The week unpacked: real life succession, Iranian football and the #MeToo moment in China


Olly Mann and The Week dive behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Corporate leadership, succession style

The latest episode of Sky Atlantic Succession drew attention to the changing personal qualities of CEOs in the contemporary world. On screen, two old-school media moguls with alpha personalities and waning sense threatened to wreak havoc on their businesses – not to mention the world at large. But in the real world, 21st century corporate leadership seems to demand an even more unusual type of personality: in a nutshell, ruthless but empathetic and likeable.

Iranian guards

After a qualifying match for the Women’s Asian Cup in which Iran beat Jordan 4-2 on penalties, the president of the Iranian football association demanded a “gender check” of the goalkeeper Iranian, Zohreh Koudaei. She has already been the subject of baseless gossip in Arab newspapers, and Iranian authorities say Jordan’s complaint is nothing more than sour grapes. But the case reopened the debate over gender in sports – and brought attention to Iranian policies on gender reassignment surgery.

#MeToo in China

Concerns are growing for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. On November 2, the 35-year-old woman claimed on Chinese social media platform Weibo that she was coerced into sex by former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. His post was quickly deleted and searches on his name, as well as on “tennis”, were blocked. More than two weeks later, all we’ve heard from Shuai is a strange email allegedly from him, shared by Chinese state media – but its authenticity has been questioned. Are these events a victory for the #MeToo movement or the Chinese censorship?

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