The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 2.29.2016

Diversity dominates Academy Awards; Trump retweets Mussolini; Zappos gives employees the day off; Clinton's big win in South Carolina sets up decisive Super Tuesday; MSNBC splits with Melissa Harris-Perry.

Diversity dominates the conversation at the Oscars
The lack of diversity among Oscar nominees in major categories dominated the conversation on social media on Sunday night and at the Academy Awards itself. Leonardo DiCaprio (finally) won Best Actor; Spotlight took home Best Picture; and Mad Max: Fury Road won big among the ceremony’s secondary awards. Awkward Moment of the Night went to Stacey Dash and Sam Smith. Vice President Joe Biden called for halting on-campus sexual assault while introducing Lady Gaga.

Trump RTs Mussolini
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, on the verge of taking a commanding delegate lead on Super Tuesday, retweeted a quote by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on Sunday. (Gawker set up a bot tweeting fascist quotes at Trump). He explained on Meet the Press that the quote was "very interesting." Trump also declined to turn away an endorsement from a KKK leader.


Zappos lets employees think big on Leap Day
The online shoe-seller is giving employees the day off on Monday, encouraging them to think out of the box while not at work. The company is also rolling out the #TakeTheLeap hashtag and encouraging the federal government to declare Leap Day a holiday every four years.


Clinton’s South Carolina win sets up Super Tuesday triumph
Hillary Clinton easily won South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday and has healthy leads in many Super Tuesday states. A decisive win could all but wrap up the nomination for the former secretary of state. Meanwhile, in the ever-more-nasty Republican race, Donald Trump could obtain a dominant position by winning big tomorrow.

MSNBC drops Melissa Harris-Perry’s show
In an acrimonious split, host Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC are parting ways. The show, which had a focus on diversity and race issues, was often preempted by campaign coverage and breaking news since the start of this year.


What to know on Monday:
Edelman begins partnership with employee engagement firm Dynamic Impact. Valeant Pharmaceuticals CEO to return from medical leave. Subway to debut its first antibiotic-free sandwich

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