWFLAKES By Kate McQuade Every September, as the first day of school approaches, I spend a lot of time thinking about darkness. Perhaps other teachers would say the same, jokingly. But I teach a high school course on trauma literature. So the question of darkness— of how much trauma to expose my students to, and why I’m doing it—is, very sincerely, on my mind.▶ CHINA BIDES ITS TIME INSIDE BREAKFAST IS THE ON HONG KONG NEW FAMILY MEAL THERE’S NO GENDER ISSUE IN SPACE 29
TheView Opener My students have been stereotyped as too Center released a study finding that Ameri- fragile for difficult literature, too desirous of cans see “made-up news” as a bigger problem SHORT READS trigger warnings to survive being challenged, than climate change, racism, sexism or terror- ▶ Highlights too self-involved to think beyond their insu- ism. That statistic surprised me, but I doubt from stories on time.com/ideas lar bubbles and face the hard truths of the real it would surprise my students. “In any war Not world. In 2016, Collins Dictionary included story,” writes Tim O’Brien in The Things They representative snowflake generation among its Words of the Carried, “but especially a true one, it’s dif- A new study has found that just 3% of Year, defining young adults of the 2010s as a ficult to separate what happened from what protagonists in the 1,200 top films from group “less resilient and more prone to tak- seemed to happen.” I remember one student 2007 to 2018 were Latino. “It’s time for ing offence than previous generations.” (It also pointing to that quote during class discus- Hollywood to step into their power and end clarified, perhaps unnecessarily, that the noun sion. “That’s the danger of fake news,” decades of erasure, is considered “informal, derogatory.”) he said, and the rest all nodded soberly. stereotyping and marginalization,” But after more than a decade of teaching My students understand that in adult- write actor-director Eva Longoria Baston this elective course, which covers some of the hood they will be faced with multiple, often and Stacy L. Smith, most emotionally difficult texts in contempo- unbridgeable realities. We grownups, with founder of the University of Southern rary literature—narratives of war, genocide, our separate news stations and our ideologi- California’s Annenberg slavery and their still present aftermaths— cal echo chambers and our stiflingly atomized Inclusion Initiative. I’m pretty sure this characterization is wrong. communities, have made it that way. Their Table talk I’ve watched my students circle tirelessly desire for trigger warnings isn’t, I think, an in- “Climate change is becoming something around questions so complicated, their answers curious attempt to hide from that world, but you can taste,” regularly elude us. rather to change its writes Amanda Little, author of The Fate of Is Toni Morrison’s infrastructure in Food. Crop yields are predicted to fall even Beloved a ghost or a a way that allows as the population real-life survivor of them to navigate its climbs. Still, she says, there’s hope in the Middle Passage, increasingly uncer- radically rethinking food production. and what does it tain terrain. Access for all mean that we can’t This is why Democratic Congress- decide between every year I as- woman Barbara Lee has opposed the Hyde hauntedness and sign my students Amendment—the law barring Medicaid history? Why do so the most difficult from covering abortion except in cases of many novels about books I can find. rape, incest or a threat to the woman’s life— the Vietnam War I don’t do this to since the ’70s. She’s still fighting to repeal it, center on an un- traumatize them but, she writes, “equal access to health care, solvable mystery? Today’s youth have been characterized as “snowflakes” or to take a stand including abortion, is now a standard for “How could a hole lacking resilience, despite evidence to the contrary against trigger our party as it always should have been.” make him feel more warnings (which full?” wonders a gunshot victim in Tommy I give regularly). And I’m certainly not try- Orange’s There There, and the paradox asks us ing to “toughen them up.” Literature is nei- to consider the many holes—historical, per- ther contagion of nor inoculation against sonal, representational—that define not only trauma. Literature is practice. And I want my the lives of Orange’s Native American charac- students, through these books, to practice ters but also our country’s origin story. living. I want them to practice seeing histori- Gaps, mysteries and missing answers are cal gaps—the oppressed silence of untold endemic in trauma literature. Absence is often stories—and bridging them. I want them to made manifest because absence is representa- practice having clear and easy answers taken tive not only of trauma but also of the Ameri- away so they don’t grow up to be like the rest can historical record that these books aim to of us, content in our echo chambers of clear re-examine. In the novels I teach, “truth” is al- and easy answers. most always given the air quotes it deserves. “But this too is true: stories can save us,” writes O’Brien in The Things They Carried. STUDENTS: GETTY IMAGES; IVINS: NASA I belIeve a comfort with unanswerable I hang on tight to that idea, year after year. questions is one reason my students are es- Not because these stories will save my stu- pecially good at grappling with this litera- dents. But because I’m hoping my students ture. They recognize within it glimpses of will grow up and save the rest of us. the adult world they are about to enter—not necessarily a traumatic world, but certainly McQuade, a teacher at Phillips Academy one where history is perforated, where facts in Andover, Mass., is the author of Tell are under attack. In June, the Pew Research Me Who We Were 30 Time September 16, 2019
THE RISK REPORT QUICK TALK China’s cautious waiting No battle of the game in Hong Kong sexes in space By Ian Bremmer On Aug. 20, Vice President Mike Pence chaired a Hong Kong’s pro- she’s also heard on tape explaining meeting of the recently revived National Space tests continue. The un- that she “unfortunately, has to serve Council. There were four guest panelists. Three rest began in response two masters by constitution, that is the spoke about nuclear ther- mal propulsion, resource to a proposed law that central people’s government and the use on the moon and planetary exploration. All would allow Hong people of Hong Kong.” Withdrawing interesting and appropriate topics. Kong to extradite its the extradition bill is a victory, but not Then the fourth panelist citizens to face pros- enough of one to end the protests. spoke about gender bias and how NASA needs to— ecution in mainland China’s court system, But things will get more difficult no kidding—realize there are gender differences because a plan that stoked fears China could use for the protesters from here. The sending gender-diverse crews to Mars will be difficult. the law to seize political dissidents and protest movement does not have It was frankly hard to listen to because enough already! journalists deemed insufficiently compli- unified leadership. Those who want We’ve been flying gender- ant to Beijing. But when Hong Kong’s po- demonstrations to remain peaceful have diverse crews since 1983. Women do every job a man lice launched a heavy-handed response to little sway with rioters. As with the gilets does in space. I could tell you tales of male engineers’ the demonstrations, the list of protester jaunes movement in France, poorly original ideas of clothing and hygiene products for women demands expanded to include coordinated demands extend astronauts, but that was the ’70s. By the time I flew police accountability and new President from the controversial to the in space in the ’90s, things protections for the territory’s Xi can take impossible, making it hard changed; a crew member was democracy. On Sept. 4, Car- for the movement to maintain just a crew member. rie Lam, Hong Kong’s belea- his time, public support indefinitely. guered chief administrator, confident President Xi can take his time, I fully support the goal of finally withdrew the bill. For confident in the knowledge landing American astronauts in the on the moon and on Mars. I will be proud to wave that many it will be “too little and knowledge that people will have to return flag. Because that’s the only flag we should be waving. too late now,” in the words of that people to work to make a living, and —Marsha Ivins, a retired Joshua Wong, a key figure in will have students will eventually go astronaut, flew five space- the protest movement. to return to back to class. The economic shuttle missions Millions have now taken work to make damage to Hong Kong is a living, and already considerable. Ivins evaluates a shuttle fire to the streets over the past students will extinguisher in zero-G training 14 weeks, and a few dem- eventually go There is also little useful onstrators have resorted to back to class international support for the 31 violence. Some protesters demonstrations. European are setting fires. Others have leaders can do no more than thrown bricks and even fire issue statements on the bombs. Police have responded with tear subject, and Donald Trump has tried to gas, rubber bullets and warning shots of keep open hopes for trade negotiations live ammunition. Thousands of univer- with China by protecting his relationship sity and high school students boycotted with Xi. Trump has publicly expressed classes to join the protests. Some orga- sympathy for Xi and his Hong Kong nizers have called on Taiwan to grant predicament, and he’s made clear he has asylum for activists. no intention of siding with protesters. Beijing has so far taken a cautious That’s part of why Xi believes he approach. State media has issued can outlast the protesters, as China did increasingly dire threats, and Chinese following the Umbrella Movement five soldiers have made a show of strength. years ago. Some will be tempted to fault But President Xi Jinping has avoided a Trump for refusing to side with those military crackdown. That leaves Lam to who demand democracy, but it is Xi try to calm things down. For more than who has fueled these protests, by his three months, she has failed utterly, refusal to allow Lam to resign and his and leaked audio emerged recently in uncompromising approach. Many in which she told business leaders during Hong Kong believe that Beijing means a closed-door meeting that she would to fundamentally undermine their resign if she could. If Beijing’s direct government. It’s clear that Xi won’t try role in all this weren’t already clear, to persuade them otherwise. •
Makes broccoli less broccoli-ey. © 2019 Kraft Foods
TheView Food As it gets harder to gather the family for dinner, parents turn to breakfast By Belinda Luscombe GETTY IMAGES Breakfast, it is oft alleged, is the △ StudieS have long Shown that most important meal of the day. Also “Breakfast is a reminder that any eating as a family brings with it a a thing of champions. Plus a meal you good family meal is not about the food cornucopia of benefits, ranging from really can have at Tiffany’s (as long anyway,” says therapist Anne Fishel decreasing a child’s risk for obesity, as you book a month ahead and don’t eating disorders, drug and alcohol mind paying $35 for avocado toast). work environments, more and more use, depression and teen pregnancy, And for many families, breakfast is now employees can set their own hours or to improving their academic becoming something else: their primary work locations. But that doesn’t mean performance, eating habits, self-esteem family meal. they put in fewer hours—they just and resilience. Mostly, however, this contend with end-of-day spillovers. research has been based on families who As parents deal with unpredictable Eating together before work, rather than have dinner together, which researchers workdays and kids’ after-school after, can be easier to plan for. find is still the preferred option. activities stretch into the evenings, gathering the clan around the table at Like a majority of college-educated But Anne Fishel, a family therapist dinner has become a more complicated mothers, MacKinnon went back into and director and co-founder of the Fam- operation to pull off. Yet the studies the labor force and now works as a ily Dinner Project, a nonprofit orga- that suggest family mealtimes are great preschool administrator and teacher, nization that endeavors to encourage for everybody’s health and sanity are meaning neither she nor her spouse has families to eat together, is a breakfast not ambiguous. Rather than struggle to much bandwidth to prepare meals. For believer. “It’s our go-to recommenda- hold it all together, some parents are just many parents, that time crunch leads to tion,” she says. “When families say opting to front-load their family time. an increased reliance on eating out or they’re too busy for dinner, we say, grabbing takeout, but the MacKinnons ‘Well, what about family breakfast?’” In “It kind of evolved organically,” says took a different approach: “I’m not a fact, the organization recently launched Meghan MacKinnon, of Wilmette, Ill., good cook and I really don’t like cooking,” an offshoot, the Family Breakfast Proj- who has daughters in third, fifth and she says. “But I can make breakfast.” ect. It’s a seven-day guide with recipes, eighth grades. Their middle daughter is conversation starters and morning ef- a picky eater, and much of their precious And of course, the looming specter ficiency tips. Fishel is not the only one dinnertime was spent coaxing her to fin- of college means many kids’ days are full who’s into this idea. “Having breakfast ish her meal. “We realized that in order of enriching activities, from sports to family meals has become more com- to make sure she got enough calories, we sessions with a math tutor. “I would say mon,” says Jerica Berge, director of the had to give her a good breakfast,” says dinner when we have all five of us is once Healthy Eating and Activity Across the MacKinnon. “It was one of the meals she or twice a week, whereas breakfast we Lifespan Center at the University of didn’t fight over.” So they began to make can manage four or five times a week,” Minnesota. She has done several studies the first meal of the day a little more sub- says MacKinnon. “It’s the meal we most specifically on breakfast and has found stantial. Then their daughters started to consistently eat together.” have multiple extracurricular pursuits, 33 which made evenings a bit of a hustle for both parents. “It clicked with me a cou- ple of years ago, when a friend of mine whose kids play a lot of hockey said, ‘We’ve become a breakfast family.’ And I realized, Ohhhh. We are too.” The MacKinnons’ meal shift was the result of changes in the way their lives were ordered that are echoed throughout the U.S., if not much of the world. Her husband decided to work from home, rather than spend time commuting to an office he didn’t need. That meant he could come to breakfast, even if he didn’t always eat. With the rise of the gig economy and results-oriented
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TheView Food that the health benefits of family How to get the With 2% milk, at least half of adults meals are not dependent on the kids to come had a lower desire to eat time of day. to the table than before breakfast for 3 1/2 hours. As might be expected, there You set the alarm, scrambled the ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX EBEN MEYER FOR TIME are some experts who caution that eggs and set the table. There’s trying to substitute breakfast for just one problem: your children dinner is simply a sign that people refuse to sit down for breakfast. are overloading their schedules Here’s how to deal with kids at the cost of time with family who insist they’re too tired, not and denying their children the hungry or not interested in what chance to process the events of the you made, according to Nancy day with their parents. “The big Oliveira, a senior nutritionist at challenge with family breakfast is Massachusetts’ Brigham and that there is a defined time that the Women’s Faulkner Hospital and family has to leave in the morning mother to a 12-year-old son. to get to work and school,” says Blake Jones, an assistant START AT NIGHT psychology professor at Brigham Oliveira says many people aren’t Young University, who has also hungry in the morning because they studied family meals. Dinner, he eat too late at night. Encourage points out, can be more leisurely your kids to stop eating three hours and lead to longer conversations. before bed, and they’ll be more “With bedtimes getting later, the likely to wake up wanting breakfast. influence of electronic devices in A slightly earlier bedtime may the evenings and shortened sleep also help. patterns for adults and children, it is often the case that kids and SERVE EASY FOODS parents don’t wake up early You don’t need a full buffet. enough to get ready for the day “Lighter, bite-size foods” like and still have enough time to sit cereal, nuts and sliced fruit may get down to eat a meal as a family.” kids to at least pick at something, Oliveira says. Serving your Observational studies suggest children’s favorite flavors or brands that the average family dinner lasts may make breakfast feel more like about 20 minutes, though if you an occasion. have little kids, it probably feels much longer. Breakfasts, with ev- SET REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS erybody needing to be out the door If a daily family breakfast just at a given time, would logically isn’t happening, try for twice a need to be much quicker, Jones week. Making those days count observes. But breakfast advocates is better than forcing grumpy kids point to that shared deadline as to sulk through a meal they don’t a positive thing, because parents want. “The goal is to create this know where everybody is—the op- relaxing, welcoming, fun table,” tions are usually limited to bed- Oliveira says. “It’s not even about room, bathroom or waiting for the sitting and eating for 15 minutes. bathroom. Before dinner, the fam- It’s that they want to come to the ily could be flung to the four winds family table.” and impossible to locate. ÑJamie Ducharme One of the biggest advantages for many that family breakfast has over dinner is that it’s much more difficult to complain about. “The culinary choices for breakfast tend to inspire less grumbling,” says Laura Vanderkam, a time- management expert and the au- thor of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. “We do
TheView Food want kids to eat their broccoli, but sunny-side up. This is the Mac- nobody serves it in the mornings.” Kinnon family experience. “I Kids like the pancakes or French think my kids are fresher in the toast, and parents are delighted to morning,” Meghan MacKinnon After eating a bowl with 2% milk, smuggle in some fruit. Breakfasts says. “Our breakfasts are more at least half of adults had a lower desire to eat than before breakfast for 3 1/2 hours. are also easier to prepare. This ob- calm and more fun because the viates a problem raised by a 2014 kids aren’t tired and they’re not study from North Carolina, which thinking about the homework suggested that the benefits of the they have to do. The grumpiness home-cooked family meal might hasn’t kicked in.” They also find be outweighed by the pressure that as they look ahead to the day, providing such a meal puts on par- they remember events—that it is ents, usually women. Breakfast of- school picture day and maybe a fers the option of a more equitable different T-shirt would be better, sharing of the load, since techni- for example—that they would not cally children can also be more in- have thought of the night before. volved in the preparation, which usually means they’re also more all of thiS is fine in theory, likely to eat. except for those creatures known Delicious food is one of life’s as teenagers. The notoriously great pleasures, but—don’t read nocturnal adolescent of our this part, Gordon species would gladly Ramsay—it is not the ‘The culinary skip a gourmet breakfast point of the family choices for in bed if it meant an meal. That ritual is breakfast extra five minutes with much more about the tend to their eyes shut. A 2013 conversation. And on inspire less study of middle and high this front, breakfast grumbling.’ school students from often wins. As all Minneapolis found that parents know, the LAURA VANDERKAM, on average, adolescents only answer to the time-management reported having family dinnertime question, expert and mother breakfasts 1.5 times and What did you do of four family dinners 4.1 times today? that a child in the past week. But ever gives is, Nothing. Breakfast other studies have found that, conversations, on the other hand, despite their unwillingness to are much harder to wriggle out of. get out of bed on time, and their “You can ask things at breakfast perception that they were too that you can’t ask at dinner, like, busy for an early meal with their What are you looking forward to family, most teenagers said they today?” says Fishel. “Is there a enjoyed the family breakfast— part of the day that you’re worried even if they didn’t want to talk to about? Can we help you feel more their parents during it. In March, confident? What’s the first thing a University of Missouri study of you thought about when you woke more than 12,000 students across up this morning? Did you have 300 schools in the U.S. found that any dreams last night?” (Note to adolescents who consistently ate readers: probably best not to ask breakfasts with their families had them all at once.) a better body image. Some scholarship suggests Dinner is not in any danger that people are often better to of being replaced in the family- be around in the morning, right ritual pantheon. Nor should it after they’ve gotten some rest be. But many families are finding and before the day has ground that breakfast is a bit like an egg- them down—and not just the so- white omelet; it’s not as good as called morning people. Human the original, heartier dish, but it’s willpower gets a little top-up better than nothing and probably while we sleep; we’re a little more won’t kill them.
Should you give your children juice? ILLUSTRATION BY ALEX EBEN MEYER FOR TIME Though juice was once a cornerstone if young kids drink juice all day from of a balanced breakfast, its place a bottle or sippy cup, it coats their at the table has been looking a bit teeth in cavity-causing sugars, the precarious these days. Concerns AAP says. over excess sugar and calories have led many parents to stop If buying fresh fruit is too costly buying it—especially after a 2017 or inconvenient, Dr. Matt Haemer, recommendation from the American a pediatric nutrition specialist Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said juice provides no nutritional recommends offering frozen or benefit to babies before their first unsweetened canned versions over birthday. Even older kids should juice. “It’s about establishing a limit their intake to minimize the behavioral pattern long-term ... and risk of weight gain and tooth decay, attempting to improve what we have according to the AAP. currently: an epidemic of children growing up in our country for whom But is a glass of OJ really a big it’s not normal to eat fruits and deal? While limiting sugar and vegetables,” he says. calorie consumption is important, Dr. Wanda Abreu, a pediatrician Still, Abreu says parents shouldn’t at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan feel guilty if their kids drink the Stanley Children’s Hospital, says the occasional glass of juice. Parents issue is more about what juice often should look for 100% fruit juices, replaces. Kids are “better off just not “fruit drinks” or juice cocktails, eating the fruit itself,” she says. which typically contain added sugars on top of those found Juice contains the same vitamins naturally in fruits. And the AAP offers and natural sugars found in whole recommendations by age: no juice at fruit but lacks the satiating fiber that all for babies; no more than 4 oz. per aids healthy digestion and makes day for toddlers; up to 6 oz. per day an apple or orange a satisfying for kids ages 4 to 6; and up to 8 oz. snack, Abreu explains. As a result, per day for older kids. juice is less filling and easier to overconsume than real fruit, and “Are there better options? Yes,” it delivers a hefty dose of sugar Abreu says. “But we don’t live in a straight to the bloodstream—all of perfect world, so you kind of just do which can lead to weight gain. Plus, the best you can.” —Jamie Ducharme
Technology TRUST Microsoft’s Brad Smith is trying to restore public faith in Big Tech By Romesh Ratnesar/ Redmond, Wash. inside a sunny conference room on The > Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., a small team Smith has assumed of employees is describing how technology can save the role of unofficial the world. From technology. Microsoft’s Digital Di- global ambassador plomacy unit consists of two dozen policy experts for the tech industry who work on everything from the ethical use of arti- ficial intelligence to protecting the 2020 presidential PHOTOGRAPH BY election from foreign cyberinterference. Brad Smith, IAN ALLEN FOR TIME Microsoft’s president, sits in the middle of the table, sipping coffee from a mug bearing the name of his hometown, Appleton, Wis. The group updates Smith on a tech-industry initia- tive co-founded by Microsoft to combat terrorist mes- saging on the Internet. Smith pushes for more ideas. “We need something that will create a new mold,” he says. A few minutes later, he gets a demo of Election- Guard, a new encrypted voting system developed by Microsoft’s engineers. “How close are we to getting a state to pilot this?” When he’s told the technology may be tested in local elections early next year, Smith pounds his fist and leaps out of his chair in excitement. 38 Time September 16, 2019
US He floats the possibility of deploying ElectionGuard in states holding pres- idential caucuses, many of which al- ready use a Microsoft program to re- cord and track results. “We’ve got to start early and move fast,” he says. Smith’s sense of urgency comes from experience. At 60, he is Micro- soft’s longest-serving executive, the institutional bridge between the company’s current leadership and its legendary co-founder Bill Gates. His tenure as the company’s top legal officer spans the software gi- ant’s bruising antitrust battles with the U.S. government two decades ago and its resurgence as a cloud-com- puting force, which this year helped Microsoft vault past Apple and Am- azon as the most valuable company in the world. “He’s someone who’s 39
Technology been through a lot of different ups Twitter to pledge to remove extrem- not that they’re moving too fast.” In his book, and and downs as we’ve evolved, the ist content as soon as it’s posted and in his increasingly high-profile public advocacy, tech industry has evolved, and the to report publicly on their progress Smith appears as both an advocate for tech respon- world around us has evolved,” says in doing so. “Brad was one of the sibility and a voice of moderation in the clamorous Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who driving forces behind that effort— debate over regulating Big Tech. “Brad elevates the promoted Smith to his current role he spent real time, energy and cap- conversation,” says Chris Liddell, a senior official in 2015. ital to bring it about,” says Senator in the Trump White House and former Microsoft Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat. executive. “He’s representing Microsoft, but also It says something about the na- sincerely trying to do the right thing for the tech ture of those changes that Smith, Smith’s influence is well known industry and for the country.” since becoming Microsoft’s presi- among tech-industry titans and dent, has focused as much on exter- policymakers in Washington, Yet for a skeptical public, two questions im- nal relations as on internal strategy. but he has wielded much of it be- mediately arise. The first is whether Smith’s pre- With public distrust at its peak over hind the scenes. He will step more scriptions go far enough toward curbing the indus- the size, power and business prac- squarely onto the public stage with try’s power or remedying the damage it’s done to tices of the tech industry’s biggest the Sept. 10 release of his first book, consumer privacy, social stability and democracy companies, Smith has assumed the Tools and Weapons: The Promise itself. Smith calls for “limited initial regulatory” role of unofficial global ambassador and the Peril of the Digital Age. steps on digital-technology companies, while in- for the industry. In the past year, he Filled with accounts of closed-door sisting that “it is more than possible for compa- has spent more than 100 days on meetings, from Microsoft’s board- nies to succeed while doing more to address their the road, visiting 22 countries and room to the West Wing to the Vat- societal responsibilities.” Critics say that’s just let- pushing for collaboration between ican, the book shows tech leaders ting the fox guard the henhouse. “It’s a simple fact governments and tech companies trying to respond to a seemingly that technology has been weaponized by private to limit the destabilizing effects of endless series of crises: Edward companies against democracy,” says Barry C. Lynn, digital technologies. Snowden’s revelations of govern- executive director of the Open Markets Institute, ment surveillance of private data a Washington think tank that supports antitrust Those efforts have produced servers; Russia’s hacking and action against tech behemoths. “Corporations are some high-profile results. In No- social-media disinformation cam- not people. They don’t have souls. They’re institu- vember, French President Em- paign during the 2016 presidential tions designed to make money. And the way the manuel Macron unveiled an inter- election; the 2017 North Korea– government has always dealt with them is to regu- national accord—championed by sponsored cyberattack known as late them to the point where they cease being dan- Smith and signed by 67 countries WannaCry, which crippled hun- gerous to the public.” and 358 private companies and dreds of thousands of computer entities—to promote “trust and se- systems worldwide; the livestream- The second question is whether Smith’s efforts curity in cyberspace” and to protect ing of the Christchurch rampage. do more to advance Microsoft’s interests than the elections from cyberattacks. After public’s. Though Facebook, Google and Amazon the March terrorist assault on two The picture that emerges is of an have some policy goals in common with Micro- mosques in Christchurch, New Zea- industry ill-equipped to control the soft, heavier government oversight of the Inter- land, that killed 51 people and was technologies it unleashed. Smith ar- net isn’t one of them. Some see Smith’s support livestreamed on Facebook, Smith gues that the tech sector needs to for regulation not as an act of socially minded helped New Zealand Prime Min- reform itself or risk having change corporate citizenship but as a strategy to slow ister Jacinda Ardern launch the forced upon it. “Is our biggest prob- the growth of Microsoft’s rivals. “By taking these Christchurch Call, an initiative to lem today that the world is doing high-profile positions, Microsoft is able to high- eliminate violent-extremist content too much to manage technology, or light its own thought leadership and commit- online. As part of the agreement, too little?” he says. “I would argue ment to individual consumers, while throwing Smith worked to persuade social- too little—and that, in fact, gov- the competition under the bus,” says Dipayan media companies like Facebook and ernments are moving too slowly, Ghosh, co-director of the Digital Platforms and Democracy project at Harvard’s Kennedy School If you don’t figure out how to of Government and a former Facebook employee. make things work from a broad societal perspective, you will pay Smith doesn’t dispute that claiming the high a steep price for many years. ground has helped Microsoft’s bottom line. But he believes that Silicon Valley’s new giants should learn from Redmond, not fear it. “I think that Microsoft offers both a cautionary and a hopeful tale. If you don’t figure out how to make things work from a broader societal perspective, you will pay a steep price for many years,” he says. “But then there’s the hopeful tale. We survived, and we’re doing well. And one of the reasons is that we turned our 40 Time September 16, 2019
weaknesses from the 1990s into strengths.” Speak- ^ ing as much of his own journey as his company’s, Smith, fourth from bottom right, at a Tech for Good summit he adds, “What I’ve learned here is that if you be- with world leaders and top business executives, hosted by French lieve in the long term, your day eventually arrives.” President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace on May 15 ISA HARSIN — SIPA/AP EarliEr this summEr, I visited Smith on the are known to keep their phones He attended elementary school fifth floor of Building 34 on Microsoft’s 502-acre charged near their beds, in case in Racine, a declining industrial campus. While other company executives enjoy Smith emails them from another city where he was one of the only panoramic views of the Cascade Range and sur- time zone. His commute takes 11 to white students in a predominantly rounding forests, Smith’s corner office, which he’s 13 minutes, depending on the one African-American school. During occupied since 2002, overlooks a parking lot. It’s traffic light on his route, which gets summers, he earned money by pick- decorated with globes of various sizes; photos of him to his desk by 7 a.m. (At the ing onions with migrant farmers. his wife Kathy and their two grown children; and end of his 12-hour days, he relaxes a framed copy of the CLOUD Act, a bipartisan by playing video games.) To write At his mother’s urging, Smith law signed by Trump in 2018 that limits how law- Tools and Weapons, Smith holed left Wisconsin to attend Princeton, enforcement agencies can access consumer data up before dawn in a windowless where he was part of a peer group held by tech companies in third countries. The meeting room, running through that included Elena Kagan, Eliot bookshelves hold technological artifacts featured Browne’s edits while his colleagues Spitzer and Kathy Surace, Smith’s fu- by Smith and his co-author Carol Ann Browne in trickled onto campus. The pair fin- ture wife. “He was a little dorky, that their book, including a replica of a century-old ished the 90,000-word manuscript was my first impression,” she says. phone used by Alexander Graham Bell. in less than six months. “It was a competitive environment, and some people were more com- Smith meets me a little before 9 in the morn- Smith’s father worked for the petitive than others. Brad tended to ing, wearing charcoal slacks and a plaid shirt. Wisconsin Bell phone company, deflect that and take an interest in Modestly built, with fading red hair, blue eyes and and he spent his childhood mov- other people and learn about them, a gravelly Midwestern accent, Smith has an ami- ing among several cities in the state. as opposed to talking about himself.” able, self-effacing demeanor that belies his nine- figure wealth and intense work ethic. Close aides 41
Technology Smith became intrigued with making peace also required we ^ ANDREW HARNIK—AP personal computers and bought change the way we worked inter- As Microsoft’s longest-serving executive, Smith his first IBM PC in the mid-1980s, nally and develop a capability to (pictured outside the Supreme Court in February in his third year of law school. After work with governments.” 2018) has steered the company out of legal troubles graduating, he interviewed at Cov- ington & Burling, a Washington It was a crucial business deci- at Gates’ suggestion, for advice on how the social law firm, on the condition that the sion, Smith says. Had Microsoft network should handle scrutiny from lawmakers, job come with a computer. He got continued its assaults on regulators the media and the general public. Smith says he both. “They said no one had asked and the competition, “we wouldn’t consults “from time to time” with Zuckerberg and for one before,” Smith recalls. As be the most valuable company in Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. the firm’s resident technologist, he the world today. We wouldn’t have “Some problems are deeper and broader today worked on copyright issues for the been given the opportunity. We than they would be if we’d started to move toward nascent software industry’s trade had to persuade people that we some smarter regulation a decade ago,” Smith says. association, which gained the notice deserved their trust.” In the fore- Among other things, he favors laws to limit how of lawyers at Microsoft. He joined word to Tools and Weapons, Gates artificial intelligence and facial-recognition soft- the company in 1993 as head of its credits Smith with driving “a big ware are developed and used by both private com- European legal and corporate affairs cultural and strategic shift” at Mi- panies and government agencies. team, based in Paris, with a man- crosoft that saw the company “put date to fight software piracy. more time and energy into con- At the same time, he pushes back against calls necting with . . . the government, for government to impose stiffer penalties against During his first mEEting in our partners and sometimes even the biggest tech companies, or even break them Seattle with Gates, Smith presented our competitors.” up. That is disappointing but not surprising, says the CEO with a one-page memo on Danny O’Brien, director of strategy at the Elec- a proposed European Community That has given Smith cred- tronic Frontier Foundation, which advocates copyright directive. After marking ibility with the newer moguls of for online privacy rights. “When it comes to big up the sheet with a pencil, Gates tech, even if he’s delivering a mes- solutions,” O’Brien says, Smith “is not going to grabbed a blue marker and began sage they don’t like. Late last year, brainstorming ideas on a white- Facebook founder and CEO Mark board, using his hand as an eraser. Zuckerberg reached out to Smith, “It was covered in blue ink by the end of the meeting,” Smith recalls, over a lunch of grilled salmon at a restaurant on campus. “You could see the wheels turning.” Gates’ taste for legal combat led Microsoft into a series of confronta- tions with competitors and with the U.S. Department of Justice, culmi- nating in a four-year antitrust trial over the company’s attempts to limit the use of non-Microsoft web browsers on its dominant Windows platform. Though it reached a ten- tative settlement with the federal government in 2001, Microsoft re- mained embroiled in numerous suits with states, foreign govern- ments and other tech companies. When Smith returned to the U.S. in 2002 to become general counsel, he pleaded with Gates and Steve Ballmer, who was then running the company, to “make peace” with their adversaries. “Until there was peace brought to the industry, we wouldn’t see the regulatory pres- sures subside,” Smith says. “And 42 Time September 16, 2019
2022 and its recent $500 million investment in discouraged by the Administration’s creating more affordable housing in the Seattle area. Rather than commercializing the Election- refusal to embrace his causes, Smith Guard technology—which enables voters, elec- tion officials and the media to independently shrugs. Citing the French-led cyber- verify that their votes were counted and not altered—Microsoft will make it available for free security accord, he says, “We’ve got on GitHub, an open-source software platform. 67 governments on board without These Smith-led initiatives also advance Micro- soft’s business interests, of course. Company ex- the backing of the U.S. Imagine what ecutives don’t deny that they burnish Microsoft’s image, but they also say Smith’s commitment to might happen if the U.S. decided it good corporate citizenship is real. “It would be easy to say, ‘Hey, this a challenge. Gosh, it’d be nice wanted to be a leader in the world to help,’ and then sit there,” says Amy Hood, Micro- soft’s chief financial officer. “That’s not who he is.” of multilateral diplomacy?” In early 2017, Smith came up with the concept As we finish lunch and head back of a “digital Geneva convention” that would es- tablish globally recognized protections for civil- to Smith’s office, I ask whether the ians against cyberattacks, modeled on the 1949 Geneva convention that prohibits the deliberate world’s democracies are up to the targeting of civilians in conventional warfare. A year later, Smith had persuaded 34 companies to challenge of protecting the world sign an accord based on those principles, and 60 more have joined since, including Google and Face- from technology’s perils. His typ- book but not Apple or Amazon. He followed that up with the Christchurch Call, which he launched ically cheery countenance creases after meeting with Ardern 12 days after the Christ- church attacks. “She told me, ‘I’m not interested in and turns somber. “I worry that just having some PR moment. I want to do some- thing that’s real.’ So we started to talk,” Smith says. 2019 has some similarities to the He proposed a pledge signed by governments and tech companies to take immediate steps to rid early 1930s,” he says. “There are social-media platforms of violent-extremist con- tent. Smith says these efforts represent a new kind days in which one can be pessimis- of “multistakeholder diplomacy.” tic about the future. And on the So far, there’s not a lot to show for it. The volume of toxic or violent content on social-media plat- darkest days, one can even say that forms continues to grow, despite hundreds of mil- lions of government dollars spent trying to curb it. ultimately things get better, but Cyberthreats against democratic elections, privacy and well-regulated markets are also on the rise. To sometimes they get really, really critics, the tech industry’s push to work with gov- ernment on those problems looks more like co- bad before they improve.” opting the feds than collaborating with them. And the Trump Administration has been cool to such It raises the inevitable ques- collaboration anyway. When I ask whether he’s tion of whether Smith’s digital di- plomacy might lead to a different kind of public service. “If you had laid odds in college on whether Brad would end up high up in the fed- suggest what a lot of outsiders now eral government, or the president think needs to happen.” of Microsoft, most of us would have EvEry friDay morning, Micro- soft’s 10-person senior leadership bet on the former,” says Anne-Marie team gathers in CEO Nadella’s con- ference room to make decisions on Slaughter, president and CEO of business strategy. Increasingly, the discussion focuses on trust. “Our New America, who attended Prince- business model depends on one thing and one thing alone, which is ton with Smith. (Microsoft has pro- the world having more trust in tech- nology,” Nadella says. vided funding to the think tank.) Smith’s mandate is to make that When I mention the possibility to happen. He touts the company’s push to expand broadband cover- Smith, he doesn’t rule it out. “Look, age to 3 million rural Americans by I’m 60 years old. Who knows what I’ll be doing 10 years from now?” There’s a good argument that Smith’s current perch gives him more power to steer the technology industry in a socially responsible di- rection than he would ever have in Washington. How to balance the op- portunities created by digital tech- nologies with their potential dangers is fast becoming one of the central moral and political dilemmas of this I worry that 2019 has some similarities age. Getting politicians, tech compa- to the early 1930s. There are days in which one can be pessimistic about the future. nies and the public to agree on tech- nology’s place in society is a monu- mental task that won’t be completed anytime soon. Smith’s achievement has been to get it started. 43
Nation The Battle To Draw the Battle Lines State races starting this fall will shape Congress for the next decade By Philip Elliott Jessica Post is stuck in traffic 63 miles south midterm elections, which means lawmakers elected of Washington, D.C., when she pulls an iPhone to her as soon as this year may determine where the con- ear. “How’s everything going with your family?” she gressional battlegrounds will be into the 2030s. asks a contender for Virginia’s state legislature this “State legislatures are the building blocks of our de- fall. “We are all in for your run. I was reading about mocracy,” Post tells TIME during a break from can- your opponent the other day. He sounds like a real didate calls in the DLCC office five blocks from the piece of . ..” Here, she remembers that TIME is tag- White House. “It’s a level of the ballot that’s been ging along. “Work,” she finishes. forgotten. But state legislators draw the lines, so con- trol of Congress in many ways is decided by rules put Calls like this consume a lot of Post’s time these together in state legislatures.” days. The 39-year-old president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is leading For decades, Democrats have largely overlooked an unheralded but critically important campaign to these local offices to their detriment. Terry McAu- win back state offices for the party after eight years liffe, a former Virginia governor, remembers arriving of deep losses during Barack Obama’s presidency. at Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquar- The consequences go far beyond which states may ters to start his job as party chairman in Febru- be prevented from joining lawsuits trying to disman- ary 2001 and making a troubling discovery: lawmak- tle Obamacare or restrict abortion rights. The candi- ers in the states were starting to draw new district dates who win state legislative races later this year maps, and no one at the DNC was paying attention. and in 2020 will decide who wields power in Wash- ington for a decade. “Not a thing had been done on redistricting,” McAuliffe recalls. “In the past, I don’t think our party Every 10 years, politics rewrites itself, starting understood the importance of legislative chambers.” with the decennial Census. Legislatures in 31 states use the findings to draw the borders of federal con- They soon learned. In 2010, the Tea Party wave gressional districts. In some, nonpartisan commis- washed 681 Democrats out of legislative seats right sions draw the lines clinically. In others, it comes before new battle lines could be drawn, according down to who has the Sharpie and the least amount to data tracked by the National Conference of State of shame. The map is due to be reset before the 2022 Legislatures, giving the GOP the opportunity to cement its advantage in competitive congressional ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN TOMAC FOR TIME
Nation districts. In all, Democrats lost 958 BY THE NUMBERS resented by Republicans. “They are run- state legislative seats during Obama’s ning to build the party,” house caucus ex- presidency. 958 ecutive director Trevor Southerland says. Post, a meticulous Missouri native Number of state legislature The DLCC’s play has indirect effects who previously held top roles at Emily’s seats Democrats lost during too. For instance, the group has featured List and the DLCC, rejoined the group in one of its favorite candidates, activist 2016 with a mandate to reverse the slide. the Obama presidency Sheila Bynum-Coleman, in national fund- Since then, Democrats have flipped 283 raising messages; 21% of her donations state legislature seats, with a net gain of 283 have come from out-of-state donors as a six chambers. Post has tripled the orga- result. “I don’t think I would have gotten nization’s staff and quintupled its fun- Number of State legislature the attention if it weren’t for the DLCC,” draising target from $10 million to an seats Democrats have says Bynum-Coleman, who is challenging estimated $50 million for the 2020 cycle. gained since 2016 the current speaker of the house of dele- gates in a Richmond-area district. Other Democratic groups have begun 61 investing in down-ballot contests too. At the conference table, Post keeps In August, Emily’s List announced a Number of state legislative asking questions about the blend of TV $20 million effort to help flip legislatures. chambers controlled by and digital advertising in specific races. Former Attorney General Eric Holder, Republicans “That’s an expensive district,” says Kris- with the backing of Obama and the help tina Hagen, executive director of the Vir- of McAuliffe, has started a group called 31 ginia Senate Democratic Caucus, of one the National Democratic Redistricting seat in the Washington media market. Committee, which is dedicated to the Number of states in which “There is a world in which we can get process of drawing new borders. Flip- legislators draw the district away with digital and cable.” pable, a grassroots Democratic group fo- borders for U.S. House seats cused on winning statehouse races, has Post still urges them to book TV early. already funneled $125,000 into Virginia $50 million “Reserve aggressively,” she says.“We have and is eyeing eight other states in 2020. to win this.” DLCC fundraising goal for the But Democrats are aware they’re still 2020 election cycle The Democrats can afford pricey TV playing catch-up in a space the party has ads because they’ve been chipping away long neglected. “Republicans have been and two more to do the same in the sen- at the GOP’s longtime financial advantage doing this for decades,” says Amanda Lit- ate. Doing both would give the party in the states. The three major Democratic man, the executive director of Run for the trifecta—control of both legislative committees in Virginia have already spent Something, a group that recruits young chambers and the governor’s mansion. $2 million, compared with just a quar- progressives to stand in down-ballot elec- ter of that invested by their GOP coun- tions. “If we don’t have Democratic con- Post asks for a briefing on what house terparts. (Virginia’s GOP house speaker trol of state legislatures ahead of redistrict- strategists have gleaned from the first Kirk Cox, Bynum-Coleman’s opponent, ing in 2021, Republicans will take back six focus groups they’ve organized in has added about $500,000 through his Congress in 2022, and that’s the end of Virginia. She wants to know how many PAC to help his Republican colleagues.) functioning government in Washington.” Republican-held districts they’re target- “I’d think Democrats should be disap- ing where Democrat Ralph Northam won pointed if they don’t flip both chambers,” On a recent Saturday afternoon, Post his race for governor in 2017, and how says Kyle Kondik, an analyst at the Uni- huddled with Virginia’s Democratic brain many Tim Kaine won when he ran for versity of Virginia’s Center for Politics. trust on the 20th floor of an office building U.S. Senate in 2018. (The answer is nine “At the same time, I don’t think it’s a slam in downtown Richmond, Va. The group and 12.) How many districts, she asks, are dunk that they will in fact flip them both.” gathered around a conference table, click- Democrats leaving uncontested? ing through a slideshow of district maps, It’s easy to see how Post convinces do- media budgets and historical vote tallies. The answer is not many. Democrats nors that these low-profile races are wor- Post spends a lot of time on the state these have built a machine in Virginia, seeded in thy investments in the Trump era. Repub- days. Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi part with cash Post started sending south- licans “won and rigged the maps,” Post and Louisiana hold the only statewide ward as early as December 2018. There says. “They re-engineered everything and legislative elections in 2019, and Post is are 91 Democratic candidates for the com- put in place durable majorities.” Now she using the commonwealth to test her as- monwealth’s 100 house races on Nov. 5, wants Democrats to have control when it sumptions, technology, vendors and data, and 35 senate hopefuls for the chamber’s comes time to define the next 10 years. shelling out $1 million and counting in the 40 spots, which include three senate dis- process. The conference room looks down tricts that voted for Hillary Clinton for Post’s counterpart at the Republican on the capitol, where the DLCC needs to President in 2016 but are currently rep- State Leadership Committee (RSLC), flip two seats for Democrats to claim the Austin Chambers, is working hard to majority in the state’s house of delegates prevent that. Chambers says his group will raise more money than ever, and 46 time September 16, 2019 plans to top the $40 million it spent in the 2015–2016 election cycle. In August,
the RSLC announced that former Repub- ^ declared abortion a fundamental right, lican National Committee finance chair- Post, center, with DLCC press secretary man Ron Weiser, a fundraising legend, Matt Harringer, right, and Erik Darcey, no matter what the Supreme Court may was joining the group. “They should be campaign manager for Virginia house of optimistic. Because when you’re at rock say. When Republicans in the Colorado bottom, the only place you have to go is delegates candidate Dan Helmer up,” Chambers says of the Democrats. statehouse objected to the pace of change “We’re glad they finally discovered this year. The effort netted GOP total control thing called state legislators.” of 11 legislatures and a trifecta in nine ad- under Democratic control, they raised pro- ditional states. In turn, the party started But Chambers has been warning do- drawing congressional districts it liked. cedural hurdles and demanded the mea- nors that Post’s efforts cannot be writ- ten off, lest Republicans suffer the way Republicans still start with a leg up sures be read aloud. Democrats responded their opponents have at the state level. in the battle for the states in 2020. The “What happens in a few state legislative GOP controls 52% of seats in all state leg- by having five computers read a 2,023- races over the next year and a half will islatures, with majorities in 62% of state determine the balance of Congress for at legislative chambers and total control of page bill simultaneously—so quickly the least the next decade or longer,” Cham- state government in 22 states, to Demo- bers says. “The importance of this cannot crats’ 14. But many of the chambers have text was unintelligible. The issue went be overstated. It’s as serious as anything narrow GOP edges. Democrats stand to we’ve ever faced.” pick up majorities in seven chambers— to court, where the Republicans won. including those in Minnesota, Arizona and the path toward Republican dominance Virginia—if they can win 19 specific races. The party that wins control of Rich- at the state level began more than three decades ago, when Democrats, in the wake Meanwhile, the gains Democrats have mond in November and other state cap- of Jimmy Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan in made in recent years may be difficult to 1980, focused their energy on presidential defend. President Donald Trump was a li- itals in 2020 has decisions to make. politics in the 1984 cycle. The current dy- ability for Republicans in 2018, when he namic dates back to 2010, when Karl Rove wasn’t on the ballot and his approval sat Republicans may want to cluster African- wrote a Wall Street Journal column lay- at 40% in Gallup’s final pre-election sur- ing the groundwork for what came to be vey. But Trump could wind up helping American voters into one district to make called the Redistricting Majority Project GOP candidates in 2020, when the party (REDMAP). The RSLC’s REDMAP pro- hopes his massive political machine will the rest of the area easier to win. Demo- gram recruited and funded state-level boost fortunes of candidates all the way candidates aggressively. REDMAP spent down the ballot. crats may want to spread those voters out $30 million to the DLCC’s $8 million that It’s also possible that existing more evenly. In Northern Virginia, both Democratic-led statehouses overstep their mandates and provoke a backlash. In typi- parties may want to minimize the num- cally blue Illinois, for example, lawmakers ber of seats that have to buy ad time in the expensive D.C. market. Armed with enough data, it’s possible to draw lines that enhance the odds of winning again and again. “We were so pleased as Dem- ocrats that we won this Congress,” Post says of the 2018 elections. “But the truth is, it’s just a rental.” All this is on Post’s mind as the car inches through the traffic toward the GREG KAHN FOR TIME Washington suburbs. She’s back on the phone, checking in with a different Vir- ginia candidate. “Thank you for putting your name on the ballot,” she says. “It’s the bravest thing you can do.” 47
The Palace of Westminster has been the site of British democracy since 1016 PHOTOGRAPHS BY BEN QUINTON FOR TIME
World VENERABLE AND VULNERABLE Britain’s Houses of Parliament are falling down. Can they be saved in time? By Billy Perrigo Andy PiPer wAs worried About the embarrassed by the incident, Piper was over- Houses of Parliament. Not what goes on in- joyed. “It was very convenient for us,” he says. side them, but the buildings themselves—the “She probably thought we had set it up.” ornate debating chambers and wood-paneled rooms where the U.K.’s legislative body goes The Palace of Westminster, as the estate is about its business. Chosen as design director formally known, is in disrepair. Its facade looks for Parliament’s restoration program, Piper sturdy from a distance, but up close it’s held had the job of alerting lawmakers to the state together only by the grime of decades. In the of the houses of state. So in summer 2017, he basement, Victorian-era pipes carry pressur- took the then leader of the House of Commons, ized steam just inches from high-voltage ca- Conservative lawmaker Andrea Leadsom, on a bles. Asbestos lines the walls. Staff members tour of the building’s darkest corners. upstairs count getting trapped in elevators as an occupational hazard. Most of the nearly Piper hoped to show Leadsom a few fire 4,000 bronze-framed windows don’t close hazards and maybe an unsafe cable or two. As properly, letting warm air out and cold rain the Cabinet member responsible for organiz- in. The alarm system is so unreliable that at ing government business, she could draw more least two wardens patrol the building looking attention to the issue. But when he unlocked for fires, day and night, all year round. Even the door to the parliamentary basement, the the gilded chambers where lawmakers sit stench hit them both. Raw sewage was ooz- aren’t immune to decay. In April, a debate in ing down the corridor. “We couldn’t walk all the House of Commons was cut short by water the way through the basement,” Leadsom, now leaking from the ceiling. That day, the upkeep Business Secretary, recalls. “We had to go back team was lucky. On bad days, the leaks come and enter from the other end.” Far from being instead from the 130-year-old sewage system. 49
World Lawmakers have known about the Piper leads the way through the subterra- similar ventilation shafts, burned down in growing risk since the 1940s but have nean maze. Beside him, a large chunk of a matter of minutes. (Nobody was killed.) taken until now to act. In 2016, an offi- plaster has crumbled off the wall, reveal- Much of the task of renovating Parlia- cial report warned of a “substantial and ing dusty brickwork. Piper knows the inti- ment, officials say, will be stripping and growing risk [of a] single, catastrophic macies of the building better than anyone, compartmentalizing these voids. event.” But lawmakers didn’t vote to va- and remembers the shock of Notre Dame cate the building until 2018. Even then, catching fire in April. “That could have so Ironically, for the duration of the work, they dragged their feet, with Brexit eat- easily been this building,” he says. “The the danger of fire will only be heightened. ing up parliamentary time. amount of loss that could happen in the It’s not hard to imagine a spark from tem- space of a few minutes ...” He trails off. porary electrical work setting the build- It took a fire nearly destroying the ing alight. Both the Glasgow and Notre 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral in Occasionally, fire does break out. A Dame fires began during restoration. (In- Paris in April to instill a sense of urgency. couple of years ago, Piper was walking vestigations into the causes of both fires For Parisians, that blaze was so devastat- down a deserted passage when he smelled are ongoing.) “We are very conscious that ing because of Notre Dame’s central role burning: an old electrical system had the risk of fire will, for some period, in- in French literature, history and religion. overheated behind a panel. He raised the crease,” Piper says. To mitigate that risk, In the British capital there is no equiva- alarm, narrowly averting a disaster. An- a fire-safety team will have to approve lent place of worship; the Houses of Par- other time, in 2016, a malfunctioning light all restoration work. But it won’t be easy liament are the closest any building comes set fire to a section of the roof. Contractors to avoid a mistake. “Taking shortcuts is to encasing in stone the history and iden- working on scaffolding nearby spotted it part of human nature,” says Liz Peace, the tity of the nation. On May 9, three weeks with moments to spare. “That was a real chair of the restoration board. after the last embers in Paris were extin- close call for us,” Piper says. guished, U.K. lawmakers voted to begin Brits don’t need to imagine the devas- setting up an independent body to totally The home of British democracy tation. In June 2017, fire engulfed Gren- evacuate and refurbish Parliament. has burned before, if you go back far fell Tower, a 24-story public housing enough. On the evening of Oct. 16, 1834, Now, as the Brexit crisis ramps up, a catastrophic fire struck the old Parlia- the building is at a breaking point. On ment building, which dated back to the Aug. 28, Prime Minister Boris Johnson 11th century. Almost all of the complex announced plans to effectively lock law- was destroyed. “People think of these makers out of Parliament to potentially huge buildings as integral to their psycho- force a “no deal” Brexit on Oct. 31, de- logical landscape,” says Caroline Shenton, spite complaints that such a move would author of The Day Parliament Burned be unconstitutional. And on Sept. 3, John- Down, a history of the 1834 blaze. “To see son said he would try to call an early elec- them become so vulnerable so quickly is tion after lawmakers moved to thwart intensely shocking.” his plans. Amid the chaos, the bill to re- store Parliament is under threat. “If we The Palace of Westminster was soon have a general election and it doesn’t get rebuilt, bigger and grander than before. through before, that would be a problem,” But the seeds of today’s problems were says Mark Tami, a lawmaker who sits on sown during construction, when David the restoration board. “We would have to Boswell Reid, a 19th century pioneer of start all over again.” air-conditioning, was brought in to alter the designs. He added dozens of empty Occupying mOre than a million shafts, stretching from the basement to square feet on the north bank of the River the roof, and spanning each ceiling and Thames, the Palace of Westminster has the floor above it. But the primitive air- been the seat of the British government conditioning system never really func- since 1016, though the majority of today’s tioned properly. Later, workers used these palace dates from the Victorian era. It has invisible spaces to conceal new pipes and more than 1,100 rooms, including both wires; over the years, records of exactly chambers of Parliament, lawmakers’ of- what each did were lost. New utilities fices, libraries and pubs. It is the home of were laid over defunct ones, and they archives and art chronicling the last mil- were sprayed with carcinogenic asbestos lennium of British history. In one form or during the 1950s when it was in vogue as another, it has survived political crises, a fire suppressant. terrorist attacks and two major fires. But take a trip through its humid basement, If left unchecked, it’s through these and its decrepit state is obvious. spaces that experts now fear a fire could spread rapidly. It’s not much of a stretch: In a hard hat and a high-visibility vest, in June 2018, the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland, which had been designed with 50 time September 16, 2019
Traveling deeper into the basement down a dank flight of stairs, we can smell the sewage room before we see it. Here are the ejectors—giant cauldrons into which the palace’s toilets drain, where the waste of British lawmakers from William Glad- stone to Theresa May has sat waiting to be expelled into the London sewage sys- tem. “The basement is more likely to flood from rain than anything else,” Piper says in an attempt at reassurance. But he has discovered the room “pretty deep” in sew- age more than once. These ejectors will be stripped out in the refurbishment along with the rest of the basement, he says, slapping one of the rough iron spheres, which responds with a hollow thrum. “There’s 130 years of history in these,” he adds with a smile. “It tells some sort of story. I’m just not sure what.” Despite the risks, some lawmakers have long resisted efforts to evacuate. “There was this idea that if we leave here, we’re never coming back,” Tami says. “I think that was particularly true for the members of the House of Lords,” he says of the upper chamber of Parlia- ment, where the average age is 70. Even with plans now actually in place to vacate the palace, progress is still slow. On the current timeline, lawmakers and their staff won’t move out until 2025 at the earliest, when the alternative cham- bers and offices across the road are finally ^ finished. The total cost of the restoration Scaffolding covers much of the palace’s blackened walls, partly to limited to fire. Last year, a large chunk of is expected to be around $5 billion. “It is protect people from falling stone stone fell from Victoria Tower, the tallest part of the palace, right onto the entrance quite a challenging deadline,” says Peace, block in west London. Holes cut through to the House of Lords. “If that had landed walls to accommodate gas pipes allowed on somebody, it would have killed them the chair of the restoration board. When smoke and fire to spread from apartment instantly,” Piper says. to apartment. Residents trapped at the lawmakers do eventually go, she says, the top livestreamed their final moments as After that, workers went around with people on the ground watched helplessly. buckets, prodding at suspect stonework work is expected to take an additional six Seventy-two people died. and removing loose masonry. “When they started cleaning the structure, a lot to eight years, meaning the palace stands Grenfell was partly the result of au- of it just fell away because the dirt and thorities neglecting the housing of poor, grime was actually holding everything to be out of action until well into the mostly ethnic-minority residents. But it together,” says Tami. Now, much of the was also a failure of design, and Tami is building is covered in netting. “I’ve been 2030s. Nobody knows how Britain will worried that Parliament could suffer a here six years,” Piper says, “but in the last similar tragedy. “There are people who 18 months I’ve felt the difference. The look at that point. “Right now is not the work at the very top of the main cham- extreme potential for the building to kill ber.” He sighs. “For some of them, there’s people is becoming more obvious.” ideal time,” Tami says of the need to evac- not an easy route out.” Another problem is the arcane plumb- uate Parliament amid Brexit, the biggest the risks facing parliament, where ing. On one occasion in 2016, the unfortu- some 8,000 people work each day, aren’t nate occupants of one room all had to get challenge Britain has faced in generations. hepatitis shots after a pipe exploded, bring- ing the ceiling down in a rain of excrement. There’s also a chance that the new Prime Minister could undo the plans to refurbish the building, consigning law- makers to remain in the Palace of West- minster as it falls apart around them. Shenton is pessimistic. “Politicians’ atti- tudes today are as they were in the early 19th century,” she says, casting her gaze back to the years before the 1834 blaze. “I don’t believe that history repeats itself. But human nature does.” 51
THE BEST OF FA L L Margaret Atwood returns to Gilead Ryan Murphy fashions the future of streaming Michael B. Jordan builds a better Hollywood Photographs by Mickalene Thomas for TIME
FIRSTS MARGARET AT W O O D SAW IT ALL COMING The legendary author returns to the dystopian world she created in The Handmaid’s Tale BY LUCY FELDMAN margareT aTwood wanTs To know more abouT canon. In her landmark 1985 novel, The Handmaid’s The Bachelorette. We’re chatting in her publisher’s Tale, a totalitarian theocracy has taken over the U.S. office in Toronto when I mention the dating show in the midst of a fertility crisis. Offred, one of few where 30-some men vie for the affection of a single women who can still bear children, is forced to par- woman, all on camera. She has questions: “Why are ticipate in reproductive-slavery ceremonies in the they even participating in this?” “What if they’re re- Republic of Gilead. Offred’s story ends with a noto- jected?” “I’m wondering if she’s just pretending to riously ambiguous cliff-hanger: she steps into a van go along with it?” that will take her either to fresh hell or to freedom. For 34 years, Atwood, now 79, has deflected read- There is an irony here, observing Atwood equate ers’ questions about her protagonist’s fate. But on the show to Sartre’s adage “Hell is other people” come Sept. 10, she will publish The Testaments, a new book to life. She is, after all, known for a book that de- that promises to resolve that mystery and many more. scribes one of the most brutal mating rituals in the
FALL ARTS PREVIEW BOOKS ‘I DIDN’T The Testaments arrives at the ^ run, and the novel made the Man WA N T peak of Atwood’s prominence. In Atwood at work on Booker Prize short list despite a PEOPLE SAY I NG, 2017, her 32-year-old novel soared The Handmaid’s Tale strict embargo. Atwood will launch LIKE SOME H AV E SA I D, back to the best-seller list when it in West Berlin in 1984 it with a live interview onstage in “HOW became one of a handful of clas- London, which will stream to 1,300 DID YOU MAKE UP sic dystopias that seemed to por- cinemas around the world. It’s a ALL THIS TWISTED tend troubling themes of the current era and evoke larger-than-life reception for a larger-than-life figure, STUFF?”’ prescient anxieties about women’s rights. Three one still a tad bewildered by the fanfare. She makes a months after Donald Trump’s Inauguration, Hulu point of stating the obvious: “It’s just a book.” premiered an adaptation with Atwood’s involve- ment that has won 11 Emmys. Women’s-rights dem- GrowinG up in Canada, Atwood wrote whenever onstrators around the globe—at pro-choice rallies in she could—in the high school yearbook, in a col- South America and Europe, at Supreme Court Jus- lege magazine under the pseudonym Shakesbeat tice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in the Latweed. Her early jobs included a teen venture in U.S.—have donned the handmaid uniform of crim- puppeteering and later market research, and she pub- son cloaks and white bonnets to make their case. At- lished her first novel, The Edible Woman, in 1969. wood’s voice has become a rallying cry against cli- Since then she has published more than 60 works of mate change and threats to equality—last year she fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, poetry and chil- headlined a summit on the intersection of those is- dren’s literature. The Handmaid’s Tale was a break- sues, named after a reference to The Handmaid’s Tale. through, landing her on the Booker short list for the ATWOOD: ISOLDE OHLBAUM; ALIAS GRACE: NETFLIX Protest signs at the 2017 Women’s March bore the first time. In 2000 she became the first Canadian slogan make margareT aTwood ficTion again, woman to win the award, for The Blind Assassin. her name now synonymous with resistance. On the patio of her neighborhood café, Atwood Atwood long rejected calls for a sequel because, she glances over her shoulder to scan for eavesdroppers. says, she knew she couldn’t re-create Offred’s voice. “Things never used to be like this,” she says, peek- But as she saw the world change, she realized Offred ing out from under a sun hat. Caution is justified: the wasn’t the only way back into the story. She began plot of The Testaments is the closest-guarded secret drafting The Testaments partway through 2016. in publishing since Harry Potter lived (again). Impos- The anticipation has few precedents. The U.S. tors posing as book agents tried to steal the digital publisher announced a 500,000-copy first-print manuscript, so publishers around the world agreed 56 Time September 16, 2019
▶ For more Firsts, visit time.com/firsts to go analog. Rare copies were distributed under AT W O O D ’ S indicate common sense has triumphed. Their nar- fake names, like The Casements by Victoria Locket. E X PA N D I N G rators record their stories for the benefit of his- ONSCREEN tory, a perspective that leaves room to hope for a Atwood famously wrote part of The Handmaid’s UNIVERSE better world. “If you are reading,” Atwood writes Tale in Cold War–era Berlin, influenced by the fog in Lydia’s determined voice, “this manuscript at of distrust that shrouded the East. That same at- THE least will have survived.” mosphere propels the sequel, which is narrated by T E S TA M E N T S three women. One was raised in Gilead, too young one autumn, as atwood was sweeping leaves at its rise to remember a life before it; another is MGM and Hulu a Canadian teen with a past she has yet to under- will develop the outside her Toronto mansion, the man next door stand; the third is Aunt Lydia, a villain in the re- new book for the gime and the only one of the three to have appeared screen, working told her people refer to her as the “wicked witch” of in the foreground of The Handmaid’s Tale. In swift with Handmaid’s prose—lightened by winking references to Ameri- Tale showrunner the neighborhood. (The broom didn’t help.) Her my- can history, like a café named for anti–Equal Rights Amendment activist Phyllis Schlafly—Atwood Bruce Miller thology precedes her. Bruce Miller, the Handmaid’s weaves together three distinct narratives to chron- icle the rise and fall of Gilead. ALIAS showrunner, remembers every head turning as she GRACE Over the course of several interviews, Atwood entered a restaurant. When someone at the table doles out measured tidbits about her experience In 2017, Netflix writing the book. She admits to feeling some nerves premiered a asked her what it’s like to be a national treasure, she about the highly anticipated project but closes the miniseries topic with a pat “What is life without challenges?” based on offered a perfectly Atwood response: “Exhausting.” She often veers toward history and deadpans jokes; she’s not a “Dear Diary–type of person,” she says. Atwood’s 1996 The author exists in a surreal intersection be- When asked how she feels about the excitement sur- novel about a rounding The Testaments, she offers a few words but 19th century tween her image and her life’s more stark realities, soon dives into a lesson on Icelandic manuscripts. murder case Before describing her path to writing in terms of where caring for loved ones often takes precedence. the politics of the 1940s and ’50s, she pauses to ask THE EDIBLE when I was born. “That’s hilarious,” she says. “You WOMAN Her partner, the novelist Graeme Gibson, is living remember nothing.” This summer, with dementia. The morning after a doctor’s visit, Atwood’s talent for capturing history’s tendency eOne secured to repeat itself has led some to call her a prophet. Atwood runs through to-dos in the basement office (She insists she’s not—just ask her old colleagues at TV rights to the market-research firm where she declared Pop- Atwood’s debut in her home: there are appointments to schedule Tarts would never take off.) Certain scenes from The novel, about a Testaments—children ripped from the arms of their woman who can and bills to pay, a condo dispute to chase. (She stays parents, flights across borders, inhumane detention no longer eat centers—track closely with today’s headlines. But in caretaking mode with me: “You were a naughty Atwood can point to multiple historical examples for each. She has a rule that each of the dark circum- person, you didn’t eat any muffins,” she scolds, then stances, rules and customs in The Handmaid’s Tale, The Testaments and the TV show, which range from sends me off with banana bread.) genocide to ritual rape, must have a historical prec- edent. “I didn’t want people saying, like some have Atwood has never been the type for superstitious said, ‘How did you make up all this twisted stuff?’” writing rituals. She wrote The Testaments in hotels She sees her role as the person who drops a flare on the highway—she wrote the new book in part around the world, on trains and planes, wherever because she worries the world is trending more to- ward Gilead than away from it. A child of the ’30s, the phone couldn’t ring. Gibson wanted to re-create Atwood sees authoritarianism tightening its grip in Europe, but also in leading U.S. Republicans’ re- a voyage from his youth, traveling by ship to Austra- sponse to election interference: “It just does not compute,” she says. “Unless of course what they re- lia. So Atwood did the first edit of The Testaments ally want is an authoritarian regime. If that’s what they really want, spit it out: ‘We hate democracy.’” over the 21 days at sea while he slept. Yet even in Atwood’s darkest writing, optimism She has a list of things she’d like to do but won- prevails. Both Gilead novels end with scenes that ders if she’s too old: trek across Baffin Island, travel to Africa. She won’t say for sure whether she’ll write more Gilead novels (fans: it’s not a no)—in fact, she’s not much for discussing her future at all. Someday, she acknowledges, she’ll be “forcibly” retired. But she takes aging in stride. “There’s a lot of respect that comes with being the me that people recog- nize,” she says. “But if it’s the me that people don’t recognize, I’m just another old lady.” In her office, Atwood strides past shelves of her archives—first editions, foreign translations, the original art from the best-known Handmaid’s Tale cover—pulling an item here and there to give away. Later she’ll meditate on the meaning behind our choices of what we keep and what we discard. What she’s really talking about is legacy, what we leave behind and how it may one day prove use- ful to our “Dear Readers,” whoever they may be. She asks me how many love letters from 1961 she should keep, and I suggest she hold on to the ones that speak to her, missing the point. “I don’t think it matters whether they speak to me or not,” she says. “Whether they speak is more interesting.” • 57
RYA N MURPHY BUILT A NEW HEARTLAND The renegade writer-producer-director’s Netflix deal is worth $300 million. Inside the making of his blockbuster empire BY SAM LANSKY Ryan muRphy is Taking a RaRe bReaTheR. We’Re works, he’s unusually hands-on with all of them: in his tidy trailer on a set in Hollywood, at the end of writing, directing and producing. He still has two the last day of shooting for The Boys in the Band, a shows on Fox—9-1-1 and an upcoming spin-off—and play that Murphy revived on Broadway in 2018 and three on the cable network FX: Pose, American Hor- is now producing as a feature film for Netflix. Out- ror Story and a new installment of American Crime side, the studio lot is surprisingly sedate. A golf cart Story, which will follow the Monica Lewinsky scan- whirs past. A colleague brings him a single shot of dal. That would be a busy slate for anyone—but this espresso. Murphy, 53, schedules his days into short is the peak-content era, where each day seems to intervals—15 minutes, or 30—and works seven days bring news of another creator defecting from estab- a week. “I say I can’t keep going at this pace,” he says. lished studios and networks to streaming services— “But then I have a full physical, and it’s like, I’m fine.” whether heavyweights like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu or upcoming launches such as Apple TV+, For someone with at least 15 projects in the
FALL ARTS PREVIEW STREAMING Disney+ and HBO Max—with the promise of ca- H I S T O RY, got over that,” he says, “and I probably never will.” MCGREGOR, HALSTON, DIETRICH: GET T Y IMAGES; L ANGE: E VERET T; THE POLITICIAN: NETFLIX pacious budgets and creative freedom. Murphy is, REVISITED Yet it may have ended up fueling his ambition. by the numbers, the biggest: last year he departed Fox, his longtime home, for an unprecedented deal HALSTON After moving to Los Angeles, he spent his 20s work- with Netflix, valued at $300 million—the most lu- ing as a journalist for outlets like the Miami Herald crative TV pact in history. Murphy is and the Los Angeles Times where, he says, he would shepherding churn out three stories a day, sharpening his work For the streamer, he’s been developing a new ros- an upcoming ethic. He sold his first show, Popular, to the WB in ter of projects, at a scale, scope and variety that’s miniseries about 1999 but butted heads with network executives. unmatched even in the Wild West of the con- Roy Halston “I wasn’t allowed to have a gay character,” he says tent boom. He is prepping the Sept. 27 release of Frowick, the flatly. “They told me that I didn’t understand the The Politician, a sharp, crackling series about an am- minimalist tone of it. I was like, ‘It’s my show!’” And although bitious young man, played by Ben Platt, running for designer who he worked steadily—creating the cult hit Nip/Tuck high school office. He’s editing Ratched, a moody defined the look for FX and adapting and directing best-selling mem- origin story about One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s and feel of the oirs Running With Scissors and Eat Pray Love as fea- Nurse Ratched, starring Sarah Paulson. (The show disco era, with ture films—he didn’t always feel supported. “All the is a disturbing midcentury tone poem set on the Ewan McGregor guys in power were straight white men,” he says. California coast, with a scene-stealing supporting in the title role “J.J. Abrams and I came up at the same time, but I performance by Sharon Stone.) He’s adapting two never got those calls—because you mentor people Broadway musicals for the screen: A Chorus Line MARLENE who act like you and talk like you, and share your will unfold as a 10-part miniseries, and The Prom, a DIETRICH points of reference.” That earned him a reputation. feature, will star Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman. “I was seen as a fighter,” he says. “I wouldn’t take He takes great pleasure in casting, especially when Jessica Lange— no for an answer.” His creative sensibility was pro- it comes to megawatt movie stars, many of whom one of Murphy’s vocative and breakneck, marrying satirical elements he now counts as friends. (“I have everyone’s phone favorite muses— with earnest drama, which divided critics. number but Meryl Streep’s,” he says. “There’s every- will portray the body, and then there’s Meryl.”) Then came a string of hits, all of which, he says, German- everyone thought would never work: He created Hollywood, featuring Patti LuPone and Holland American actor Fox’s prime-time musical Glee in 2009, which—with Taylor, will debut in May and “look at Hollywood and singer during tours, merchandising and a reality-show spin-off— and the sex industry, and how absolutely everything her later years became an asset worth hundreds of millions of dol- has changed and nothing has changed.” And he’s performing in lars. For FX he dreamed up American Horror Story in making a miniseries about the designer Halston, 2011, one of the first series to function as an anthol- with Ewan McGregor playing the couturier. Las Vegas ogy, reimagining the show anew each season. For HBO he directed an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Then there are the documentaries: A Secret Love play The Normal Heart in 2014, which won him an is about a closeted lesbian couple who came out in Emmy and earned eight more nominations. And for their 80s. There’s also a “big, flashy 10-part series” FX in 2016, he retold the O.J. Simpson saga in Amer- about Andy Warhol, whom people see only as “this ican Crime Story, earning the best reviews of his ca- sort of queen, so who’s the real person who made reer. “After those four things,” he says, “it was like, all this stuff that changed all of our lives?” And he’s Whatever you want to do, you can do.” making a docuseries about the most stylish people in the world, because he loved year-end lists as a kid. In his newfound seat of power, he realized he’d “Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s the most?” derived the most fulfillment from working with peo- ple who hadn’t traditionally been in the spotlight— Oh, and also: “Jessica Lange and I are working whether that was actresses of a certain age or trans on a piece about Marlene Dietrich in Vegas in the women of color—and decided to double down on early ’60s,” he says. “But I’m so booked. When am this as his ethos. “Everything I’m working on is I going to do it? I don’t know.” He sighs and looks about one idea—taking marginalized characters and momentarily beleaguered. “I’m only into April of putting them in the leading story,” he says. Dana next year’s calendar.” Walden, now head of Disney Television and ABC, championed his work at Fox for this very reason. Murphy grew up in Indianapolis, in an era— “Ryan tells stories about outsiders, but his shows and in a family—where it wasn’t easy to be a gay are so commercial and shiny,” she says. “I cannot tell kid with an artistic sensibility. His father, in par- you what a hard needle that is to thread.” ticular, was tough on him: “He would ask me, ‘Why aren’t you like me?’ ” he remembers. “I His efforts have coincided with a larger move- was constantly in existential crisis about who ment to make Hollywood a more equitable, safe and I was.” Although Murphy reconciled with his fa- inclusive place. This has been spurred on by two big ther before he died—and has softened now that reckonings: the first, around sexual misconduct and he has two children of his own, with husband gender discrimination, and the second, a call for David Miller—that rejection still smarts. “I never diversity in front of and behind the camera. “The 60 Time September 16, 2019
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