TIME celebrities

George Clooney on Sony Hack: We Have a Responsibility to Stand Up Against This

"It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country."

In an interview with Deadline, George Clooney shared his feelings on the Sony hack and the studio’s subsequent cancelation of The Interview‘s release, revealing that he circulated a petition urging others in Hollywood to stand by the studio.

Clooney said the petition “was sent to basically the heads of every place,” adding, that “nobody signed” it. The letter, the full extent of which is available at Deadline, states: “This is not just an attack on Sony. It involves every studio, every network, every business and every individual in this country. That is why we fully support Sony’s decision not to submit to these hackers’ demands. We know that to give in to these criminals now will open the door for any group that would threaten freedom of expression, privacy and personal liberty. We hope these hackers are brought to justice but until they are, we will not stand in fear. We will stand together.”

In the interview, Clooney argued that “we have a responsibility to stand up against this.” He added: “That’s not just Sony, but all of us, including my good friends in the press who have the responsibility to be asking themselves: What was important? What was the important story to be covering here? The hacking is terrible because of the damage they did to all those people. Their medical records, that is a horrible thing, their Social Security numbers. Then, to turn around and threaten to blow people up and kill people, and just by that threat alone we change what we do for a living, that’s the actual definition of terrorism.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Hollywood

Sony Pictures Chief Amy Pascal Joked About Obama’s Race

She and producer Scott Rudin joked about what the president's favorite movies might be

Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Amy Pascal joked with Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin about President Obama’s race, according to leaked emails.

Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, emailed Rudin, who produced movies such as The Social Network and No Country for Old Men, to ask what she should say to Obama at a fundraising breakfast, Buzzfeed reports. “Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?”

“12 YEARS” Rudin replied.

Pascal went on to suggest other prominent films starring African Americans: “Or the butler. Or think like a man? [sic]”

“Ride-along,” wrote Rudin. “I bet he likes Kevin Hart.”

The emails were the latest in a series of leaks following a high-profile hacking attack by a group calling itself Guardians of Peace.

The leaks have revealed myriad squabbles Pascal has had with various Hollywood bigwigs, as well as precious nuggets regarding a slew of Hollywood stars, including Jonah Hill, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie.

[Buzzfeed]

Correction: The original version of this story was accompanied by a photograph which incorrectly identified its subject as the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal. The post has since been updated.

Read next: The 7 Most Outrageous Things We Learned From the Sony Hack

TIME

Morning Must Reads: December 2

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Obama Calls for Police Body Cameras After Ferguson

President Obama has proposed new funding for police body cameras and training with military equipment to address the widening gap between police and minority communities following the police shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown

Colleges Burden Poorest Students

University students at the lowest income level were hit with the highest price increases, even at some of America’s wealthiest institutions

ISIS May Target Military at Home

Homeland Security officials issued their strongest warning yet that American service members may be targeted in the U.S. by the militant group ISIS

Watch George Clooney Star in Downton Abbey Short

The Hollywood actor has at last made his Downton Abbey debut in a brief teaser clip for a charity film which will air during the holidays on British TV. Speculation still remains about what role Clooney will take on in the film

Ukraine Government, Rebels Agree on New Cease-Fire

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that under the agreement, hostilities are to cease Friday along the line of contact between the warring sides, and heavy weapons will start being withdrawn from the front at the weekend

U.S. Drug-Overdose Deaths Spike

U.S. drug-overdose fatalities more than doubled from 1999 to 2012, according to a new CDC report. New data shows overdose deaths from drugs like painkillers and heroin have risen from 6.1 per 100,000 population in 1999 to 13.1 in 2012

Wife of ISIS Leader Detained in Lebanon

Lebanese officials say authorities have detained a wife and son of the leader of the Islamic State group after they attempted to use fake identification cards. A local report said that the arrest was in “coordination with foreign intelligence agencies”

Janice Dickinson Discusses Allegations Against Bill Cosby

Janice Dickinson is one of the dozen or so women who have come forward to accuse comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault. During a recent interview, the former supermodel broke down while talking about how the alleged rape has affected her

NFL Won’t Discipline Players for Gesture

The NFL will not punish St. Louis Rams players for their “hands up, don’t shoot” gestures made during introductions before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders. The posture mirrored those made by protesters in Ferguson and throughout the U.S.

Hong Kong Top Leader Says Hunger Strike Is Futile

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has told leaders of the city’s pro-democracy demonstrations who say they are now on hunger strike that their efforts are “futile,” but that he hopes they stay safe

Judge Overturns Conviction Against Ex-Virginia First Lady

A federal judge on Monday overturned one graft related conviction against Maureen McDonnell, the wife of the former Virginia governor, but allowed all other convictions against the two to stand. Her husband Bob McDonnell was convicted on 11 counts

Birdman Wins Big at Gotham Independent Film Awards

The 2014 Gotham Independent Film Awards wrapped up in New York City on Monday night, with Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s dark comedy Birdman winning best feature. Hollywood’s awards season has officially kicked off

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TIME Television

Watch George Clooney Look Out of Place on Downton Abbey

The period drama gets a visit from a very modern star

Looking as if he’d be more at home on the set of an Nespresso commercial than an English period drama, George Clooney has at last made his Downton Abbey debut in a brief teaser clip.

Clooney has a part in a short Downton Abbey charity film which will air during the holidays on British network ITV. Though there’s been much speculation about what role Clooney will take on in the film, details have been scant. And sadly for Downton fans, the 20-second teaser clip doesn’t give much indication what Clooney’s character is all about. All we know is that Lady Cora addresses him as “Dearest,” perhaps mistaking him for Lord Grantham despite the deep tan.

The short film is due to air on Dec. 18.

[THR]

TIME celebrities

Christian Bale to George Clooney: ‘Stop Whining’ About Privacy

"It’s like, come on, guys, just shut up. Just get on with it and live your lives"

Exodus star Christian Bale, who went on an infamous angry rant on a movie set in 2009, had some blunt words for celebrities who make a big deal about wanting to maintain their privacy: “Just shut up.”

The Oscar-winning Welsh star said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal magazine that hearing other actors (like George Clooney) complain about the paparazzi and gossip magazines is simply “boring.” That’s not to say Bale doesn’t care about his privacy — the former Dark Knight leading man is known for being extremely tight-lipped about his children’s names and his marriage. As Bale tells it, he just doesn’t talk about what he doesn’t want to talk about.

Read the exchange — Bale only does Q&As — below:

AG: Speaking of George Clooney, I was just seeing all those pictures of him and his new wife being photographed in that boat in Venice, and it occurred to me that I had no idea what your wife, Sibi, looks like.

CB: I feel I should have as much privacy as anyone else.

AG: But I’ve heard Clooney railing about tabloids and privacy too.

CB: I know, but it’s boring, isn’t it? You know what I mean? It doesn’t matter that he talks about it. It’s like, come on, guys, just shut up. Just get on with it and live your lives and stop whining about it. I prefer not to whine about it.

[WSJ]

TIME Television

George Clooney Hung Out With Lord Grantham at Downton Abbey

To film a special charity episode of Downton Abbey

Sorry, Lady Mary– George Clooney isn’t going to be your latest suitor. But he did visit the set of Downton Abbey to film a charity sketch (and make the Dowager Countess faint).

Clooney was visiting the set to film a spin-off sketch for ITV’s annual Text Santa charity drive. In the charity episode, Clooney reportedly kisses Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess, and she falls into a swoon. “George plants a kiss and Maggie ends up on the floor, it’s wonderful. He was hilarious,” actress Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, told The Telegraph.

When asked whether George Clooney could have a regular role on the show, creator Julian Fellowes seemed ready to swoon as well. “As far as I’m concerned, he can have whatever he likes,” Fellowes said. “He can take over from Maggie (Smith) if he likes.”

[The Telegraph]

TIME Marriage

The Real Reason We’re Devastated About Benedict Cumberbatch’s Engagement

From Left: George Clooney and George Clooney and
Getty Images (2)

The reactions confirms we're still obsessed with fairy tales

There was a great wail on Twitter Wednesday morning, and it wasn’t about the midterm elections. It was because Benedict Cumberbatch, the hunky British star of Sherlock, got engaged to director and actress Sophie Hunter instead of you.

The same thing happened when George Clooney popped the question to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin (although the shock was amplified due to element of surprise because the divorced bachelor had said he wouldn’t marry again). In both cases, there was a immediate gasp — and Twitter despair — followed by fawning over each woman’s considerable accomplishments.

And Sophie Hunter and Amal Alamuddin both have plenty to fawn over. Hunter is an actress (she and Cumberbatch met on the set of the 2009 film Burlesque Fairytales) but she’s better known as a theater director and playwright — she won the Samuel Beckett award for her play The Terrific Electric, and directed operas like The Magic Flute and The Rape of Lucretia. Amal Alamuddin is a well-respected international lawyer who has represented clients like Julian Assange, and specializes in human rights law. In other words, neither is a slouch.

But the initial “gasp” is more interesting. Why is everyone so shocked when movie stars marry non-movie stars? Especially when super-hot, eligible male celebrities marry non-famous women instead of fellow Hollywood royalty?

Because for that first moment, it feels like a modern Cinderella story, especially when the entire Internet is asking “Who’s That Girl?” like gossipy stepsisters at the ball. It’s part of the “beautiful princess plucked from obscurity” thing, an old-fashioned fantasy that manages to co-exist and survive even in a society that’s increasingly skeptical of all things pink and princess-y. The media called the Alamuddin-Clooney wedding a fairytale,” and the very recent Hunter-Cumberbatch engagement has already taken on its own gauzy romantic aura. And in the 21st century, fame is royalty, so when a movie star pops the question to someone who’s not a red carpet fixture, it’s as shocking as a Prince going around touching people’s feet.

Really, we shouldn’t be surprised at all. All the data suggests that there’s nothing “magical” about either match, and that both actually have a fairly good chance of surviving. Marriages between mature, childless adults with equal status and similar educational backgrounds have the best chances of survival, as my colleague Belinda Luscombe recently pointed out in a piece about Clooney’s marriage. And it seems like the Cumberbatch-Hunter nuptials fit that very same bill.

Still, there’s an embarrassing amount of shock and awe when something like this happens. And if they had had Twitter in those fictional kingdoms once upon a time, there probably would have been a lot of tweets like these:

True, Benedict is dreamy, tall, and looks good in tweed, but this response seems a little extreme. That’s why I think there’s something else going on here: the jealousy isn’t because Cumberbatch is so British and hot, it’s rooted in the fact that Sophie Hunter is a mere mortal, a “civilian.” The same thing happened when George proposed to Amal and when Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton. As Fay Schopen wrote in an essay in The Guardian after Clooney’s engagement, “I, along with legions of others I am sure, have never been able to shake the idea that if Clooney and I happened to meet each other I’d be in with a chance.”

People are jealous because each of these super-eligible bachelors found someone who was “just like us” — but who was not, in fact, any of us. And the fact that we react this way when famous men marry regular women suggests we’re still enthralled by the old fairy-tale of a Prince picking a girl from the crowd and making her a Princess.

It’s also worth noting that there’s not often the same reaction when news breaks that a famous actor is simply dating someone who isn’t famous, like when Clooney dated former cocktail waitress Sarah Larson. It’s the engagement that causes a frenzy. That also ties into Prince Charming narrative — it’s not the love that matters, it’s the “happily ever after.”

So as much as we might think that the Prince Charming fantasy has been injured by feminism and killed by Tinder, he’s not really dead. He’s just back in the movies, which is probably where he belongs.

 

TIME Books

Here Are Some Sex Tips From Amy Poehler’s New Book (Plus Insight on Motherhood and Divorce)

2014 ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards - Arrivals
Amy Poehler arrives at the 2014 ELLE Women In Hollywood Awards at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on Oct. 20, 2014 in Beverly Hills. Steve Granitz—WireImage

The Parks & Rec star's new book, Yes Please, is out on Oct. 28

Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please is out today, and the title pretty much sums up everyone’s attitude when we heard the notoriously nice funnywoman was finally writing a book. An Amy Poehler book? Yes please! That’s probably where she got her title.

The Parks & Rec star explains where she got her title, in a winning yet insightful passage in the book’s introduction:

It’s called Yes Please because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would I like to be left alone? Yes please…”Yes Please” sounds powerful and concise. It is a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman.”

But if you can’t pick up the book, or your bookstore is out of it, or you’re waiting in a line behind everyone else in the world and just want to know the highlights, here they are:

On hot sex tips:

In the “World Famous Sex Tips” chapter, Poehler has some choice advice for women and men about how to get it on:

For women:

Try not to fake it: I know you are tired/nervous/eager to please/unsure of how to get there. Just remember to allow yourself real pleasure and not worry about how long it takes…God punished us with the gift of being able to fake it. Show God who the real boss is by getting off and getting yours.

For men:

Be nice, tell your woman she is hot, never shame her, and never hurt her.

Also, she advises not to let your kids sleep in your bed, which is probably a good idea for both men and women.

On her mantra for women who make different choices:

Poehler describes the experience of giving birth to her first son, and making choices about delivery that were different from what her friends were doing (she opted for lots of drugs, not a “natural birth.”)

Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.

Poehler also notes that her OB-GYN had delivered Sophia Loren’s children, which was fitting because she (Poehler) has “the Angelina Jolie of vaginas.” This celebrity gyno doesn’t end up delivering Poehler’s son, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why…

On motherhood, and why “every mother needs a wife:”

Poehler has an excellent chapter on motherhood, titled “Every Mother Needs a Wife.” At first, she gets into the down-and-dirty of the mommy wars (perfectly lampooning the subtle digs of working and stay-at-home moms.)

“The ‘I don’t know how you do it’ statement used to get my blood boiling. When I heard those words, I didn’t hear ‘I don’t know HOW you do it.’ I just heard ‘I don’t know how you COULD do it.’ I would be feeling overworked and guilty and overwhelmed and suddenly I would be struck over the head by what felt like someone else’s bullsh*t. It was an emotional drive-by. A random act of woman-on-woman violence…

But then Poehler gets to what she actually means by “every mother needs a wife.” The chapter ends with a touching tribute to the nannies who care for her children, similar to the tear-jerking toast she gave at the TIME100 gala in 2011. These women, she says, are her wives.

“Do you know how I do it? I can do it because I have a wife. Every mother needs a wife… Some mothers’ wives are their mothers. Some mothers’ wives are their husbands. Some mothers’ wives are their friends and neighbors. Every working person needs a wife who takes care of her and helps her become a better mother… the biggest lie and biggest crime is that we all do this alone and look down on people who can’t.

On divorce:

True to form, Poehler doesn’t dish any juicy details at all about her 2013 divorce from comedian Will Arnett, but does write insightfully about how difficult the process was.

“Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air. The process of divorce is about loading up that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin, and worrying what stuff will break when it lands.

She notes that she isn’t going to get into any specifics, because it’s “too sad and too personal,” but she will say this:

“I am proud of how my ex husband, Will, and I have been taking care of our children; I am beyond grateful he is their father and I don’t think a ten-year marriage constitutes failure. That being said, getting a divorce really sucks. But as my dear friend and relationship sponsor Louis CK has noted, “divorce is always good news because no good marriage has ever ended in divorce.

On awards shows:

Poehler has been nominated for many acting awards (mostly for Parks & Rec, although she was nominated for two Emmys for her time at SNL, and for some movies). Although she has not yet won an Emmy for Parks & Rec, she is known for staging “bits” with other nominees to take some of the pressure off who wins. Here’s why:

“The worst part of being nominated for any award is that despite your best efforts, you start to want the pudding. You spend weeks thinking about how it doesn’t matter and it’s all just an honor, and then seconds before the name of the winner is announced everything inside you screams… “GIMME THAT PUDDING!!” Then comes the adrenaline dump, followed by shame.

She describes all the various stunts she’s pulled at awards shows, from wearing fake mustaches to pretending to be in a beauty pageant to switching speeches with Julia Louis Dreyfus, to a fake flirtation with George Clooney.

“The lessons? Women are mighty. George Clooney loves bits. Doing something together is often more fun than doing it alone. And you don’t always have to win to get the pudding.”

On doing drugs:

She’s pretty open about her drug use, which is kind of awesome. The verdict: weed rocks, cocaine feels great but terrible the next day, and everything else ruins lives.

“In my twenties I tried cocaine, which I instantly loved but eventually hated. Cocaine is terrific if you want to hang out with people you don’t know very well and play Ping-Pong all night. It’s bad for almost everything else… The day after cocaine is rough…The next day is the thing I can’t pull off anymore. How do you explain to a four-and-six-year old that you can’t play Rescue Bots because you have to spend all day in bed eating Cape Cod potato chips and watching The Bicycle Thief?

But is she worried that her kids will read the book and think drugs are okay? Nah.

“What’s more boring than your own mother’s take on her own life? Yawn. Also, I am counting on everyone living on the moon by the time my children are teenagers, and that they’ll have really interesting space friends who are kind and good students and think drugs are lame and “totally, like, Earthish.”

More, please!

Read next: Marcel the Shell (With Shoes On) Is Back

TIME

Amal Alamuddin Is The Latest Exhibit in the Museum of Disempowered Women

Human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin Clooney speaks to media in Athens, Oct. 13, 2014.
Lawyer Amal Clooney speaks to media in Athens on Oct. 13, 2014 Yorgos Karahalis—Reuters

The new Mrs. Clooney is advising the Greek government on its campaign to regain looted sculptures. But the overlapping interests of her and her husband feels uncomfortable

Amal Clooney, lawyer, is reported to be at the epicenter of “the west’s longest-running cultural row.” The Guardian, which coined the phrase, meant the two-century-long tussle between Athens and London over the rightful home of marble sculptures removed from the Parthenon between 1801 and 1805 by the English aristocrat Lord Elgin and later sold by him to the British Museum, where they still reside. Clooney, née Alamuddin, arrived in Greece on Oct. 13 at the invitation of the Greek Culture Minister to assist with the campaign for the marbles’ return.

But the frenzy of flashbulbs and fashion commentary that greeted Clooney’s visit shows that she has become entangled in a cultural row of greater longevity and importance than the disposition of some antique artworks, however significant those may be. Throughout her adult life, this 36-year-old attorney specializing in international jurisprudence, extradition and criminal law has stood on her own merits accomplished, independent, respected. Now her identity risks being spirited away as the sculptures she seeks to repatriate once were. Even in the 21st century and among first-world elites, marriage retains the power to transform women into appendages, while celebrity culture reliably reduces females to ciphers. Since Alamuddin’s engagement and Venice wedding to actor George Clooney, she has never been more closely observed by a wider audience — or in greater danger of disappearing.

You might say this is Amal Clooney’s business. It is she who chose to say “I do” not only to “Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor” but also to celebrity-encrusted nuptials that created “intimate, exclusive” images for the happy couple, friends, family and the many millions of readers of publications such as People and Hello! to enjoy, showcasing the bride’s ability not only to anatomize the unfair trial of al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt under the military-backed government but also to wear nice dresses and skyscraper heels. It is Clooney who chose to retire the maiden name of Alamuddin under which she had scored many career successes and a client roster including Julian Assange and Yulia Tymoshenko. It was not, however, Clooney who chose to memorialize her first professional foray as the new Mrs. Clooney with banal reportage like this (“Move over, Kate Middleton! There’s a new hair queen in town!”). Clooney has always seemed to wear her startling beauty as lightly as her startling accomplishments, and there is nothing to suggest that she has changed.

The problem — and the reason the media repurposing of Clooney from queen of jurisprudence to hair-queen matters — is that there is still a dearth of women who rise to prominence through their own merits, reflecting the harsh reality of a world resolutely skewed against female achievement.

Many interlocking mechanisms keep women down, but in watching the transmogrification — and trivialization — of Clooney we are witnessing one of the most pernicious of these. I laughed back in June, when Britain’s Daily Mail turned its report about a global summit on combatting sexual violence into a slavering commentary on Clooney’s appearance. I laughed at reporting of the Alamuddin-Clooney marriage so tremulously overexcited by the groom (two-time “sexiest man alive”!) that it characterized the bride’s crowning attainment as “snaring” him. I laughed louder at the spoof headlines this spectacle inspired: “Internationally Acclaimed Attorney Marries an Actor,” etc.

I also laughed at that actor’s ham-fisted attempt earlier this year to boost the long-running initiative to reclaim the Parthenon marbles for Greece. “Even in England, the polling is in favor of returning the Pantheon [sic] marbles, the marbles from the Pantheon,” George Clooney said during a promotional tour for his movie about the restitution of art looted by the Nazis, The Monuments Men.

There’s nothing wrong and a lot right with stars using their celebrity power to publicize worthy causes (though it’s generally better to do the research first). However the overlapping interest of Mr. and Mrs. Clooney in this case feels uncomfortable. The Greek government originally approached the then Amal Alamuddin in 2 B.C. — that’s 2011, two years Before Clooney entered her life. Greece sought her services and those of her storied colleagues at the London-based law firm Doughty Chambers for one reason only: their collective legal expertise. Now Mrs. Clooney’s involvement in the case has been ascribed a new and more tenuous value. “We will of course be discussing all our legal options but what we really want is to keep the issue alive,” a “well-placed policy maker” told the Guardian. “There would be no better way of doing that than getting Hollywood involved and, hopefully, [George] Clooney too.”

A brilliant lawyer and strong female role model is being misappropriated, to be put on show as the latest exhibit in the Museum of Disempowered Women. Never mind restoring the marbles to Greece: give us back Amal!

MONEY Careers

Career Advice for the New Mrs. Clooney

141014_CA_MRSCLOONEY
Robino Salvatore—Getty Images

Amal Alamuddin is now Amal Clooney. Chances are the name change won't hurt the human-rights attorney's career, but less famous wives may want to do some planning before adopting a spouse's name in the workplace.

Just back in the office after getting hitched to an actor in Venice, London-based human-rights attorney Amal Alamuddin is going by a new name: Mrs. Clooney. While the former Ms. Alamuddin, 36, has established a professional reputation under her own moniker, it’s safe to say that being identified as the woman who got the sexiest man alive to settle down won’t damage her career prospects.

But what about accomplished women who aren’t boldface names by marriage or—like Kim Kardashian, who announced earlier this summer that henceforth she would be known as Mrs. West—boldface names in their own right? Suddenly appearing in the workplace as Mrs. So-and-So can cause some confusion among clients and colleagues.

As we noted when Kim made it official, the fact that women are marrying later, often after they’ve spent years establishing a career, can make the change to a new name more complicated—and risky. If you’re considering going by a different handle in the workplace, here are eight steps to ease the transition without hurting your prospects.

1. Hedge your bets. Think about how costly it would be to cut off your connection to the body of work or marketing that’s tied to your maiden name. If that worries you, opt for a more moderate approach. “The easy out is to keep your maiden name at work and in professional contexts, but use your spouse’s last name socially,” says Danielle Tate, founder of MissNowMrs.com, a site that helps women change their legal name.

Another compromise is to use both surnames, either by making your maiden name your middle name, using both last names, or creating a hyphenated last name. Kim took this approach initially. Shortly after exchanging vows with Kayne, she changed the name on her social media accounts to Kim Kardashian West. And just as Kim has done, you can use both surnames for a brief transition period to help people get used to your new identity before dropping your maiden name.

2. Get help from your company. If you plan on making a complete switch, reach out for advice. “You don’t have to figure it out all on your own. You’re not the only who has gotten married or changed your name,” says Michelle Friedman, a career coach who specializes in women’s career advancement.

A good first move is to check in with your HR department, which may have policies in place outlining exactly what changes you need to make to your beneficiary designations, insurance benefits, company email and directory listing, and tax and Social Security forms. Aside from offering help with name-change paperwork, HR may be able to offer advice about managing contacts, as well as insights into how others in your industry have handled the change successfully (ask co-workers too).

3. Don’t make it a surprise. Give co-workers and clients ample notice about your name change to avoid confusion, especially if contact info such as your email address will be updated. Sandra Green, a U.K.-based executive coach, recommends reaching out a week to ten days before the wedding.

One easy way: Put a small note in your email signature in advance, says Julie Cohen, a Philadelphia career and personal coach. It’s an unobtrusive reminder and a good way to get people familiar with the change.

Not everyone in your email contact list needs to know. Run through your list of clients and sort them into groups based on the closeness of your working relationship. Some you’ll just need to include in a quick email blast, while others you should talk to directly.

“Obviously you don’t want to get on the phone with everyone, but in certain important client relationships this may be good to do,” says Friedman.

4. Stay on top of the technology. After you’ve made the switch, set up forwarding on your previous email account, or write an automatic reply that includes your new contact info. This way you don’t miss any important messages, and people have a longer grace period to update their contact info and adjust to your new name.

5. Go back in history. Give former employers and references a heads-up about this change as well. This way if you’re applying for a new job, your background check will go smoothly, and you won’t run the risk of having people mistakenly deny that you worked for their company.

6. Use this as an excuse to network. Send an email to everyone in your work circle. “Whenever someone changes jobs or retires, they send these emails about good news,” says Cohen. “Do the same with this.”

This also gives you a perfect excuse to remind your network what you’re up to. “You always want to remain in contact,” says Friedman. “But sometimes it’s hard to think of a natural reason for reaching out. This gives you a celebratory excuse.”

You could even send this blast twice, says Green. First a few days before the wedding and again after you return from your honeymoon, when the change is in place.

7. Make yourself easy to find. Think about how people locate you and your business. Is it through search, a review website, social media, or all of them? Update all your bios.

When you add your new name on sites like LinkedIn, keep a vestige of your old name. That can help people find you during the transition period. “Include your maiden name on social,” says Cohen. “If people are finding you by search it will serve you best to keep connected to both names.”

If you had a more common name or are making the switch to a more popular surname, adds Tate, having both names online could even help you come up higher in search results.

8. Update your memberships. To further help your new name show up high in search results and build up credibility for your new moniker, Friedman recommends having any professional organizations, alumni associations, company or community boards, or other groups you belong to change your name on their membership roles.

If you hold a leadership position or are listed elsewhere on an association website, perhaps for winning an award, request that the name change appear throughout. Ask to have any older content that can easily be altered, such as a post listing you as a guest speaker at a conference, updated too.

 

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