Blue Origin’s Top Staffers Exodus Due to the Company’s Return to Office Policy and Toxic Culture; Emily Ratajkowski Accused Robin Thicke of Inappropriate Touching; Billie Eilish Criticizes Texas’ Abortion Law, ‘My body, my f*****g choice!’; Kim Kardashian and Kanye West appear on The Simpsons; A Florida Woman Won Two $2 Million Lottery Tickets on the Same Day
Blue Origin’s Top Staffers Exodus Due to the Company’s Return to Office Policy and Toxic Culture
Blue Origin’s recent loss of several senior personnel came amid calls for all employees to return to the office, as well as allegations of a toxic, misogynistic, and hazardous work environment.
According to multiple sources, the departures directly resulted from CEO Bob Smith’s effort to eliminate remote work across the organization. The plan for all employees to return to work in September, dubbed “Blue Back Together,” ruffled feathers. Sources said that the company’s attrition rate exceeded 20% this year.
According to a Blue Origin spokeswoman, attrition “has never exceeded 12.7 percent” on an annualized basis, which takes into account employee departures over the last 12 months. Blue Origin’s annual turnover rate is typically between 8% and 9%, according to persons familiar with the issue.
“We are seeing attrition rates comparable to those reported by other companies as part of what many are calling ‘The Great Resignation,'” the spokesperson said.
Many left in the weeks following founder Jeff Bezos’s space flight, Insider report revealed. Steve Bennett, SVP of New Shepard, Jeff Ashby, Chief of Mission Assurance, and Crystal Freund, senior director of recruiting, all left the space company.
Several of the departures were notable for their timing. They came after SpaceX was given a $2.9 billion contract to build a moon lander for the Artemis missions.
Hundreds of employees signed a petition urging the company to at the very least establish a more flexible work program, but Smith never addressed the plea.
According to CNBC, 21 current and former employees of Blue Origin wrote an open letter alleging a toxic, misogynistic, and hazardous work environment. According to Insider’s Sinéad Baker and Grace Kay, the letter also accused Bezos of putting the safety on the line in order to win the billionaire space race.
Alexandra Abrams, who worked on Blue Origin’s communications team, is now a whistleblower, revealing what she and others allege is a toxic culture. She and 20 other unnamed Blue Origin employees published a critical essay on September 30. They describe a workplace that condoned misogyny within a clique of top officials loyal to Bezos, cut corners to achieve deadlines, and beat other space entrepreneurs to space, discouraging employees and jeopardizing the project’s safety.
“In this environment, safety is not an option, even if we repeatedly state that it is our highest priority,” one departing engineer wrote.
The US Federal Aviation Administration, which governs commercial spaceflight, has said that it will investigate safety concerns at the company, which is now planning a second voyage with passengers on October 12, including two technology entrepreneurs. William Shatner, the original Star Trek television series Captain Kirk, is reported to be joining them.
Emily Ratajkowski Accused Robin Thicke of Inappropriate Touching on the set of ‘Blurred Lines,’ Claiming, ‘I was nothing more than a hired mannequin’
Emily Ratajkowski claims Robin Thicke made an inappropriate gesture towards her while they were filming the music video for ‘Blurred Lines,’ when he touched her breasts without her consent.
Ratajkowski made the statements, as first reported by The Sunday Times, in her upcoming book, “My Body,” which will be released on November 9.
Ratajkowski, 30, said that she initially loved filming the controversial music video shot by an all-female crew, but the mood worsened.
“Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind. I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke,” Ratajkowski wrote, according to The Sunday Times.
She continued, saying: “He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses. My head turned to the darkness beyond the set. [The director, Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, ‘Are you okay?'”
Ratajkowski, who is married to Sebastian Bear-McClard and has a kid with him, wrote that the alleged encounter made her feel “naked for the first time that day,” but she was “desperate to minimize” the alleged incident.
“I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body,” Ratajkowski stated. “I didn’t react — not really, not like I should have.”
Additionally, the actress claimed that Thicke, 44, was “a little drunk” prior to the incident and “didn’t seem to be enjoying himself in the same way.”
The Sunday Times said that director Diane Martel also remembers the alleged encounter.
Martel stated that “everything had been very sweet and enjoyable” on set and that women were safe filming up to that alleged incident.
“I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the fuck are you doing, that’s it!! The shoot is over!!'”, Martel said.
Martel claimed that she was prepared to call it quits on the day of filming, but Ratajkowski “was very professional and said we could go on.”
Ratajkowski stated that she never wrote about the incident because she could not face it. Ratajkowski claimed in 2020 that photographer Jonathan Leder sexually assaulted her following a 2012 naked picture shoot.
Robin Thicke and Emily Ratajkowski’s representatives did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Billie Eilish Criticizes Texas’ Abortion Law During Her Austin City Limits Performance, ‘My body, my f*****g choice!’
As women throughout the country rallied against threats to abortion rights this weekend, including celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence and Top Chef stars Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons, Billie Eilish made her own statement while performing at the Austin City Limits Festival on Saturday, October 2.
Eilish, 19, spoke out against Texas’ new draconian abortion law, which prohibits abortions once a heartbeat is found and allows private individuals to sue abortion providers or anyone else who assists a woman in obtaining an abortion during her show. Eilish said that she had pondered canceling her event in Austin because of the state’s stance on the issue.
As the pop star took a minute to address the issue, the words “Bans Off Our Bodies” flashed on the screen behind her.
“I’m sick and tired of old men,” she said. “Shut the f*** up about our bodies.”
She added, “When they made that s*** a law, I almost didn’t want to do the show because I wanted to punish this f*****g place for allowing that to happen here. But then, I remembered that it’s you guys that are the f*****g victims, and you deserve everything in the world.”
As the audience erupted in applause, she continued, “We need to tell them to shut the f*** up.”
She then lifted her middle finger fiercely and shouted, “My body, my f*****g choice!”
Eilish also addressed climate change deniers, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “If you don’t think global warming exists, you’re a f*****g loser.”
The Grammy winner, who has been candid about her body image and the public’s obsession with her form, previously attacked the Texas Abortion Law in September, just days after it took effect.
It was on Instagram stories that she remarked, “I’m so f*****g tired. It makes me sick how many men say nothing when it comes to women’s rights.”
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West appear on The Simpsons Wearing Balenciaga Ensembles Amid Reports of Reconciliation
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrived on The Simpsons wearing their Balenciaga ensemble amid fan speculation about their reconciliation. Kim, 40, uploaded an Instagram Story with a screenshot from the current Simpsons episode.
The Simpsonized Kim and Kanye were seated together in the comic image as they watched Marge Simpson walk the Paris Fashion Week runway.
Throughout the show, Homer contacted Balenciaga for assistance in delivering a nice gift for Marge’s birthday.
Kim wore a red bodysuit that wrapped her from head to toe throughout the fashion show. On the other hand, the rapper appeared to be wearing a helmet, as he was clothed in all black. The pair were sat next to a Simpsonized Justin Bieber.
With a fire emoji, the reality star captioned her Instagram Story, “Balenciaga show was lit.”
Fans were certain that the famous ex-couple had reconciled last month when Kanye tweeted multiple images of Kim at the most recent Met Gala.
He shared photographs of Kim wearing a head-to-toe black Balenciaga attire designed by Demna Gvasalia, which included a full-face covering and a mile-long ponytail.
The TV star and the rapper ignited reconciliation speculations in early October when they were pictured leaving the Nobu restaurant in Malibu. She wore a skintight purple top and matching purple tights, combed her hair into a long and tight braid while wearing a burgundy leather coat. She used wraparound sunglasses to conceal her facial features. Kanye dressed casually in a black T-shirt and black pants. He also sought to disguise himself by donning a baseball cap and sunglasses.
The former couple was joined to the expensive restaurant by a group of friends. Their reunion comes amid reports that Kim was second-guessing her choice to divorce Kanye.
An insider told Us Weekly in August, “Kim is deeply conflicted about what her future and the kids will be without Kanye.”
According to the insider, the rapper was unaware of “how unhappy and lonely Kim was” until the mother-of-four finalized their divorce. “These past few months have made Kim’s decision to end the marriage even more difficult because Kanye has been very present in the relationship.”
Kim initiated divorce proceedings against Kanye in February. She earlier stated that she made a choice due to “irreconcilable differences.”
A Florida Woman Won Two $2 Million Lottery Tickets on the Same Day
A woman in Florida became a multimillionaire earlier this month after claiming two winning lottery tickets on the same day. The Florida Lottery announced the player’s win earlier this week in a news release. Susan Fitton, 64, of Boca Raton, southeastern Florida, was identified as the winner in the release.
According to the Florida Lottery, Fitton purchased two $2 million Mega Millions with Megaplier tickets at a Prip Mart in Boca Raton. She later claimed the tickets following a drawing held on September 14 at the West Palm Beach District Office.
Fitton’s tickets, according to the release, “matched all five of the white ball numbers but did not match the Mega Ball.”
However, Megaplier features on the tickets did assist in increasing Fitton’s winnings, according to Florida Lottery communications manager Meredyth Hope Norman. This feature has the potential to multiply a ticket’s earnings by up to five times.
“The Megaplier number for the September 14 drawing was 2, which doubled Fitton’s prize from $1 million to $2 million,” Norman told the paper. “But she bought two tickets with the same numbers, so that became $4 million.”
Fitton spent a total of $18 on the two winning tickets, according to the newspaper.
Newsweek contacted the Florida Lottery for comment but did not receive a response before publication.
According to a press release from the Florida Lottery, the Prip Mart where Fitton purchased her lottery tickets will receive a $10,000 bonus for its role in selling the winning tickets.
The Florida Lottery was established in the mid-1980s with the stated purpose of “generating additional money for public education” in the state.
The organization stated that it has contributed more than $40 billion to education in Florida and has also assisted more than 880,000 college-bound students through its Bright Futures scholarship program.
Mega Millions became a component of the organization in 2013, accounting for approximately $761 million of the total amount contributed to educational purposes by the Florida Lottery.
According to the lottery’s website, it has “made more than 3,000 people millionaires,” with over $75 billion in lottery ticket winnings paid out over the years.
Prior to Fitton’s win, the most recent Mega Millions winner announced by the Florida Lottery earlier this month was Michael Rees, who claimed a $1 million ticket following a June drawing. In February, the Florida Lottery announced its first Mega Million winner of the year after two men claimed a $2 million ticket each following mid-January drawings.