Variety’s Power of Women celebrates female resilience

Women’s resilience against tall odds and low expectations was the theme of Thursday night Diversity And Lifetime featured four of the entertainment industry’s brightest stars at the annual Power of Women event.

Fantasia Barrino, star of Warner Bros.’s upcoming remake of “The Color Purple,” dedicated her Power of Women kudos to Celie, the deeply ill-treated character she plays in the film, as well as her own daughter. Barrino did not hide his emotions when he was introduced by Oprah Winfrey, who co-starred in the 1985 film adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel and is a producer on the remake.

“Revisiting Fantasia, reimagining, and reinventing Celie for our film was truly a moment to witness victory in action,” Winfrey told a packed crowd at a dinner event at Mother Wolf in Hollywood.

“This award goes to Celie and my daughter and every young woman who is going through some of the same things,” Barrino said. “But it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, baby. We fall but get up again. Google me. “I fell, but I’m up.”

Barrino’s message resonated throughout the evening as fellow honorees Billie Eilish, Lily Gladstone and Carey Mulligan spoke from the heart about her life and her philanthropic passion. Also honored were Emily Blunt, who received a Power of Women alum nod, and Margot Robbie, the team behind LuckyChap, the busy production banner run by Josie McNamara and Tom Ackerley, who Robbie is married to.

Robbie was present for the program but his voice was not good. So he wrote a speech for McNamara and Ackerley with a mixture of heart and humor.

Ackerley said, “The only thing I love more than seeing men supporting women is seeing men supporting women, and I’ve been watching for the last 10 years that both of these guys have made their careers supporting women.” “And nothing could make me love them more.” , speaking for my wife.

Of course, Robbie, who took the top spot in the year’s biggest box office smash, “Barbie,” was also well-represented. Joined by her brother and frequent collaborator Finneas on keyboards, Eilish performed the song “What Was I Made For?” Gave a brief demonstration of. From the movie. The astonishing display prompted some high-powered officials to capture the moment on their phones.

Eilish bared her soul while accepting her honor and told the crowd she was extra emotional because she was taking the steroid prednisone. The 21-year-old, who has grown up in the public eye over the past decade, said she is being able to establish her identity as a woman.

“I have never really felt like a woman. “I’ve spent a lot of my life not feeling like I deserve to be a woman,” Eilish said. “It sounds weird, but I have a lot of misogyny inside of me and I feel like it’s coming out in places I don’t want it to. And I have to say with complete transparency that I feel very grateful to be a woman right now. “I feel very proud, and I am very honored to be here.”

The crowd was nearly silent as “Killers of the Flower Moon” star Gladstone praised the unique struggles faced by Native women in the Americas, noting the rule of more than 500 tribes and the separation between local police. When Gladstone said that four out of five Indigenous women will experience “some form of violence at the hands of a romantic partner”, shock spread across the room. While agreeing on the topic of “killers”, he noted the FBI’s unique position regarding crimes on reservations.

“The only people who have the authority to do anything about this are the only people who do anything,” he said. “The only people left to do anything about it are the women here.” Gladstone highlighted the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center as a vital lifeline for thousands of women in crisis. The center’s focus is on “bringing these survivors’ stories to legislators, to the people who have the power to make some real change, and to give our people what we need to protect ourselves. “the minimum.”

Gladstone was introduced by his “Killers” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays an FBI agent in the 1930s film. He credited DiCaprio for making changes to the story and screenplay to avoid the “white savior” rumor and to emphasize the shocking violence and discrimination against the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. (Long before DiCaprio took the stage to pay tribute to Gladstone, Barrino drew attention to his presence during his speech when he paused mid-sentence to point at the actor and say “Hi! Love you!”) )

“Lily is not just an actor. “She’s also an activist who truly brings others together as she did me,” DiCaprio said. “Her tireless and passionate efforts reflect her commitment to improving systemic issues within our country and tribal communities. “

“Maestro” star Mulligan was praised for her work as an ambassador and fundraising dynamo for War Child UK. And its American branch. War Child UK CEO Rob Williams joined Mulligan at the event, where actor-director Emerald Fennell introduced him.

Having traveled to conflict zones on behalf of the organization, Mulligan said it has given her the privilege of raising children in a relatively safe environment. He compared his concerns about protecting his young son and daughter from inappropriate videos on social media to those of parents elsewhere.

“Imagine the concerns of a mother in a conflict zone,” Mulligan said. “His concerns might be something like: What if my child sees a family member get shot? What if my child’s best friend is killed in an airstrike? What if my house is destroyed and we have to flee to a refugee camp? What if my child is kidnapped? These are not imaginary. I know this because I’ve met countless parents in Ukraine, Iraq and Jordan and on the Syrian border and in the Democratic Republic of Congo who have to consider these questions. “Those are the questions parents are asking ourselves tonight, right now, as we sit here.”

In its 15th year, Power of Women is presented by Lifetime, with Wells Fargo and Cadillac serving as major partners. The music for the evening was handled by DJ Daisy O’Dell.

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