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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 24 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: How Ellen Pompeo asked for her $20m salary

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. The New York subway

NY: Cold weather causes homeless invasion on the subway Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Here in Ireland, we tend to look at the subway as an iconic New York symbol. And its construction helped to build NYC. But now, it needs to be rebuilt.

(New York Times, approx 44 mins reading time)

The questions we are facing today are not so different from the ones our predecessors faced 100 years ago. Can the gap between rich and poor be closed, or is it destined to continue to widen? Can we put the future needs of a city and a nation above the narrow, present-day interests of a few? Can we use a portion of the monumental sums of wealth that we are generating to invest in an inclusive and competitive future? The answer to all of these questions is still rumbling beneath New York City.

2. Better have my money

Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo now earns a whopping $20m a year. This interview with her reveals just how she reached that level, and the changes she had to make to get there.

(Hollywood Reporter, approx 14 mins reading time)

Fourteen years later, Pompeo is no longer a renter. In late 2017, she signed a new deal that will make her dramatic television’s highest-earning actress. The expansive pact covers Grey’s‘ current season and a 15th and 16th season after that (though the latter two have not been formally ordered, Rhimes says, “The show will go on as long as Ellen wants to do it.”) Pompeo credits her boss and mentor — who recently signed a nine-figure deal of her own at Netflix — with empowering her to overcome any doubts she may have about her own worth and to demand the best possible deal.

3. Reasons to be scared of Jake Paul

Katie Notopoulos paid $54 to watch an education video series run by YouTube star Jake Paul, about how to become a social media star. The results made her feel quite worried.

(Buzzfeed, approx 13 mins reading time)

On YouTube, there already are several people who have posted “reviews” of Edfluenced or talked about how they got scammed by it. One of these videos, with 25,000 views — ”I GOT SCAMMED BY JAKE PAUL || EDFLUENCE” complains that after paying the $7, you don’t get the full experience. It seems to be the common complaint about the school of Jake Paul: an unclear pricing structure, where most people who are out $7 are shocked to have to shell out more for the full tutorial.

4. Dylan Farrow’s story

If you’ve been trying to follow the Woody Allen abuse allegations story, but feel like you have a lot to catch up on, this article will help. Here’s a Newsweek explainer, which includes links to other informative interviews.

(Newsweek, approx 6 mins reading time)

This fall’s reckoning with sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse, was largely sparked by Ronan Farrow, Dylan’s brother. His reporting for The New Yorker on years of troubling allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein helped begin the #MeToo movement and brought renewed attention to Dylan’s story—and how Allen avoided any kind of punishment.

5. Would you ignore the news?

Trump Arrives at the White House Source: DPA/PA Images

Christopher Hebert is a news fan, but once Donald Trump was elected, he entered a news blackout. Yes, he just stopped reading the papers, Twitter, everything. But is it a cop-out?

(The Guardian, approx 15 mins reading time)

That silence will remain. For the next year, I won’t turn the radio back on again. I won’t turn on the TV news. I won’t read a paper. I will embark on a journey into purposeful, determined ignorance. That article on HuffPo that everyone’s talking about? I won’t know anything about it. I won’t see that tweet. I regret to say that I won’t get your Facebook invitations. I’m sorry for everything I’ve missed.

6. When deportation is a death sentence

Laura is pulled over by the police and asked for her licence and proof of insurance. But she has none, as she has been undocumented her whole adult life – and she doesn’t want to return to Mexico to her abusive ex-husband. But she’s about to be deported.

(The New Yorker, approx 50 mins reading time)

 In 2008, at least five thousand Mexicans died in the drug war, more fatalities than the United States suffered during the Iraq War. That year, a drug kingpin was captured in a shoot-out near Laura’s childhood home, and the military seized five hundred and forty rifles, a hundred and sixty-five grenades, and fourteen sticks of TNT. A turf war began, to determine his replacement. After Sergio returned to Reynosa, he reportedly started working as a cartel grunt. Maria told me that he continued to threaten Laura, saying that if she ever returned to Mexico he’d set her on fire, and texting, “I’m going to smoke you.”


Right, this is only from November, but it’s worth featuring. Pre-packaged sandwiches are popular in Ireland, but they absolutely massive in Britain. And this piece looks into how they transformed how people eat lunch. Oddly fascinating.

(The Guardian, approx 36 mins reading time)

 In the trade, the small gaps that can occur within the curves of iceberg lettuce leaves – creating air pockets – are sometimes known as “goblin caves”. The unfortunate phenomenon of a filling slumping toward the bottom of a sandwich box, known as a skillet, is “the drop”. Obsessed by perfection and market share, the sandwich world is, unsurprisingly, one beset by conditions of permanent and ruthless competition. Every week, rival sandwich developers from the big players buy each others’ products, take them apart, weigh the ingredients, and put them back together again. “It is an absolute passion,” one former M&S supplier told me. “For everybody. It has to be.”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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