Variety Honors “Power of Women”. Honorees Include Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Oprah, Ava DuVernay and Others
Variety’s Power of Women held their event in Los Angeles this past week. This year's honorees are among the most
Variety’s Power of Women held their event in Los Angeles this past week. This year's honorees are among the most accomplished, empowered and fierce females who are leading the way for women everywhere. The women who were honored this year are: Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton; Oprah Winfrey; Ava DuVernay; Malala Yousafzai; Elizabeth Olsen and Jacqueline Martinez Garcel.
The event, now in its 13th year, is devoted to women in the entertainment industry who dedicate their offscreen lives to service through various charities and causes. The honorees are deliberately chosen from differing backgrounds and diverse spaces inside the world of entertainment.
Each honoree was recognized for their individual work in their chosen cause. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton spoke about the importance of not only sharing the stories of their fellow sisters, but celebrating them as well. This is echoed in their series Gutsy, an eight-part series on Apple TV+. While at the event, the pair took the time to address one of the most controversial topics facing women today – abortion.
Frustrated but not defeated, Hillary Clinton said, “It’s a choice to be optimistic,” in reference to the Roe v. Wade abortion protection being struck down earlier this year. Chelsea was more pointed about her frustration saying she was “full of palpating rage” when realizing her daughter may have fewer rights than she did when she was a young woman. Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also addressed the recent crisis facing the women in Iran.”I could not stand up here tonight without also recognizing the brave women in Iran who are standing up for their rights…against a horrific regime who stays in power in large measure because they oppress women.”
The world’s youngest Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai spoke to the group of women about the lack of diversity while supporting the Pillars Artists Fellowship. Yousafzai who serves as president for Extracurricular Productions told the crowd, “In the last year I have also learned a lot. I learned that Asian people like me make up less than 4% of leads in Hollywood films. Muslims are 25% of the population, but only 1% of character in popular TV series."
Oprah, the former daytime talk show queen turned network owner, was recognized alongside director Ava DuVernay. The pair spoke about the success of OWN’s Black Sugar and how the series was directed by only women, a new idea for the television veteran. “Can we do that,” Oprah asks Ava. “Yeah, we can do that,” says Ava, “Cause you own the network!”
Elizabeth Olsen, star of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” was chosen for her charity work with The Rape Foundation and Stuart House. In her speech to the fellow honorees and attendees she chose to celebrate and elevate another woman, Gail Abarbanel. Gail is the leader and founder of both The Rape Foundation and Stuart House. Their mission is to provide child advocates, therapists and investigators to children who are victims of sexual abuse.
Not surprisingly many strong and successful women were also in attendance for the event hosted by Hacks star Meg Stalter. Presenters included Quinta Brunson, Diane Guerro, Kathryn Han, Bianca Lawson and Tina Lifford, Sandra Oh. Additional guests included: Jenna Dewan, Fran Drescher, Tia Mowry and Niecy Nash.
The event that celebrates the Power of Women has each honoree appear on a Variety cover. The women will also be profiled in the publication’s annual Women’s Impact Report. Not in attendance was Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. She was chosen as one of the honorees but out of respect for Queen Elizabeth’s passing, her cover shoot was postponed until a later time.