Carrie Underwood, Karen Fairchild Lead CMT’s Push for More Women in Country Music

The 2018 Artist of the Year awards honored only female country artists for the first time in history.

As Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild accepted her award at CMT’s Artist of the Year Awards, she pulled out her phone. She promised she wasn’t being rude–she just didn’t want to forget any one of the 35 female artists and acts she listed during the award show in late October that honored an all-female slate of musicians for the first time this year.

The moment, labeled one of the most powerful 45-seconds of an award show this year, was a plea for more support and radio play for country’s female stars. The genre has been under fire for years for its favoritism of male artists of the so-called “bro country” variety. In fact, the percentage of female country songs charted by Country Aircheck dropped to 10.4 percent in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2016, and there were no solo women artists in the 10 most-played songs on country radio in 2017, according to Billboard year-end charts. A radio consultant recently claimed in Elle that women’s voices are a biological “irritant” to listeners.

Also Read: ‘Wife Swap’ Revival: CMT Sets February Debut for Reality Series’ Return to TV

All of which served as context for Fairchild’s speech. “I can’t say enough about CMT for just honoring women and celebrating women when it’s really important right now. And I’m humbled and I hope I can live up to this honor,” she said, alongside her bandmate Kimberly Schlapman.

“I just want to say in case anyone’s watching that Danielle Bradbery, Runaway June, Kelleigh Bannen, Kassi Ashton, Ashley McBryde, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Lucie Silvas, Jillian Jacqueline, Heather Morgan, Abby Anderson, Aubrie Sellers, Tenille Townes, Rachel Wammack, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Ruthie Collins, Maggie Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Lindsay Ell, Jana Kramer, Clare Dunn, Lauren Alaina, Margo Price, the Sisterhood Band, Natalie Stovall, Kree Harrison, Brooke Eden, Candi Carpenter, Lillie Mae, Emily Hackett, Little Feather, Kalie Shorr, and Lacy Cavalier are there for you to support–and play on the radio if you want to.”

Carrie Underwood made clear while accepting her own Artist of the Year award that she wasn’t there because she’s a woman. “We’re here because we’re damn good at what we do,” she said. Underwood’s Cry Pretty album earned the best sales week of the year by a female in September, unseating Cardi B as the record-holder.

Also Read: CMT Renews ‘Music City’ for Season 2, Orders New Reality Show ‘Racing Wives’

In Celebration of a Defining Year for Women

Leslie Fram, senior VP of music strategy for CMT, says the network believed this was the perfect time to honor the women of country, calling it a “defining year for women, not only in music but in general.”

“CMT has been bold about supporting female artists at a time where it’s been a challenge with terrestrial radio, internet radio, and streaming services,” Fram says. “We’ve been at the forefront of supporting female voices, so it made sense to turn ‘Artist of the Year’ into a celebration of women.”

The night’s honorees included Loretta Lynn, Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Fairchild and Schlapman, and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.

Also Read: Watch Kelly Clarkson’s ‘American Woman’ Music Video (Exclusive)

“I am a country artist and also a really big feminist and I feel really supported by CMT,” said Kalie Shorr during a red carpet interview before the event. “I was on the ‘CMT Next Women of Country Tour’ earlier this year. It was my first tour and it just blew open these opportunities for me. Anytime I get to party with CMT and celebrate women is a good day for me.”

The Next Women of Country franchise is CMT’s way of supporting women year-round. It started as a campaign in 2013 to support female artists by airing their music videos and content created at CMT’s studios in Nashville. It’s since expanded into a tour, serving as an incubator program for undiscovered artists and showcases emerging female artists. Several alumnae have achieved critical acclaim, including Morris, Brandy Clark, and Kacey Musgraves.

“A lot of new artists don’t go on tour if they don’t have a song on the radio,” Fram explains. “We had some pretty substantial artists headline the tour, like Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride and Sara Evans, and they brought young females with them like Maggie Rose to Lindsay Ell.”

Also Read: Carrie Underwood Drops First Song Since Her Face Injury

The assumption that country music fans don’t want to listen to lady crooners likely comes from the 2015 controversy dubbed “tomatogate,” when trade publication Country Aircheck quoted consultant Keith Hill asserting, “if you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.” According to Hill, country radio’s predominantly female listener base prefers male artists. “I play great female records, and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females,” he said at the time.

What an incredible night full of amazing, strong, talented, gorgeous, smart, sweet women! I am honored to be in your company and am in awe of each and every one of you! Thank you @cmt for recognizing women in Country Music! ????: @ShearerPhoto @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/aiVlNCvDam

— Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) October 18, 2018

In pre-recorded interviews that aired during the ceremony, honorees addressed country’s gender imbalance directly.

Ballerini, who highlighted that “bro country” has been a thing for a while, said, “we’re not saying this music’s bad–we’re just saying that you’re leaving people out.” Morris, meanwhile, debunked the idea that women don’t want to hear women. “I will have to call B.S. on that one, because I grew up listening to women. That’s why I’m here today,” she said.

.@MarenMorris looks up to a fellow #CMTAOTY honoree when it comes to her career. Watch and find out who… pic.twitter.com/G1ud4K4TO3

— CMT (@CMT) October 16, 2018

“These ladies are influencing the next generation, but they were influenced by some amazingly talented, strong, bold women. Without them they wouldn’t be standing on that stage,” says Margaret Comeaux, vice president of music and event production for CMT, who produced the Artist of the Year show. “People like Loretta Lynn. Good God. You’re hard pressed to find ladies like that. In a time when no one was really standing up for women, she did. That came out very naturally in the interviews.”

The Artist of the Year awards will always be about celebrating the Top 5 artists of the year, says Comeaux, but they are willing to center the ceremony around whatever is happening in the industry. “I think we found in the last two years that it’s a show that can morph into what it needs to be. It’s about celebrating the artists and our format,” she adds. “We’re always going to continue to keep pushing things forward.”

Visit the Viacom Newsroom for more insights.

By Nicole Bitette

Related stories from TheWrap:

Blake Shelton Joins Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas in STX’s Animated Film ‘UglyDolls’

Kelly Clarkson Heads to Daytime With New Talk Show

Kelly Clarkson Aces US Open Performance, Wins Fan Vote for Next Super Bowl Halftime Show

The 2018 Artist of the Year awards honored only female country artists for the first time in history.

As Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild accepted her award at CMT’s Artist of the Year Awards, she pulled out her phone. She promised she wasn’t being rude–she just didn’t want to forget any one of the 35 female artists and acts she listed during the award show in late October that honored an all-female slate of musicians for the first time this year.

The moment, labeled one of the most powerful 45-seconds of an award show this year, was a plea for more support and radio play for country’s female stars. The genre has been under fire for years for its favoritism of male artists of the so-called “bro country” variety. In fact, the percentage of female country songs charted by Country Aircheck dropped to 10.4 percent in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2016, and there were no solo women artists in the 10 most-played songs on country radio in 2017, according to Billboard year-end charts. A radio consultant recently claimed in Elle that women’s voices are a biological “irritant” to listeners.

All of which served as context for Fairchild’s speech. “I can’t say enough about CMT for just honoring women and celebrating women when it’s really important right now. And I’m humbled and I hope I can live up to this honor,” she said, alongside her bandmate Kimberly Schlapman.

“I just want to say in case anyone’s watching that Danielle Bradbery, Runaway June, Kelleigh Bannen, Kassi Ashton, Ashley McBryde, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Mickey Guyton, Lucie Silvas, Jillian Jacqueline, Heather Morgan, Abby Anderson, Aubrie Sellers, Tenille Townes, Rachel Wammack, Maddie & Tae, Carly Pearce, Ruthie Collins, Maggie Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Lindsay Ell, Jana Kramer, Clare Dunn, Lauren Alaina, Margo Price, the Sisterhood Band, Natalie Stovall, Kree Harrison, Brooke Eden, Candi Carpenter, Lillie Mae, Emily Hackett, Little Feather, Kalie Shorr, and Lacy Cavalier are there for you to support–and play on the radio if you want to.”

Carrie Underwood made clear while accepting her own Artist of the Year award that she wasn’t there because she’s a woman. “We’re here because we’re damn good at what we do,” she said. Underwood’s Cry Pretty album earned the best sales week of the year by a female in September, unseating Cardi B as the record-holder.

In Celebration of a Defining Year for Women

Leslie Fram, senior VP of music strategy for CMT, says the network believed this was the perfect time to honor the women of country, calling it a “defining year for women, not only in music but in general.”

“CMT has been bold about supporting female artists at a time where it’s been a challenge with terrestrial radio, internet radio, and streaming services,” Fram says. “We’ve been at the forefront of supporting female voices, so it made sense to turn ‘Artist of the Year’ into a celebration of women.”

The night’s honorees included Loretta Lynn, Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Fairchild and Schlapman, and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott.

“I am a country artist and also a really big feminist and I feel really supported by CMT,” said Kalie Shorr during a red carpet interview before the event. “I was on the ‘CMT Next Women of Country Tour’ earlier this year. It was my first tour and it just blew open these opportunities for me. Anytime I get to party with CMT and celebrate women is a good day for me.”

The Next Women of Country franchise is CMT’s way of supporting women year-round. It started as a campaign in 2013 to support female artists by airing their music videos and content created at CMT’s studios in Nashville. It’s since expanded into a tour, serving as an incubator program for undiscovered artists and showcases emerging female artists. Several alumnae have achieved critical acclaim, including Morris, Brandy Clark, and Kacey Musgraves.

“A lot of new artists don’t go on tour if they don’t have a song on the radio,” Fram explains. “We had some pretty substantial artists headline the tour, like Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride and Sara Evans, and they brought young females with them like Maggie Rose to Lindsay Ell.”

The assumption that country music fans don’t want to listen to lady crooners likely comes from the 2015 controversy dubbed “tomatogate,” when trade publication Country Aircheck quoted consultant Keith Hill asserting, “if you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.” According to Hill, country radio’s predominantly female listener base prefers male artists. “I play great female records, and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females,” he said at the time.

In pre-recorded interviews that aired during the ceremony, honorees addressed country’s gender imbalance directly.

Ballerini, who highlighted that “bro country” has been a thing for a while, said, “we’re not saying this music’s bad–we’re just saying that you’re leaving people out.” Morris, meanwhile, debunked the idea that women don’t want to hear women. “I will have to call B.S. on that one, because I grew up listening to women. That’s why I’m here today,” she said.

“These ladies are influencing the next generation, but they were influenced by some amazingly talented, strong, bold women. Without them they wouldn’t be standing on that stage,” says Margaret Comeaux, vice president of music and event production for CMT, who produced the Artist of the Year show. “People like Loretta Lynn. Good God. You’re hard pressed to find ladies like that. In a time when no one was really standing up for women, she did. That came out very naturally in the interviews.”

The Artist of the Year awards will always be about celebrating the Top 5 artists of the year, says Comeaux, but they are willing to center the ceremony around whatever is happening in the industry. “I think we found in the last two years that it’s a show that can morph into what it needs to be. It’s about celebrating the artists and our format,” she adds. “We’re always going to continue to keep pushing things forward.”

Visit the Viacom Newsroom for more insights.

By Nicole Bitette

Related stories from TheWrap:

Blake Shelton Joins Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas in STX's Animated Film 'UglyDolls'

Kelly Clarkson Heads to Daytime With New Talk Show

Kelly Clarkson Aces US Open Performance, Wins Fan Vote for Next Super Bowl Halftime Show

Power Women Summit 2018 Portraits, From Barbara Boxer to Zoe Saldana (Photos)

Mira Sorvino, Anita Hill, HAIM, David Oyelowo, Rosanna Arquette, Nancy Dubuc, Jill Soloway and more participated in TheWrap’s inaugural Power Women Summit.

Mira Sorvino, Anita Hill, HAIM, David Oyelowo, Rosanna Arquette, Nancy Dubuc, Jill Soloway and more participated in TheWrap’s inaugural Power Women Summit.

Women of #MeToo Gather for Much-Needed Moment of Healing

For the past year, actress Rosanna Arquette has been a leading voice in the #MeToo movement, headlining events, giving interviews and lending her star power to the fight against sexual misconduct in the workplace.

But even though she’s no stranger to the stage, she said being applauded for her activism by 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry at the “Power Women Summit” in downtown Los Angeles late last week was so overwhelming, she completely blanked out.

“I had a little shutdown,” she told TheWrap, almost apologetically. “I kind of went out of my body for minute. I felt really emotional being with the girls.”

Also Read: Hollywood Women Make History at First Power Women Summit: Takeaways and Next Moves

Arquette, who was among the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct last year, was one of more than two dozen activists honored at the event, aimed at achieving gender equity in entertainment and media. For many, it was their first time receiving a thunderous ovation for their activism.

“You could feel this energy, like going to your first day of school or something,” Arquette said. “I was so nervous. Are the girls going to be mean? Is everything going to be OK?”

Coming forward has taken a toll on many #MeToo accusers. For some, the last year has been marked with a barrage of attacks from internet trolls. Others have lost their jobs. Almost all have experienced what experts call “secondary traumatization.”

Also Read: Women Producers and Filmmakers on Telling Their Own Stories – and Making Room for Other Women to Do the Same

Being recognized for their role in the grassroots movement along with fellow activists served as a moment of catharsis for many.

The event, which was organized by TheWrap, featured some of the most recognizable names within the fledgeling movement, including actresses Mira Sorvino and Jessica Barth, both Weinstein accusers, and Illeana Douglas, who accused Les Moonves of sexual misconduct in July. Other speakers included women’s rights icons Anita Hill, who became a national figure in 1991 when she accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.

Like many women activists and accusers in attendance, Arquette said she had communicated with several of them over email and Twitter, but that in many cases, this was the first time they had met in person.

“It makes me cry,” she said choking back tears. “I feel very emotional about it.”

As Arquette spoke, a steady stream of women politely interrupted our chat to thank her for her “courage” and to ask for a selfie. Arquette, best-known for her iconic roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “Desperately Seeking Susan,” graciously obliged.

“It’s just been a really inspirational day and it makes me feel happy to be a woman right now more than ever,” she said.

Also Read: Hollywood Agents, Producers on Industry Misogyny: ‘We Have to Be the First People’ to Make Change

The day was emotional for Barth, too.

Barth, known for playing Tami-Lynn McCaferty in the “Ted” films, said meeting the women and getting such a vocal recognition from the crowd caught her off guard.

“It was just really powerful to be in the same room with everybody who’s kind of been through this in the past year,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get choked up at all.”

For Barth, like Arquette, seeing the sea of faces cheering her on was “monumental.”

“To hear this movement being talked about is a shift of how we’re looking at sexual abuse in our culture,” she said. “It’s just really freeing to come together as a community of survivors.”

Also Read: Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: ‘Diversity Is Not Charity’

As part of the event’s programming, the women were invited to a special closed training session on how to cope with trauma, conducted by trauma specialist and Weinstein accuser Louise Godbold.

Godbold said the training session was attended by roughly 100 women, including #MeToo founder Burke and actress Mira Sorvino — who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct last October.

“It was quite an extraordinary experience,” Godbold told TheWrap. “I do these training all the time and I’ve never felt such unity and support.”

“I presented the information the way that I usually do because I’m very familiar with it and yet the underlying thing was a sense of, we’re all in this together,” Godbold said, adding that she had a difficult time holding back tears throughout the day.

Chantal Cousineau, who last year was one of nearly 400 women to accuse director James Toback of sexual misconduct, said being in a room full of supportive women was “moving” but that the real reward was the chance to show others her ability “to stand up” for herself.

“It’s amazing to finally be heard and seen from a survivor’s perspective,” she said.

Also Read: Vice News Correspondent Antonia Hylton Says Sexism Is Rampant in ‘Messed Up’ News Industry

Arquette said the event served as “a safe space for everybody to swap stories and ideas and to connect with filmmakers and artists and politicians.”

“It’s just really a great vibe,” she said. “Women should rule the world.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rosanna Arquette Has a Warning for Senators Voting to Confirm Kavanaugh: ‘Karma Is a Bitch’

Teen March for Our Lives Activists Honored at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit: ‘Conversation Builds Bridges’

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to Talk Men’s Role in Gender Equity

For the past year, actress Rosanna Arquette has been a leading voice in the #MeToo movement, headlining events, giving interviews and lending her star power to the fight against sexual misconduct in the workplace.

But even though she’s no stranger to the stage, she said being applauded for her activism by 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry at the “Power Women Summit” in downtown Los Angeles late last week was so overwhelming, she completely blanked out.

“I had a little shutdown,” she told TheWrap, almost apologetically. “I kind of went out of my body for minute. I felt really emotional being with the girls.”

Arquette, who was among the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct last year, was one of more than two dozen activists honored at the event, aimed at achieving gender equity in entertainment and media. For many, it was their first time receiving a thunderous ovation for their activism.

“You could feel this energy, like going to your first day of school or something,” Arquette said. “I was so nervous. Are the girls going to be mean? Is everything going to be OK?”

Coming forward has taken a toll on many #MeToo accusers. For some, the last year has been marked with a barrage of attacks from internet trolls. Others have lost their jobs. Almost all have experienced what experts call “secondary traumatization.”

Being recognized for their role in the grassroots movement along with fellow activists served as a moment of catharsis for many.

The event, which was organized by TheWrap, featured some of the most recognizable names within the fledgeling movement, including actresses Mira Sorvino and Jessica Barth, both Weinstein accusers, and Illeana Douglas, who accused Les Moonves of sexual misconduct in July. Other speakers included women’s rights icons Anita Hill, who became a national figure in 1991 when she accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment, and Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.

Like many women activists and accusers in attendance, Arquette said she had communicated with several of them over email and Twitter, but that in many cases, this was the first time they had met in person.

“It makes me cry,” she said choking back tears. “I feel very emotional about it.”

As Arquette spoke, a steady stream of women politely interrupted our chat to thank her for her “courage” and to ask for a selfie. Arquette, best-known for her iconic roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “Desperately Seeking Susan,” graciously obliged.

“It’s just been a really inspirational day and it makes me feel happy to be a woman right now more than ever,” she said.

The day was emotional for Barth, too.

Barth, known for playing Tami-Lynn McCaferty in the “Ted” films, said meeting the women and getting such a vocal recognition from the crowd caught her off guard.

“It was just really powerful to be in the same room with everybody who’s kind of been through this in the past year,” she said. “I didn’t expect to get choked up at all.”

For Barth, like Arquette, seeing the sea of faces cheering her on was “monumental.”

“To hear this movement being talked about is a shift of how we’re looking at sexual abuse in our culture,” she said. “It’s just really freeing to come together as a community of survivors.”

As part of the event’s programming, the women were invited to a special closed training session on how to cope with trauma, conducted by trauma specialist and Weinstein accuser Louise Godbold.

Godbold said the training session was attended by roughly 100 women, including #MeToo founder Burke and actress Mira Sorvino — who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct last October.

“It was quite an extraordinary experience,” Godbold told TheWrap. “I do these training all the time and I’ve never felt such unity and support.”

“I presented the information the way that I usually do because I’m very familiar with it and yet the underlying thing was a sense of, we’re all in this together,” Godbold said, adding that she had a difficult time holding back tears throughout the day.

Chantal Cousineau, who last year was one of nearly 400 women to accuse director James Toback of sexual misconduct, said being in a room full of supportive women was “moving” but that the real reward was the chance to show others her ability “to stand up” for herself.

“It’s amazing to finally be heard and seen from a survivor’s perspective,” she said.

Arquette said the event served as “a safe space for everybody to swap stories and ideas and to connect with filmmakers and artists and politicians.”

“It’s just really a great vibe,” she said. “Women should rule the world.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rosanna Arquette Has a Warning for Senators Voting to Confirm Kavanaugh: 'Karma Is a Bitch'

Teen March for Our Lives Activists Honored at TheWrap's Power Women's Summit: 'Conversation Builds Bridges'

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap's Power Women Summit to Talk Men's Role in Gender Equity

Hollywood Women Make History at First Power Women Summit: Takeaways and Next Moves

Hollywood women made history Thursday and Friday.

With 1,500 women from all across the media and entertainment industry, the Power Women Summit was the largest gathering ever of women in Hollywood aimed at moving forward on the goal of achieving gender equity in entertainment and media.

Let’s take a moment and grasp what that means. Women in Hollywood are not like any other group that may be gathering across the country for a purpose. The critical mass of women at this event were the nation’s storytellers. The creators of our popular culture. The shapers of “what’s cool” for our children. The journalists who decide what is news. The celebrities and social media influencers who model trends, behaviors, catch phrases and the next big thing.

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’ (Video)

Photo by Randy Shropshire

What they say and do in their professional lives has a profound impact on the cultural conventions of our nation and, indeed, our world.

Seeing the sea of faces all turned in rapt attention to listen to Anita Hill talking about the need for people of conscience to do the long and hard “dirty work” of creating systemic change, I wanted to tell them that they were already a privileged group. That they were already the anointed, just by having achieved a spot in this incredibly competitive place. That they were some kind of elite, endowed with special powers and obligations for that reason.

Also Read: David Oyelowo Has a Solution for Men Who Say There’s No #MeToo Redemption (Video)

Make no mistake: The women at the Power Women Summit showed up for 50/50 gender equity, the stated theme. They weren’t there for the manicures. (Just kidding, there weren’t any manicures.)

Their enthusiasm and gratitude and pure delight at connecting with their peers across the day on this issue was palpable. It seems obvious that this gathering answered a crying need, a year after the explosion of #MeToo, after the toppling of one media titan after another, after the litany of insults toward women by our president and just a few days before the midterm election. A need to connect, to be heard and to believe that concrete change is achievable.

We didn’t know how many people would actually show up. As organizers, we aimed for a critical mass of 1,000, and ended up with half that number again. The main stage auditorium was standing room only for most of the day. More than 25 #MeToo survivors attended, and many were recognized on stage. The dozen-plus breakout panels were a raucous run for seats to hear experts talk about pay equity, clearing the path for diversity, leveraging social media, including men in the drive for equity and many other topics.

When we opened the main auditorium doors for the afternoon session, I was amazed to watch a flood of women run – run–  for seats to hear from Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc and legendary executive Sherry Lansing and Olympian Ibtihaj Mohammad. (Here’s a video of what the Summit looked like by our intrepid social media guru, Sree Sreenivasan. And here’s a link to the coverage of the speakers and panels. )

By the end of Day Two, I had a stream of young women saying they wished it would go on for another day.

The conference created an inspirational environment by citing quotations of remarkable women in history: Madeleine Albright, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall and others.

But here are some words from women at the Summit that are also worth memorializing.

* Poet Hollis Wear Wong:  “Let us embrace the danger of being wholly ourselves/ 
Let us cultivate the heat needed to blaze a new trail forward/ 
We need not a rearrangement, but an uprooting
/ Unapologetic intersections
/ And radical inclusion
/ Refusing to stop even when conditions improve for some/ 
Knowing we are not well until we are all well
/ Knowing we will be pushed past comfort and respectability
/ Past all that we’ve been told from birth is possible
/ Into the unconditional, the truly liberated, the truly equal, the truly free.”

* Anita Hill: “We must make unequivocally clear, even if the government isn’t prepared to protect women from sexual violence, we are. We will do it ourselves. We deserve to work in harassment-free workplaces, and we deserve to have an equal chance to display our very talents throughout these industries, and throughout workplaces all over. These are not privileges that should be limited to men — these are rights we all have.”

* Alana Haim: “I don’t want to ask for more, I never want to ask for more. I just want to ask for equal.”

* Jill Soloway:  “What does it mean to have balance in all leadership, not only as directors and producers on board, but all areas? To us, 50/50 means balance and 2020 means clear vision.”

* Tarana Burke: “I have to get up every day to decide to survive. There are some days where I say, I can’t do it today… It’s not about being bold and brave — it’s about resilience. This is what we’re doing — we’re bouncing back, every day.”

I feel profoundly grateful to all those who helped create this landmark event. The women of Hollywood now have an annual gathering created especially dedicated to their success, and I hope they will continue to build on the historic foundation that was established last week.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Teen March for Our Lives Activists Honored at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit: ‘Conversation Builds Bridges’

The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap’s Leadership Event (Photos)

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

Hollywood women made history Thursday and Friday.

With 1,500 women from all across the media and entertainment industry, the Power Women Summit was the largest gathering ever of women in Hollywood aimed at moving forward on the goal of achieving gender equity in entertainment and media.

Let’s take a moment and grasp what that means. Women in Hollywood are not like any other group that may be gathering across the country for a purpose. The critical mass of women at this event were the nation’s storytellers. The creators of our popular culture. The shapers of “what’s cool” for our children. The journalists who decide what is news. The celebrities and social media influencers who model trends, behaviors, catch phrases and the next big thing.

Photo by Randy Shropshire

What they say and do in their professional lives has a profound impact on the cultural conventions of our nation and, indeed, our world.

Seeing the sea of faces all turned in rapt attention to listen to Anita Hill talking about the need for people of conscience to do the long and hard “dirty work” of creating systemic change, I wanted to tell them that they were already a privileged group. That they were already the anointed, just by having achieved a spot in this incredibly competitive place. That they were some kind of elite, endowed with special powers and obligations for that reason.

Make no mistake: The women at the Power Women Summit showed up for 50/50 gender equity, the stated theme. They weren’t there for the manicures. (Just kidding, there weren’t any manicures.)

Their enthusiasm and gratitude and pure delight at connecting with their peers across the day on this issue was palpable. It seems obvious that this gathering answered a crying need, a year after the explosion of #MeToo, after the toppling of one media titan after another, after the litany of insults toward women by our president and just a few days before the midterm election. A need to connect, to be heard and to believe that concrete change is achievable.

We didn’t know how many people would actually show up. As organizers, we aimed for a critical mass of 1,000, and ended up with half that number again. The main stage auditorium was standing room only for most of the day. More than 25 #MeToo survivors attended, and many were recognized on stage. The dozen-plus breakout panels were a raucous run for seats to hear experts talk about pay equity, clearing the path for diversity, leveraging social media, including men in the drive for equity and many other topics.

When we opened the main auditorium doors for the afternoon session, I was amazed to watch a flood of women run – run-  for seats to hear from Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc and legendary executive Sherry Lansing and Olympian Ibtihaj Mohammad. (Here’s a video of what the Summit looked like by our intrepid social media guru, Sree Sreenivasan. And here’s a link to the coverage of the speakers and panels. )

By the end of Day Two, I had a stream of young women saying they wished it would go on for another day.

The conference created an inspirational environment by citing quotations of remarkable women in history: Madeleine Albright, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall and others.

But here are some words from women at the Summit that are also worth memorializing.

* Poet Hollis Wear Wong:  “Let us embrace the danger of being wholly ourselves/ 
Let us cultivate the heat needed to blaze a new trail forward/ 
We need not a rearrangement, but an uprooting
/ Unapologetic intersections
/ And radical inclusion
/ Refusing to stop even when conditions improve for some/ 
Knowing we are not well until we are all well
/ Knowing we will be pushed past comfort and respectability
/ Past all that we’ve been told from birth is possible
/ Into the unconditional, the truly liberated, the truly equal, the truly free.”

* Anita Hill: “We must make unequivocally clear, even if the government isn’t prepared to protect women from sexual violence, we are. We will do it ourselves. We deserve to work in harassment-free workplaces, and we deserve to have an equal chance to display our very talents throughout these industries, and throughout workplaces all over. These are not privileges that should be limited to men — these are rights we all have.”

* Alana Haim: “I don’t want to ask for more, I never want to ask for more. I just want to ask for equal.”

* Jill Soloway:  “What does it mean to have balance in all leadership, not only as directors and producers on board, but all areas? To us, 50/50 means balance and 2020 means clear vision.”

* Tarana Burke: “I have to get up every day to decide to survive. There are some days where I say, I can’t do it today… It’s not about being bold and brave — it’s about resilience. This is what we’re doing — we’re bouncing back, every day.”

I feel profoundly grateful to all those who helped create this landmark event. The women of Hollywood now have an annual gathering created especially dedicated to their success, and I hope they will continue to build on the historic foundation that was established last week.

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Emily Ratajkowski Says Chrissy Teigen and Donald Trump Have One Thing in Common

Chrissy Teigen and Donald Trump probably don’t agree on much, but Emily Ratajkowski says the two have  one thing in common.

(Sorry, Chrissy!)

“Let’s think about Trump for a moment — he’s really good at social media, he’s made the media sort of have to catch up, and I would love to see that from the left,” Ratajkowski said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. “As women, we can do that so well. Chrissy Teigen, for example, doesn’t have to talk to a reporter, she is just there responding to things on her Twitter from her couch. That’s inspiring — we can all do that.”

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

She added that everyone’s goal on social should be to be “as honest as possible, and as authentic — that’s what Trump and Chrissy Teigen have in common — and they don’t have a whole lot in common!”

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Teigen has been a strong critic of the president on social media, which resulted in Teigen being blocked by Trump in July 2017. But it was one of her tamer tweets that finally sent Trump over the edge.

“Lolllllll no one likes you,” she tweeted in response to a Trump tweet that some Republicans “do very little to protect their President.”

See Video: Emily Ratajkowski Talks Getting Arrested With Amy Schumer

Teigen recently said the presidential blocking has given her anxiety because every day in America pretty much begins with a “flurry of presidential” tweets that she can’t see. When Teigen sees people responding to them and freaking out over things Trump tweeted, she has no idea what everyone is talking about. “Do I get in the bunker or not?” she said.

Ratajkowski attended TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Chrissy Teigen and Donald Trump probably don’t agree on much, but Emily Ratajkowski says the two have  one thing in common.

(Sorry, Chrissy!)

“Let’s think about Trump for a moment — he’s really good at social media, he’s made the media sort of have to catch up, and I would love to see that from the left,” Ratajkowski said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. “As women, we can do that so well. Chrissy Teigen, for example, doesn’t have to talk to a reporter, she is just there responding to things on her Twitter from her couch. That’s inspiring — we can all do that.”

She added that everyone’s goal on social should be to be “as honest as possible, and as authentic — that’s what Trump and Chrissy Teigen have in common — and they don’t have a whole lot in common!”

Teigen has been a strong critic of the president on social media, which resulted in Teigen being blocked by Trump in July 2017. But it was one of her tamer tweets that finally sent Trump over the edge.

“Lolllllll no one likes you,” she tweeted in response to a Trump tweet that some Republicans “do very little to protect their President.”

Teigen recently said the presidential blocking has given her anxiety because every day in America pretty much begins with a “flurry of presidential” tweets that she can’t see. When Teigen sees people responding to them and freaking out over things Trump tweeted, she has no idea what everyone is talking about. “Do I get in the bunker or not?” she said.

Ratajkowski attended TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Issues Challenge on Gender Equity: ‘Just Look, Just Measure and Just Act’

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage during TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to encourage everyone to stop dragging their feet if they want to take the Road to 50/50 by 2020, and instead “just look, just measure and just act.”

“It is important for us to give voice and new narrative, but it is the action what we leave behind with our work that is the most important,” Garcetti told the women in attendance at the summit at downtown L.A.’s Intercontinental hotel. “We are a city that doesn’t minimize or mock women that say #MeToo. We believe them. This is a city in which we know that our work comes from understanding gender everywhere that we go. And we can only do that when we are ourselves, in the words of Marcel Proust, not just going to new places, but seeing the world through new eyes. And to me that’s the challenge that I put forward to my city, to the companies that are here, to the organizations that are here, and started that at home as well.”

Garcetti noted that his office of a few hundred employees, “now has a 100 percent dollar for dollar match of men to women in this office,” adding: “And they tell us government is slow. If government can do it, come on, private sector, step up!”

Also Read: Kim Kardashian’s Former Assistant on Leaving the ‘Mothership’: ‘That’s All I Knew’

“In this city we have refused to stop at protests on the streets or statements on line, we’ve taken the energy that we see coming from women and people who believe in gender,” Garcetti said. “And to the few men that might be in this room, don’t own this issue because you have a wife or you have a mother — everybody has a mother. Own it because you are a human being who wants to see a just world and a place in which 50 percent of our brilliance should never be left behind.”

“It isn’t that difficult,” he said. “We have people who for so long twist their brains around, ‘I don’t know how I’ll get there, I guess I’ll have to start with some interns.’ Please will somebody take a gender or women or girls problem — just actually do it. Because if the City of Los Angeles can do that — for the first time we have a majority of women as our city’s 300 plus commissioners and board appointments and no all male boards — if we can do that in the first six months of this administration, you can do it in your c-suites, you can do it in your boards, you can do that where you work as well.”

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

Also Read: Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a ‘Narrative That’s as Strong as Trump’s Fascism’ (Video)

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took the stage during TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to encourage everyone to stop dragging their feet if they want to take the Road to 50/50 by 2020, and instead “just look, just measure and just act.”

“It is important for us to give voice and new narrative, but it is the action what we leave behind with our work that is the most important,” Garcetti told the women in attendance at the summit at downtown L.A.’s Intercontinental hotel. “We are a city that doesn’t minimize or mock women that say #MeToo. We believe them. This is a city in which we know that our work comes from understanding gender everywhere that we go. And we can only do that when we are ourselves, in the words of Marcel Proust, not just going to new places, but seeing the world through new eyes. And to me that’s the challenge that I put forward to my city, to the companies that are here, to the organizations that are here, and started that at home as well.”

Garcetti noted that his office of a few hundred employees, “now has a 100 percent dollar for dollar match of men to women in this office,” adding: “And they tell us government is slow. If government can do it, come on, private sector, step up!”

“In this city we have refused to stop at protests on the streets or statements on line, we’ve taken the energy that we see coming from women and people who believe in gender,” Garcetti said. “And to the few men that might be in this room, don’t own this issue because you have a wife or you have a mother — everybody has a mother. Own it because you are a human being who wants to see a just world and a place in which 50 percent of our brilliance should never be left behind.”

“It isn’t that difficult,” he said. “We have people who for so long twist their brains around, ‘I don’t know how I’ll get there, I guess I’ll have to start with some interns.’ Please will somebody take a gender or women or girls problem — just actually do it. Because if the City of Los Angeles can do that — for the first time we have a majority of women as our city’s 300 plus commissioners and board appointments and no all male boards — if we can do that in the first six months of this administration, you can do it in your c-suites, you can do it in your boards, you can do that where you work as well.”

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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‘Blazing the Trail’: What Four Women Learned From Being the First Women in Their Fields

Sherry Lansing, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Christine Simmons compared notes Friday on achieving a few female firsts.

Lansing was the first woman to head a Hollywood movie studio — 20th Century Fox — and in 2005, she became the first female movie studio head to place hand and foot prints at the Chinese Theater. Contreras-Sweet was the first Latina to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration and founded the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California. Muhammad became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympics for team U.S.A. in fencing. And Simmons became the first African-American team president in Los Angeles as president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Lansing said she used to believe a woman would never head a major Hollywood studio. Until she became the first. She was only 35 when she became the first female president of 20th Century Fox in 1980.

“I didn’t expect it,” Lansing said of her position. “I am the person — I have to take full ownership of this horrendous statement — that said there would be never be a woman head of a studio in my lifetime. I am happy to take back those words, and I am thrilled that it was me.”

Also Read: Sherry Lansing Hopes ‘Wonder Woman’ Will Be the ‘Tipping Point’ for More Female-Driven Movies

“I try not to pay attention as much but I feel the weight of the obligation as I know I am blazing the trail for someone that’s coming behind me,” said Simmons. “In those moments, when I know that when I want to stop, when I’m tired, I know this is so much bigger than I am and we need to continue to push. That’s when you realize that you are the first, when you realize you can’t quit because you know someone else is coming behind you, and you don’t want to be the last.”

Muhammad, who earned the bronze medal as part of Team USA, became the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics. She said she continues to feel pressure as she climbs.

“You always want to maintain this trajectory as an athlete where you continue to push yourself and achieve the ultimate goal of winning a medal,” she explained. “I qualified for the U.S. team at the height of the presidential election, and there was a lot of rhetoric around the Muslim community, dark and divisive, and directly affected someone who looks like me. And I felt like, what greater an opportunity than to qualify for the Olympics and to show the world a different narrative than what we are force fed via Hollywood and through the news? The journey has always felt bigger to me — I felt like it was a gift from God.”

Contreras-Sweet said she remembered when she first came to Los Angeles from Guadalajara, Mexico, and felt like she didn’t belong. She wrote letters to her grandmother who gave her a piece of advice that she would forever treasure.

“She said, it’s not the title you have, it’s about what you do with the titles that you have,” said Contreras-Sweet.

And while these women have become trailblazers in their respective fields, Lansing, Muhammad, Contreras-Sweet and Simmons faced their fair share of challenges on their way to the top. Lansing explained that she had huge self-esteem issues and that she was “born thinking that I had dreams but I didn’t necessarily have the confidence that I could achieve those dreams.”

But what changed her life was therapy.

“It was a long process of getting that self-esteem and that self confidence and going, ‘I want to be considered for the job’ and be told I didn’t get the job because, I quote, ‘No man would ever report to a woman,’” she said.

See Video: Muslim American Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Feels ‘Unsafe’ in Trump’s America

Muhammad explained that she suffered from depression for two years during her time as a member of the United States team, and the greatest gift to herself was “asking for help” and choosing to see a sports psychologist.

And Contreras-Sweet felt she wasn’t with her family enough as she commuted between Sacramento and Los Angeles.

“Success for one is success for all,” concluded Lansing. “There will be a woman president in my lifetime — I’m sure of that!”

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Sherry Lansing, Maria Contreras-Sweet, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Christine Simmons compared notes Friday on achieving a few female firsts.

Lansing was the first woman to head a Hollywood movie studio — 20th Century Fox — and in 2005, she became the first female movie studio head to place hand and foot prints at the Chinese Theater. Contreras-Sweet was the first Latina to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration and founded the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California. Muhammad became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympics for team U.S.A. in fencing. And Simmons became the first African-American team president in Los Angeles as president and COO of the Los Angeles Sparks.

Lansing said she used to believe a woman would never head a major Hollywood studio. Until she became the first. She was only 35 when she became the first female president of 20th Century Fox in 1980.

“I didn’t expect it,” Lansing said of her position. “I am the person — I have to take full ownership of this horrendous statement — that said there would be never be a woman head of a studio in my lifetime. I am happy to take back those words, and I am thrilled that it was me.”

“I try not to pay attention as much but I feel the weight of the obligation as I know I am blazing the trail for someone that’s coming behind me,” said Simmons. “In those moments, when I know that when I want to stop, when I’m tired, I know this is so much bigger than I am and we need to continue to push. That’s when you realize that you are the first, when you realize you can’t quit because you know someone else is coming behind you, and you don’t want to be the last.”

Muhammad, who earned the bronze medal as part of Team USA, became the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal at the Olympics. She said she continues to feel pressure as she climbs.

“You always want to maintain this trajectory as an athlete where you continue to push yourself and achieve the ultimate goal of winning a medal,” she explained. “I qualified for the U.S. team at the height of the presidential election, and there was a lot of rhetoric around the Muslim community, dark and divisive, and directly affected someone who looks like me. And I felt like, what greater an opportunity than to qualify for the Olympics and to show the world a different narrative than what we are force fed via Hollywood and through the news? The journey has always felt bigger to me — I felt like it was a gift from God.”

Contreras-Sweet said she remembered when she first came to Los Angeles from Guadalajara, Mexico, and felt like she didn’t belong. She wrote letters to her grandmother who gave her a piece of advice that she would forever treasure.

“She said, it’s not the title you have, it’s about what you do with the titles that you have,” said Contreras-Sweet.

And while these women have become trailblazers in their respective fields, Lansing, Muhammad, Contreras-Sweet and Simmons faced their fair share of challenges on their way to the top. Lansing explained that she had huge self-esteem issues and that she was “born thinking that I had dreams but I didn’t necessarily have the confidence that I could achieve those dreams.”

But what changed her life was therapy.

“It was a long process of getting that self-esteem and that self confidence and going, ‘I want to be considered for the job’ and be told I didn’t get the job because, I quote, ‘No man would ever report to a woman,'” she said.

Muhammad explained that she suffered from depression for two years during her time as a member of the United States team, and the greatest gift to herself was “asking for help” and choosing to see a sports psychologist.

And Contreras-Sweet felt she wasn’t with her family enough as she commuted between Sacramento and Los Angeles.

“Success for one is success for all,” concluded Lansing. “There will be a woman president in my lifetime — I’m sure of that!”

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

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Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc Says Leaving A+E Was Taking a Chance on Building a Legacy

When A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc announced earlier this year that she was stepping down from her post to take over as chief executive at Vice Media, it marked a bold transition in the media landscape. For Dubuc, that was the whole point.

In an conversation with TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman onstage at the Power Women Summit on Friday in downtown Los Angeles, Dubuc explained that the opportunity to help shape the next generation with a next-generation media company was too good to pass up.

“When this opportunity came up, it occurred to me that the greatest impact I could have is working in an organization of young people who needed me,” said Dubuc. “That would be my legacy if successful. And if not, shame on me, but if so, then that was more important to do.”

“I look around, and I don’t think many of my peers think that way or act that way,” she said.

Also Read: David Oyelowo Has a Solution for Men Who Say There’s No #MeToo Redemption (Video)

It wasn’t a move that came with few trade-offs or little risk, as she put it: “I definitely went to a harder job and got paid less money.” But at the end of the day, it came down to three words hanging on a sign in her office: “Who dares, wins.”

“I was staring at the sign at A+E for a while and started to feel like a fraud,” said Dubuc.

Packing up that sign and moving it to a new office at Vice surely qualified as a daring move. At the time of Dubuc’s appointment, the company was a month off reporting that it missed its 2017 earnings target by $100 million and had been racked by a series of #MeToo scandals resulting in the departure its chief digital officer and president.

But what Dubuc saw was opportunity. A corporate culture changing for the better and a group of young people passionate about their mission.

“When I got there, the overwhelming sense that I got is that the majority of the organization wanted to be trumpeted and celebrated,” she said. “Because most of the organization was doing the right thing.”

Also Read: Vice Media Names Nancy Dubuc as CEO, Replacing Shane Smith

She continued, “So how do we get the Vice story right, and how do we get the Vice story out there? Because we are one of the only media companies out there that is in service of youth in the way that we are.”

Putting the company back on the right trajectory is a “process,” Dubuc said, but it’s one that’s already in progress. “We have to get our structure right, we have to get our vision right, we have to obviously put a lot in place. The rapid growth of the company happened without a lot of structure in place, and a lot of things went wrong.”

Part of that process is ensuring a more inclusive workplace, one that better represents its audience and the company at large, because instituting top-down changes doesn’t work at a company aiming to serve the next generation.

“It’s all about who’s in the room,” said Dubuc. “The decision-making processes have to be made in a room that looks like the audience we’re serving media to.”

Also Read: Nancy Dubuc Steps Down as CEO of A&E Networks, Is in Talks With Vice

“We already look shockingly different than most media companies,” she said. “Young, diverse, everything looks different, feels different.”

As such, the conversations she’s having internally at Vice already differ from the issues other media companies are just beginning to tackle. For instance, “When the next generation isn’t identifying as male or female, you’re not talking about 50-50 [gender parity].”

Those shifts in the media landscape are exactly the kind of legacy-building opportunities Dubuc was looking for in leaving A+E. Not just leading a successful company, but shaping a new kind of company that gives the next generation the best chance for success.

“We have to take them seriously,” she said, “There’s a lot of them.”

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When A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc announced earlier this year that she was stepping down from her post to take over as chief executive at Vice Media, it marked a bold transition in the media landscape. For Dubuc, that was the whole point.

In an conversation with TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman onstage at the Power Women Summit on Friday in downtown Los Angeles, Dubuc explained that the opportunity to help shape the next generation with a next-generation media company was too good to pass up.

“When this opportunity came up, it occurred to me that the greatest impact I could have is working in an organization of young people who needed me,” said Dubuc. “That would be my legacy if successful. And if not, shame on me, but if so, then that was more important to do.”

“I look around, and I don’t think many of my peers think that way or act that way,” she said.

It wasn’t a move that came with few trade-offs or little risk, as she put it: “I definitely went to a harder job and got paid less money.” But at the end of the day, it came down to three words hanging on a sign in her office: “Who dares, wins.”

“I was staring at the sign at A+E for a while and started to feel like a fraud,” said Dubuc.

Packing up that sign and moving it to a new office at Vice surely qualified as a daring move. At the time of Dubuc’s appointment, the company was a month off reporting that it missed its 2017 earnings target by $100 million and had been racked by a series of #MeToo scandals resulting in the departure its chief digital officer and president.

But what Dubuc saw was opportunity. A corporate culture changing for the better and a group of young people passionate about their mission.

“When I got there, the overwhelming sense that I got is that the majority of the organization wanted to be trumpeted and celebrated,” she said. “Because most of the organization was doing the right thing.”

She continued, “So how do we get the Vice story right, and how do we get the Vice story out there? Because we are one of the only media companies out there that is in service of youth in the way that we are.”

Putting the company back on the right trajectory is a “process,” Dubuc said, but it’s one that’s already in progress. “We have to get our structure right, we have to get our vision right, we have to obviously put a lot in place. The rapid growth of the company happened without a lot of structure in place, and a lot of things went wrong.”

Part of that process is ensuring a more inclusive workplace, one that better represents its audience and the company at large, because instituting top-down changes doesn’t work at a company aiming to serve the next generation.

“It’s all about who’s in the room,” said Dubuc. “The decision-making processes have to be made in a room that looks like the audience we’re serving media to.”

“We already look shockingly different than most media companies,” she said. “Young, diverse, everything looks different, feels different.”

As such, the conversations she’s having internally at Vice already differ from the issues other media companies are just beginning to tackle. For instance, “When the next generation isn’t identifying as male or female, you’re not talking about 50-50 [gender parity].”

Those shifts in the media landscape are exactly the kind of legacy-building opportunities Dubuc was looking for in leaving A+E. Not just leading a successful company, but shaping a new kind of company that gives the next generation the best chance for success.

“We have to take them seriously,” she said, “There’s a lot of them.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood Agents, Producers on Industry Misogyny: 'We Have to Be the First People' to Make Change

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Teen March for Our Lives Activists Honored at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit: ‘Conversation Builds Bridges’

Bria Smith and Jaclyn Corin, two teens that have become prominent voices in the March For Our Lives movement, were honored Friday at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles with the Voice of the Future Award.

Smith, who lives in inner city Milwaukee, has devoted herself to building support networks for kids and teens who live in neighborhoods marred daily by gun violence. Corin, a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting last year, helped organize the March For Our Lives movement in the days following the shooting, including arranging for several busloads full of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and faculty to travel to Tallahassee to push the Florida State Legislature to pass gun control legislation.

Also Read: David Oyelowo Has a Solution for Men Who Say There’s No #MeToo Redemption (Video)

“Jackie and I are honored to be an accepting an award of such eloquence and such significant value,” Smith said. “It reflects the vision generations of past women activists have been pushing for. We have an obligation to create platforms for women across the country no matter their age, color, or experience. Conversation builds bridges, and understanding helps us cross them.”

Smith and Corin will join other March For Our Lives activists at a rally in Orange County this weekend, aiming to rally voters prior to this Tuesday’s midterm elections. Corin says that their organization has registered over 50,000 people to vote.

“Over the summer, my friends and I from Parkland traveled to over 100 cities across the nation,” Corin said. “We’ve had conversations with other gun violence survivors and other community leaders, and Bria was one of the people who spoke in Milwaukee and we asked her, ‘Want to come on a bus with us?’”

Also Read: ESPN’s Julie Foudy Says Women in Sports Need to Follow Billie Jean King’s Lead on Better Pay

Smith and Corin spoke about how personally rewarding the March For Our Lives tour has been for them, as they encourage America’s youth to make their voices heard.

“Understanding different perspectives and amplifying each voice is what creates the strongest unified front,” Smith said, with Corin adding that young women “might be historically repressed by gender classification, they can find the power within themselves to make a difference in their communities, in their country, and in their world.”

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Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: ‘Diversity Is Not Charity’

Bria Smith and Jaclyn Corin, two teens that have become prominent voices in the March For Our Lives movement, were honored Friday at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles with the Voice of the Future Award.

Smith, who lives in inner city Milwaukee, has devoted herself to building support networks for kids and teens who live in neighborhoods marred daily by gun violence. Corin, a survivor of the Parkland High School shooting last year, helped organize the March For Our Lives movement in the days following the shooting, including arranging for several busloads full of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and faculty to travel to Tallahassee to push the Florida State Legislature to pass gun control legislation.

“Jackie and I are honored to be an accepting an award of such eloquence and such significant value,” Smith said. “It reflects the vision generations of past women activists have been pushing for. We have an obligation to create platforms for women across the country no matter their age, color, or experience. Conversation builds bridges, and understanding helps us cross them.”

Smith and Corin will join other March For Our Lives activists at a rally in Orange County this weekend, aiming to rally voters prior to this Tuesday’s midterm elections. Corin says that their organization has registered over 50,000 people to vote.

“Over the summer, my friends and I from Parkland traveled to over 100 cities across the nation,” Corin said. “We’ve had conversations with other gun violence survivors and other community leaders, and Bria was one of the people who spoke in Milwaukee and we asked her, ‘Want to come on a bus with us?'”

Smith and Corin spoke about how personally rewarding the March For Our Lives tour has been for them, as they encourage America’s youth to make their voices heard.

“Understanding different perspectives and amplifying each voice is what creates the strongest unified front,” Smith said, with Corin adding that young women “might be historically repressed by gender classification, they can find the power within themselves to make a difference in their communities, in their country, and in their world.”

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Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: 'Diversity Is Not Charity'

David Oyelowo Has a Solution for Men Who Say There’s No #MeToo Redemption (Video)

Actor David Oyelowo said that many men want to be a part of the #MeToo movement, but they have a fear of saying the wrong thing and worry that their careers can be ended if they don’t.

Speaking on a panel during a lunch conversation about “Bringing Men Into the Conversation,” Oyelowo said men often use this fear as an excuse to not speak out at all. As a means of making the MeToo movement more inclusive, the “Selma” actor stressed the need for nuance and to step away from the black-and-white conversations that crop up on social media.

“There are a lot of men who are for this movement, but literally on the basis of knowing we are in an environment, things can be said, again, wrongly or rightly, that could end me,” Oyelowo said. “There is no latitude, there is no space, for the idea that… there is an element of, it feels like there’s a mob. And there are people who are using that as an excuse. And there are times where that is a genuine fear that is then validated time after time. What we have to figure out is how to make this not feel like a mob.”

Also Read: HAIM’s Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: ‘I Wanna Rock the Boat’ (Video)

The panel also featured Joanne Lipman, author of “That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them),” and Scott Budnick, producer of “The Hangover” and founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. Lipman mentioned that one of the primary reasons men do not engage with conversations about sexual harassment is fear of saying the wrong thing.

Oyelowo added that he’s spoken with many actresses and women who share that same fear.

“Is this going to be some kind of rejection of my sisterhood? This newfound camaraderie and closeness,” Oyelowo said. “I’ve talked to so many actresses, one of the things they appreciate the most about this movement, people who they have been in competition with all their careers, and that’s just the way it is, and suddenly there’s this camaraderie, there is something so edifying about that that they literally don’t want to break that up. That in and of itself is not a reason to have this atmosphere of no room for nuance and not entertaining and not talking about how this segues into redemption.”

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Oyelowo said there are men who believe the MeToo movement has become “synonymous with the lack of entertainment of an idea of redemption.” He made a comparison to criminals on death row after the audience applauded the idea of making the death penalty illegal, saying that while it may not be pretty, considering the ideas of “redemption” and “exoneration” may be necessary to sustain the gains the MeToo movement has made.

“Those people who are on death row, some of them have done terrible things. It doesn’t mean that their entire lives should be literally snatched,” Oyelowo said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit Friday. “I think if you ask my honest opinion, this movement needs to segue into being synonymous with at least entertaining the idea of redemption, of people being not sentenced to life sentences or exoneration on the basis of what they may or may not have done.”

Asked by Lipman if he fears a looming backlash to the movement, Oyelowo said he has “real concerns.”

Also Read: Kim Kardashian’s Former Assistant on Leaving the ‘Mothership’: ‘That’s All I Knew’

“We are at, in my opinion, at the apex of a pendulum swing,” Oyelowo said. “And it will swing the other way. It’s a question of how many gains we can have in place when the pendulum begins to swing, and how much those new systems, those new mindsets, that shift in combat, is able to combat the inevitable pendulum swing.”

He described a conversation he had with two female executives over hiring a director for a project. Both women agreed that they did not want to hire a “white dude” to direct, that the director had to be a woman or person of color.

“I thought, is that pervasive? Because I can tell you for a fact, there are a lot of those white dudes who consider this a nuclear cloud that will pass. And they are in bunkers waiting for it to pass,” Oyelowo said. “If we do to them what basically we are saying they did to us, it will not go well for us. Two wrongs simply do not make a right.”

Watch a clip of Oyelowo’s chat above.

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Actor David Oyelowo said that many men want to be a part of the #MeToo movement, but they have a fear of saying the wrong thing and worry that their careers can be ended if they don’t.

Speaking on a panel during a lunch conversation about “Bringing Men Into the Conversation,” Oyelowo said men often use this fear as an excuse to not speak out at all. As a means of making the MeToo movement more inclusive, the “Selma” actor stressed the need for nuance and to step away from the black-and-white conversations that crop up on social media.

“There are a lot of men who are for this movement, but literally on the basis of knowing we are in an environment, things can be said, again, wrongly or rightly, that could end me,” Oyelowo said. “There is no latitude, there is no space, for the idea that… there is an element of, it feels like there’s a mob. And there are people who are using that as an excuse. And there are times where that is a genuine fear that is then validated time after time. What we have to figure out is how to make this not feel like a mob.”

The panel also featured Joanne Lipman, author of “That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them),” and Scott Budnick, producer of “The Hangover” and founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. Lipman mentioned that one of the primary reasons men do not engage with conversations about sexual harassment is fear of saying the wrong thing.

Oyelowo added that he’s spoken with many actresses and women who share that same fear.

“Is this going to be some kind of rejection of my sisterhood? This newfound camaraderie and closeness,” Oyelowo said. “I’ve talked to so many actresses, one of the things they appreciate the most about this movement, people who they have been in competition with all their careers, and that’s just the way it is, and suddenly there’s this camaraderie, there is something so edifying about that that they literally don’t want to break that up. That in and of itself is not a reason to have this atmosphere of no room for nuance and not entertaining and not talking about how this segues into redemption.”

Oyelowo said there are men who believe the MeToo movement has become “synonymous with the lack of entertainment of an idea of redemption.” He made a comparison to criminals on death row after the audience applauded the idea of making the death penalty illegal, saying that while it may not be pretty, considering the ideas of “redemption” and “exoneration” may be necessary to sustain the gains the MeToo movement has made.

“Those people who are on death row, some of them have done terrible things. It doesn’t mean that their entire lives should be literally snatched,” Oyelowo said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit Friday. “I think if you ask my honest opinion, this movement needs to segue into being synonymous with at least entertaining the idea of redemption, of people being not sentenced to life sentences or exoneration on the basis of what they may or may not have done.”

Asked by Lipman if he fears a looming backlash to the movement, Oyelowo said he has “real concerns.”

“We are at, in my opinion, at the apex of a pendulum swing,” Oyelowo said. “And it will swing the other way. It’s a question of how many gains we can have in place when the pendulum begins to swing, and how much those new systems, those new mindsets, that shift in combat, is able to combat the inevitable pendulum swing.”

He described a conversation he had with two female executives over hiring a director for a project. Both women agreed that they did not want to hire a “white dude” to direct, that the director had to be a woman or person of color.

“I thought, is that pervasive? Because I can tell you for a fact, there are a lot of those white dudes who consider this a nuclear cloud that will pass. And they are in bunkers waiting for it to pass,” Oyelowo said. “If we do to them what basically we are saying they did to us, it will not go well for us. Two wrongs simply do not make a right.”

Watch a clip of Oyelowo’s chat above.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Time's Up Defense Fund Founder Tina Tchen: 'We Need Folks to Know They Can Be Protected'

'On the Basis of Sex' Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder's Patience

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Women Producers and Filmmakers on Telling Their Own Stories – and Making Room for Other Women to Do the Same

Several of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers, producers, writers and showrunners appeared at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to discuss the various ways they’re revolutionizing the industry by working their own perspectives into the mainstream — and making room for other underrepresented voices to do the same.

Historically, that hasn’t been the easiest thing to do in this business, said Skydance Television president Marcy Ross, who had to fight to get the Netflix comedy “Grace & Frankie” in front of viewers even with all of the proven talent attached.

“[When] we were developing it, Marta Kauffman, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and my brilliant partners at Skydance — All women, that was by design — We took it to an agency at that time, a room full of men,” said Ross. “We presented the package, where we’re going to go with it, the whole theme of disenfranchised older women, and they started to laugh.”

Also Read: Kim Kardashian’s Former Assistant on Leaving the ‘Mothership’: ‘That’s All I Knew’

Five and a half years before the series would go on to become one of Netflix’s flagship comedies with multiple Emmy nominations to its name, Ross and company were told, “This is going to be such an estrogen-fest. You’re never going to sell it.”

Amy Ziering, the Oscar-nominated producer of “The Invisible War,” received similar pushback from executives when she and her partners were trying to sell the documentary about systemic sexual abuse in the military.

“We could get into any room,” said Ziering, who at the time already had a proven track record of multiple successful documentary features and even an Emmy nomination. “But what was so amazing to me was that what we heard was that no one cares about women’s stories. No one cares about women being raped. And of course, no one’s going to care about women being raped in the military. So we couldn’t get a penny.”

“I wonder if they would’ve said that today. I would hope there’s more consciousness,” said Ross. “Actually, I hope there’s more f—ing fear.”

Also Read: Hollywood Agents, Producers on Industry Misogyny: ‘We Have to Be the First People’ to Make Change

Such attitudes meant that not only were these women forced to carve out their own path to tell their own stories, but once they were given the opportunity, they felt a duty to give others the chance to do the same.

“I really wanted to create an atmosphere where people who were best for the job were getting the job,” said Carly Craig, creator and star of the YouTube Premium comedy “Sideswiped.” That meant taking chances on women — both in front of and behind the camera — who don’t have as much experience.

“My co-showrunner, Robin Schiff, and I just packed it full of women,” she said. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that was safe, not abusive and that was fun. I mean, we’re doing entertainment, and I really wanted to make the show entertaining while we’re doing it.”

“Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman similarly made it a priority to bring other women into the room when she was developing her CW dramedy. And not just women, but Latinx writers and other people of color.

“I’ve always wanted to tell stories about women, because the more stories there are, the less we have to fit into one box, or one set of assumptions,” said Urman. “I had to really connect with who [Jane] was, and make sure to hire enough people to make sure that the stories and the voices in the room and behind the scenes can fill in the gaps of what I don’t know.”

Also Read: Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: ‘Diversity Is Not Charity’

She continued, “That opened up a whole new level of my consciousness and my commitment to increasing diversity … That’s one of the most important things you can do, is to help others on their way up.”

Urman spoke on a panel sponsored by CBS Eye Speak, a CBS initiative to promote female empowerment and help develop the next generation of leaders through insight and opportunities, which also included “Fruitvale Station” and “Sorry to Bother You” producer Nina Yang Bongiovi, “Manchester by the Sea” producer Kimberly Steward and “RBG” directors Btsy Cohen and Julie West.

Yang Bongiovi and her producing partner Forest Whitaker work exclusively with directors of color, often filmmakers who haven’t yet been given their first break. That roster includes Boots Riley, the rapper and activist behind this year’s critically acclaimed “Sorry to Bother You.”

“People say, ‘You guys are crazy for doing this,’ but our films are not just critically acclaimed, they’re profitable,” said Yang Bongiovi, adding that a proven history of success allows her to take big risks on movies like Riley’s.

But to this day, that hasn’t always been an easy road to walk, especially in an industry resistant to change and beholden to outmoded narratives like the idea that films anchored by actors of color don’t sell well overseas. “I had to yell at these two men and tell them to stop it,” she said, describing a recent meeting with potential new investors who didn’t were trying to cap the budget on a project because of its diverse cast.

“It takes a little bit of patience. I’d be mad all day if I took every grievance,” added Steward, explaining that people even underestimate her as a woman of color. “In those moments where I am patient, I try to teach … Being here is a representation of that. To show that this market is diversifying, that women are in positions of power, and now we can work to give that access to everyone.”

Also Read: Vice News Correspondent Antonia Hylton Says Sexism Is Rampant in ‘Messed Up’ News Industry

Having that access and telling a wide range of women’s stories can make a real difference in lives of people even outside the industry. Ziering saw that first-hand when she made her followup to “Invisible War,” the acclaimed documentary about campus rape, “The Hunting Ground.”

“Not everyone, but I would say 60 percent of the students who spoke to us said, ‘I’m only talking to you because I saw that woman in the military get up on screen and talk. And because I saw her, I have the courage to do this,’” said Ziering.

And maybe that went even further than Ziering’s own work. When “The Hunting Ground” earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, dozens of young sexual assault survivors took the stage at the Oscars alongside Lady Gaga in a show of solidarity and hope.

“Consciously or unconsciously, maybe that helped infect the Hollywood movement. All these actresses could say ‘If these kids can stand up, why can’t we tell our stories?’” said Ziering. “That’s the power of women. That’s why we need to represent [ourselves] and tell our stories.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap’s Leadership Event (Photos)

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap’s Power Women Summit

Several of Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers, producers, writers and showrunners appeared at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to discuss the various ways they’re revolutionizing the industry by working their own perspectives into the mainstream — and making room for other underrepresented voices to do the same.

Historically, that hasn’t been the easiest thing to do in this business, said Skydance Television president Marcy Ross, who had to fight to get the Netflix comedy “Grace & Frankie” in front of viewers even with all of the proven talent attached.

“[When] we were developing it, Marta Kauffman, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and my brilliant partners at Skydance — All women, that was by design — We took it to an agency at that time, a room full of men,” said Ross. “We presented the package, where we’re going to go with it, the whole theme of disenfranchised older women, and they started to laugh.”

Five and a half years before the series would go on to become one of Netflix’s flagship comedies with multiple Emmy nominations to its name, Ross and company were told, “This is going to be such an estrogen-fest. You’re never going to sell it.”

Amy Ziering, the Oscar-nominated producer of “The Invisible War,” received similar pushback from executives when she and her partners were trying to sell the documentary about systemic sexual abuse in the military.

“We could get into any room,” said Ziering, who at the time already had a proven track record of multiple successful documentary features and even an Emmy nomination. “But what was so amazing to me was that what we heard was that no one cares about women’s stories. No one cares about women being raped. And of course, no one’s going to care about women being raped in the military. So we couldn’t get a penny.”

“I wonder if they would’ve said that today. I would hope there’s more consciousness,” said Ross. “Actually, I hope there’s more f—ing fear.”

Such attitudes meant that not only were these women forced to carve out their own path to tell their own stories, but once they were given the opportunity, they felt a duty to give others the chance to do the same.

“I really wanted to create an atmosphere where people who were best for the job were getting the job,” said Carly Craig, creator and star of the YouTube Premium comedy “Sideswiped.” That meant taking chances on women — both in front of and behind the camera — who don’t have as much experience.

“My co-showrunner, Robin Schiff, and I just packed it full of women,” she said. “I wanted to create an atmosphere that was safe, not abusive and that was fun. I mean, we’re doing entertainment, and I really wanted to make the show entertaining while we’re doing it.”

“Jane the Virgin” creator Jennie Snyder Urman similarly made it a priority to bring other women into the room when she was developing her CW dramedy. And not just women, but Latinx writers and other people of color.

“I’ve always wanted to tell stories about women, because the more stories there are, the less we have to fit into one box, or one set of assumptions,” said Urman. “I had to really connect with who [Jane] was, and make sure to hire enough people to make sure that the stories and the voices in the room and behind the scenes can fill in the gaps of what I don’t know.”

She continued, “That opened up a whole new level of my consciousness and my commitment to increasing diversity … That’s one of the most important things you can do, is to help others on their way up.”

Urman spoke on a panel sponsored by CBS Eye Speak, a CBS initiative to promote female empowerment and help develop the next generation of leaders through insight and opportunities, which also included “Fruitvale Station” and “Sorry to Bother You” producer Nina Yang Bongiovi, “Manchester by the Sea” producer Kimberly Steward and “RBG” directors Btsy Cohen and Julie West.

Yang Bongiovi and her producing partner Forest Whitaker work exclusively with directors of color, often filmmakers who haven’t yet been given their first break. That roster includes Boots Riley, the rapper and activist behind this year’s critically acclaimed “Sorry to Bother You.”

“People say, ‘You guys are crazy for doing this,’ but our films are not just critically acclaimed, they’re profitable,” said Yang Bongiovi, adding that a proven history of success allows her to take big risks on movies like Riley’s.

But to this day, that hasn’t always been an easy road to walk, especially in an industry resistant to change and beholden to outmoded narratives like the idea that films anchored by actors of color don’t sell well overseas. “I had to yell at these two men and tell them to stop it,” she said, describing a recent meeting with potential new investors who didn’t were trying to cap the budget on a project because of its diverse cast.

“It takes a little bit of patience. I’d be mad all day if I took every grievance,” added Steward, explaining that people even underestimate her as a woman of color. “In those moments where I am patient, I try to teach … Being here is a representation of that. To show that this market is diversifying, that women are in positions of power, and now we can work to give that access to everyone.”

Having that access and telling a wide range of women’s stories can make a real difference in lives of people even outside the industry. Ziering saw that first-hand when she made her followup to “Invisible War,” the acclaimed documentary about campus rape, “The Hunting Ground.”

“Not everyone, but I would say 60 percent of the students who spoke to us said, ‘I’m only talking to you because I saw that woman in the military get up on screen and talk. And because I saw her, I have the courage to do this,'” said Ziering.

And maybe that went even further than Ziering’s own work. When “The Hunting Ground” earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, dozens of young sexual assault survivors took the stage at the Oscars alongside Lady Gaga in a show of solidarity and hope.

“Consciously or unconsciously, maybe that helped infect the Hollywood movement. All these actresses could say ‘If these kids can stand up, why can’t we tell our stories?'” said Ziering. “That’s the power of women. That’s why we need to represent [ourselves] and tell our stories.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

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ESPN’s Julie Foudy Says Women in Sports Need to Follow Billie Jean King’s Lead on Better Pay

Retired soccer player and ESPN color commentator Julie Foudy remembers when former tennis star Billie Jean King changed her life for the better. Back in the mid 1990s, not long after the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) won their first FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation was getting ready to offer a new contract to Foudy and their teammates. It was then that she heard King tell the story of how she founded the Women’s Tennis Association and her struggle for equal pay in tennis.

“We were getting ten dollars a day when we started, and we were just excited to be on the national team, but in the ’90s we started realizing, ‘Hey, we’re proud to be playing for our national team but it doesn’t seem right that we’re staying in roach motels and taking hotel shuttles to a game,’” Foudy told TheWrap’s Debbie Emery at the Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles.

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“And then I met Billie and she told her story, and I just sat there and absorbed it all. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is us!– with what you did breaking away and unifying all these women to form the Women’s Tennis Association.’ And she literally came up to me and said ‘Wake up, Foudy! You’re the one that’s going to have to do this!’ So I ran back to the team and I yelled, ‘Guys, listen! We can’t sign this contract! Billie Jean said!”

The result was a unified USWNT, comprised of women soccer players who stood up for better wages and treatment from the U.S. Soccer Federation, leading to better coverage and marketing for the team as it has gone on to win two more World Cups in 1999 and 2015. And last year, the women currently playing on the national team followed King’s example again when they successfully pushed for a new collective bargaining agreement that ensured another pay increase and further investment in the women’s game.

Foudy, along with fellow ESPN broadcaster Cari Champion, said that following King’s example is essential in the push for equality in sports, specifically praising her ability to encourage her fellow athletes to find strength in numbers. The duo noted that not only does it lead to better terms in contracts and CBAs, but it also helps elevate the national profile of the entire sport.

Also Read: Barbara Boxer: My Grandma ‘Came to America in a Caravan of a Ship’ (Video)

“When women’s teams get better deals, it leads to more marketing and promotion for the sport because they have to get more revenue from the team because they have to pay you,” Foudy said.

Unfortunately, she noted that this sense of solidarity hasn’t taken root in some sports the way it has in women’s soccer and tennis, noting that for all its advances, the WNBA still only pays its best players no more than $100,000 a year — while their male counterparts in the NBA turn down multiyear, eight-digit contracts on a regular basis.

Champion, who has covered the WNBA Finals and interviewed the league’s stars like Nneka Ogwumike and Candice Parker, said that she wants women to rally around the WNBA stars the way they have around Foudy and other American women’s soccer legends.

Also Read: Vice News Correspondent Antonia Hylton Says Sexism Is Rampant in ‘Messed Up’ News Industry

“We as women aren’t supporting the WNBA,” she said. “The pay disparity between male and female basketball players is astounding, and it makes me mad when I don’t see women supporting this league and supporting these women as they fight for better pay.”

Foudy also lamented that despite winning the gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the U.S. Women’s Hockey team hasn’t banded together to push for better pay and promotion the way the USWNT has.

She notes that 20 years ago, when the team won the Olympic gold medal the first time women’s hockey was added to the event, then-captain Cammi Granato attempted to push for better pay for the team, but could never get the team to rally around her. She was infamously cut from the team just prior to the 2006 Winter Olympics, and it wasn’t until 2017 that the U.S. Hockey Federation agreed to a new CBA that allowed the women’s team to make up to $71,000 per year.

Also Read: ‘On the Basis of Sex’ Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder’s Patience

“They were making very reasonable requests, and the federation shut them down,” Foudy said. “They cut Cammi for making the simple request for better treatment, and the team didn’t stand by Cammi for fear of getting cut. Now, 17 years later, it was finally this team that finally said, ‘this is crazy’ and decided they were going to make it better for the next generation and change this contract.”

With Serena Williams continuing Billie Jean King’s legacy on the tennis court and the USWNT getting ready to defend their World Cup next year, the benefits of banding together is clear for female athletes. And for the U.S. women’s hockey team, as Foudy said, the consequences of not doing so are also apparent.

“If the hockey team had stood together back in 2000, the trajectory for that program would be so much higher than it is now because the Federation would have been forced to support them,” Foudy said.

“Instead, it has stagnated, and we don’t see the grassroots level of support for the sport today that you see with women’s soccer. Their win in the Olympics this year was fun to watch, but I just sat down with them at an ESPN conference two weeks ago and I asked them what they’ve been doing since then, and they said…’nothing.’”

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Retired soccer player and ESPN color commentator Julie Foudy remembers when former tennis star Billie Jean King changed her life for the better. Back in the mid 1990s, not long after the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) won their first FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation was getting ready to offer a new contract to Foudy and their teammates. It was then that she heard King tell the story of how she founded the Women’s Tennis Association and her struggle for equal pay in tennis.

“We were getting ten dollars a day when we started, and we were just excited to be on the national team, but in the ’90s we started realizing, ‘Hey, we’re proud to be playing for our national team but it doesn’t seem right that we’re staying in roach motels and taking hotel shuttles to a game,'” Foudy told TheWrap’s Debbie Emery at the Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles.

“And then I met Billie and she told her story, and I just sat there and absorbed it all. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is us!– with what you did breaking away and unifying all these women to form the Women’s Tennis Association.’ And she literally came up to me and said ‘Wake up, Foudy! You’re the one that’s going to have to do this!’ So I ran back to the team and I yelled, ‘Guys, listen! We can’t sign this contract! Billie Jean said!”

The result was a unified USWNT, comprised of women soccer players who stood up for better wages and treatment from the U.S. Soccer Federation, leading to better coverage and marketing for the team as it has gone on to win two more World Cups in 1999 and 2015. And last year, the women currently playing on the national team followed King’s example again when they successfully pushed for a new collective bargaining agreement that ensured another pay increase and further investment in the women’s game.

Foudy, along with fellow ESPN broadcaster Cari Champion, said that following King’s example is essential in the push for equality in sports, specifically praising her ability to encourage her fellow athletes to find strength in numbers. The duo noted that not only does it lead to better terms in contracts and CBAs, but it also helps elevate the national profile of the entire sport.

“When women’s teams get better deals, it leads to more marketing and promotion for the sport because they have to get more revenue from the team because they have to pay you,” Foudy said.

Unfortunately, she noted that this sense of solidarity hasn’t taken root in some sports the way it has in women’s soccer and tennis, noting that for all its advances, the WNBA still only pays its best players no more than $100,000 a year — while their male counterparts in the NBA turn down multiyear, eight-digit contracts on a regular basis.

Champion, who has covered the WNBA Finals and interviewed the league’s stars like Nneka Ogwumike and Candice Parker, said that she wants women to rally around the WNBA stars the way they have around Foudy and other American women’s soccer legends.

“We as women aren’t supporting the WNBA,” she said. “The pay disparity between male and female basketball players is astounding, and it makes me mad when I don’t see women supporting this league and supporting these women as they fight for better pay.”

Foudy also lamented that despite winning the gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the U.S. Women’s Hockey team hasn’t banded together to push for better pay and promotion the way the USWNT has.

She notes that 20 years ago, when the team won the Olympic gold medal the first time women’s hockey was added to the event, then-captain Cammi Granato attempted to push for better pay for the team, but could never get the team to rally around her. She was infamously cut from the team just prior to the 2006 Winter Olympics, and it wasn’t until 2017 that the U.S. Hockey Federation agreed to a new CBA that allowed the women’s team to make up to $71,000 per year.

“They were making very reasonable requests, and the federation shut them down,” Foudy said. “They cut Cammi for making the simple request for better treatment, and the team didn’t stand by Cammi for fear of getting cut. Now, 17 years later, it was finally this team that finally said, ‘this is crazy’ and decided they were going to make it better for the next generation and change this contract.”

With Serena Williams continuing Billie Jean King’s legacy on the tennis court and the USWNT getting ready to defend their World Cup next year, the benefits of banding together is clear for female athletes. And for the U.S. women’s hockey team, as Foudy said, the consequences of not doing so are also apparent.

“If the hockey team had stood together back in 2000, the trajectory for that program would be so much higher than it is now because the Federation would have been forced to support them,” Foudy said.

“Instead, it has stagnated, and we don’t see the grassroots level of support for the sport today that you see with women’s soccer. Their win in the Olympics this year was fun to watch, but I just sat down with them at an ESPN conference two weeks ago and I asked them what they’ve been doing since then, and they said…’nothing.'”

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The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap's Leadership Event (Photos)

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

Stephanie Shepherd, Kim Kardashian’s Former Assistant, on Leaving the ‘Mothership’: ‘That’s All I Knew’

Stephanie Shepherd is a rising social influencer in the fashion and entertainment industries — but she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for her split with Kim Kardashian.

Shepherd spent five years as Kardashian’s assistant and COO of Kardashian West Brands before deciding to branch out on her own. And at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, during a panel called “Betting on Yourself,” she shared why she chose to go out on her own.

“The tipping point for me, I think, was the desire for me to live my own life outweighed the fear,” Shepherd, who currently has 1.2 million Instagram followers, told moderator Claudia Carasso. “‘Cause I definitely was scared. And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Is anyone going to care about me? Am I going to be cut off? How do I leave the mothership? What is that even going to be like?’ It was so scary and the crazy thing was, as I was driving away from Kim’s house, I was like, ‘OK. Oh my god. I’m gonna do this.’ And it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, god, this isn’t right.’ I wasn’t freaked out. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m really kind of excited. Like, what am I gonna do?’”

Also Read: Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a ‘Narrative That’s as Strong as Trump’s Fascism’

“That was the first time I felt like that,” she continued. “Because it’s so scary to walk away from everything — I mean, that was my life. I lived, breathed that entire thing. That’s all I knew. That’s the only empire I had worked in. I knew the ins and outs. I had no clue if anyone would care to hire me or if my experience was enough or what would happen. But the desire to do it was just so much greater than the fear at that point that I was like, even if I fail, I have to.”

Lucky for her, Shepherd said, Kardashian basically pushed her out of the nest.

“She was like, ‘You need to do this. Like, you’re ready. Go do it.’ Because if I had to break up with her, I don’t know if I would have done it at that moment. But luckily she’s such a great mentor that she was like, ‘You gotta go. Like, I love you. I want you forever, but you have to go.’”

Also Read: The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap’s Leadership Event (Photos)

Most recently, Shepherd collaborated with the denim brand J Brand on her limited edition “Little Black Jean,” which sold out in 19 hours and currently has a waiting list. In addition to her design, Shepherd also appears as the face of the campaign. Her new addition of the remix comes out Nov. 7 and will likely sell out just as quickly.

She explained to the Summit’s attendees what made her realize she had to move on to look for these new opportunities.

“I started to find my voice,” Shepherd said. “For so long I kind of was living for someone else — and that’s why I was so good at my job. I gave everything to her business, and to her world, and I loved it. And I was so in the bubble and it was honestly one of the best experiences I think of my life. And I learned so much.”

Also Read: HAIM’s Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: ‘I Wanna Rock the Boat’ (Video)

Shepherd said working for Kardashian was her version of “graduate school.”

“I learned everything about the entertainment world that I needed to know during those five years,” she said. “And towards the end, I just felt like it was time for me to do my own thing. I had the itch to create something for myself and to really branch out and use my voice and talk about the things I wanted to talk about.”

She said it “means the world” to her to have Kardashian’s support in all this.

“If I didn’t, I don’t know if I would have all the confidence that I do,” she said. “But knowing that she’s in my corner really is such a positive thing for me and I feel very lucky and hopefully you guys are feeling like if you wanna step out you can make that separation as amicable as possible and have that support.”

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap’s Leadership Event (Photos)

HAIM’s Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: ‘I Wanna Rock the Boat’ (Video)

Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a ‘Narrative That’s as Strong as Trump’s Fascism’ (Video)

Stephanie Shepherd is a rising social influencer in the fashion and entertainment industries — but she wouldn’t be where she is today if it weren’t for her split with Kim Kardashian.

Shepherd spent five years as Kardashian’s assistant and COO of Kardashian West Brands before deciding to branch out on her own. And at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit, during a panel called “Betting on Yourself,” she shared why she chose to go out on her own.

“The tipping point for me, I think, was the desire for me to live my own life outweighed the fear,” Shepherd, who currently has 1.2 million Instagram followers, told moderator Claudia Carasso. “‘Cause I definitely was scared. And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Is anyone going to care about me? Am I going to be cut off? How do I leave the mothership? What is that even going to be like?’ It was so scary and the crazy thing was, as I was driving away from Kim’s house, I was like, ‘OK. Oh my god. I’m gonna do this.’ And it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, god, this isn’t right.’ I wasn’t freaked out. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m really kind of excited. Like, what am I gonna do?'”

“That was the first time I felt like that,” she continued. “Because it’s so scary to walk away from everything — I mean, that was my life. I lived, breathed that entire thing. That’s all I knew. That’s the only empire I had worked in. I knew the ins and outs. I had no clue if anyone would care to hire me or if my experience was enough or what would happen. But the desire to do it was just so much greater than the fear at that point that I was like, even if I fail, I have to.”

Lucky for her, Shepherd said, Kardashian basically pushed her out of the nest.

“She was like, ‘You need to do this. Like, you’re ready. Go do it.’ Because if I had to break up with her, I don’t know if I would have done it at that moment. But luckily she’s such a great mentor that she was like, ‘You gotta go. Like, I love you. I want you forever, but you have to go.'”

Most recently, Shepherd collaborated with the denim brand J Brand on her limited edition “Little Black Jean,” which sold out in 19 hours and currently has a waiting list. In addition to her design, Shepherd also appears as the face of the campaign. Her new addition of the remix comes out Nov. 7 and will likely sell out just as quickly.

She explained to the Summit’s attendees what made her realize she had to move on to look for these new opportunities.

“I started to find my voice,” Shepherd said. “For so long I kind of was living for someone else — and that’s why I was so good at my job. I gave everything to her business, and to her world, and I loved it. And I was so in the bubble and it was honestly one of the best experiences I think of my life. And I learned so much.”

Shepherd said working for Kardashian was her version of “graduate school.”

“I learned everything about the entertainment world that I needed to know during those five years,” she said. “And towards the end, I just felt like it was time for me to do my own thing. I had the itch to create something for myself and to really branch out and use my voice and talk about the things I wanted to talk about.”

She said it “means the world” to her to have Kardashian’s support in all this.

“If I didn’t, I don’t know if I would have all the confidence that I do,” she said. “But knowing that she’s in my corner really is such a positive thing for me and I feel very lucky and hopefully you guys are feeling like if you wanna step out you can make that separation as amicable as possible and have that support.”

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

The Scene at Power Women Summit 2018: Anita Hill, Alyssa Milano, HAIM and More at TheWrap's Leadership Event (Photos)

HAIM's Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: 'I Wanna Rock the Boat' (Video)

Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a 'Narrative That's as Strong as Trump's Fascism' (Video)

Hollywood Agents, Producers on Industry Misogyny: ‘We Have to Be the First People’ to Make Change

Producers and agents behind the success of films like the Best-Picture winning “Crash,” 2005’s “Thank You For Smoking” and actors like Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig and Emily Blunt came together at the TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to get serious about men joining the fight against misogyny in Hollywood.

“You need new storytellers, you need new energy,” co-head of motion picture literacy at talent agency ICM Partners Harley Copen told the crowd at the “Reframe: Male Allies Leaning In on Gender Equity” panel on Friday at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “We have to start from our perspective as agents as the first line of helping learn how people think about projects. We have to start the change. We have to be the first people.”

“Edge of Seventeen” producer and Women in Film founder Cathy Schulman moderated the panel between Copen, agent/producer Kevin Iwashina, agent/producer Cassian Elwes and CAA agent Chris Andrews. While each has had success individually, together they make up part of the 50 studio heads, agency partners, executives and talent who have partnered with Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to join men and women to fight gender disparity in Hollywood. That group calls themselves ReFrame.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

For each of the panelists, breaking down the barriers between men and women in Hollywood is a three-step approach. First: challenge the cultural bias. While TV has lead the way to show that women and men are equal, Andrews said, many men behind major films are unconsciously sticking to the status quo.

And that doesn’t have to just mean straight men. Iwashina, who started out his career in the mailroom of UTA and has now worked on films such as the Academy-award nominated “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,”  spoke about his own experience correcting his own bias as an Asian, gay male.

“As a gay male population, I think there is always a very unconscious misogyny. It just exists,” he said. “By supporting women I think i’m a much more well-rounded, well-informed person.”

Also Read: 4 Female Emmy-Nominated Directors on Being Outnumbered by Men 10-to-1: ‘What the Hell?’ (Video)

The second step is challenging the marketplace perceptions that men consume the most mainstream media. Part of what’s great in the post-#MeToo era, Copen said, is that someone like a Kathryn Bigelow can make action or even sci-fi films for not only men but the women who enjoy the genres as well.

“We don’t need a man making a Mars movie. Not many people have that experience as far as I know,” Copen joked.

Schulman said the third step is challenging the Hollywood pipeline. Schulman asked, “Where are the women? And if they are there why can’t we find them?”

Andrews recalled various times in his career when he heard of a mediocre male director getting another shot to make a film because agents and executives didn’t want to “sway the ship.” Andrews says this mentality only hurts any kind of progress for women in the industry.

“If you don’t join [the movement], you’re an idiot,” he said. 

Also Read: Jason Blum Apologizes for ‘Dumb Comments’ About Lack of Female Directors

To incentivize diversity on film projects ReFrame has begun issuing ReFrame stamps of approval. The stamps, Schulman said, are a mark that tells audiences that the production is gender-balanced.

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the panel and the rest of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is ‘How We Protect Each Other’ (Video)

Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’ (Video)

‘On the Basis of Sex’ Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder’s Patience

Producers and agents behind the success of films like the Best-Picture winning “Crash,” 2005’s “Thank You For Smoking” and actors like Liam Neeson, Daniel Craig and Emily Blunt came together at the TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to get serious about men joining the fight against misogyny in Hollywood.

“You need new storytellers, you need new energy,” co-head of motion picture literacy at talent agency ICM Partners Harley Copen told the crowd at the “Reframe: Male Allies Leaning In on Gender Equity” panel on Friday at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles. “We have to start from our perspective as agents as the first line of helping learn how people think about projects. We have to start the change. We have to be the first people.”

“Edge of Seventeen” producer and Women in Film founder Cathy Schulman moderated the panel between Copen, agent/producer Kevin Iwashina, agent/producer Cassian Elwes and CAA agent Chris Andrews. While each has had success individually, together they make up part of the 50 studio heads, agency partners, executives and talent who have partnered with Women in Film and the Sundance Institute to join men and women to fight gender disparity in Hollywood. That group calls themselves ReFrame.

For each of the panelists, breaking down the barriers between men and women in Hollywood is a three-step approach. First: challenge the cultural bias. While TV has lead the way to show that women and men are equal, Andrews said, many men behind major films are unconsciously sticking to the status quo.

And that doesn’t have to just mean straight men. Iwashina, who started out his career in the mailroom of UTA and has now worked on films such as the Academy-award nominated “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,”  spoke about his own experience correcting his own bias as an Asian, gay male.

“As a gay male population, I think there is always a very unconscious misogyny. It just exists,” he said. “By supporting women I think i’m a much more well-rounded, well-informed person.”

The second step is challenging the marketplace perceptions that men consume the most mainstream media. Part of what’s great in the post-#MeToo era, Copen said, is that someone like a Kathryn Bigelow can make action or even sci-fi films for not only men but the women who enjoy the genres as well.

“We don’t need a man making a Mars movie. Not many people have that experience as far as I know,” Copen joked.

Schulman said the third step is challenging the Hollywood pipeline. Schulman asked, “Where are the women? And if they are there why can’t we find them?”

Andrews recalled various times in his career when he heard of a mediocre male director getting another shot to make a film because agents and executives didn’t want to “sway the ship.” Andrews says this mentality only hurts any kind of progress for women in the industry.

“If you don’t join [the movement], you’re an idiot,” he said. 

To incentivize diversity on film projects ReFrame has begun issuing ReFrame stamps of approval. The stamps, Schulman said, are a mark that tells audiences that the production is gender-balanced.

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the panel and the rest of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is 'How We Protect Each Other' (Video)

Emily Ratajkowski Says 'Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone'

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won't: 'The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture' (Video)

'On the Basis of Sex' Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder's Patience

Hollywood Women Share How to Boost Representation: ‘Diversity Is Not Charity’

“Vida” writer, Tanya Saracho, was once cruelly informed by a network receptionist that she was selected for a show as “the diversity hire” — so recalled mitú president and co-founder Beatriz Acevedo at the Power Women Summit in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.

Saracho immediately approached her agent and moved onto another project within days, Acevedo said.

“I didn’t know that term existed until I talked to Tanya,” Acevedo said of “diversity hire,” a label that evokes imagery of the forced eating of vegetables, rather than something that has the potential to flourish. “The fact that there’s this quota, I know it comes from a good place in people’s hearts… but it’s not charity.”

Acevedo emphasized that diversity is “good business,” which has been reinforced at the box office and in TV Ratings time and again. The “Fast & Furious” franchise is just one example of a thriving franchise based on diverse characters. “Pose” on FX and “Empire” on Fox is another.

But Acevedo and panelists Lionsgate executive vice president Jen Hollingsworth and writer for TV series “Vida” Jenniffer Gómez were also concerned with diversity behind the camera.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

Acevedo said women creatives and creatives of color tend to be invisible to Hollywood. “We alway hear about how there’s a problem in Hollywood to find us,” she said. “It’s a big problem, it’s a deep problem, but there’s some hope.”

Women and people of color gaining a seat at the decision-making table in Hollywood was one of the solutions the panelists defined. Gómez said that “Vida” is a show that has an all Latinx writing team and cast. The show also features writers and actors within the LGBTQ community.

Hollingsworth said more women-driven and representative narratives gained more popularity and made the most money within the past year. She said the Queen Latifah-led “Girls Trip” reached beyond the targeted female audience. The 2017 film, Hollingsworth said, was a well-told story that both men and women were able to laugh at.

“At Lionsgate specifically, that [female] audience is a focus for us… it’s a focus on telling female stories,” Hollingsworth said.

Also Read: Zoe Saldana Started Social Activism Because She Felt ‘Ashamed’ of Her ‘Fear’ for Newborn Sons

Another major topic at the panel was the need for mentorship to continue promoting diverse voices in Hollywood storytelling for generations to come. Hollingsworth said it was difficult for her to find a mentor that she could holistically look up to because men dominated the entertainment industry in the past.

“I think my strengths are in being a woman,” Hollingsworth said.

Additionally, Gómez said that she believes mentors have play a big part in making sure that people of color and women continue to have a seat at the table. Even if an up-and-coming woman creative of color doesn’t have the same level of professional experience as a white man — because she hasn’t been given the opportunity as easily — it’s about mentors allowing their mentees to prove themselves.

“You just need to take the risk,” Gómez said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’ (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is ‘How We Protect Each Other’ (Video)

“Vida” writer, Tanya Saracho, was once cruelly informed by a network receptionist that she was selected for a show as “the diversity hire” — so recalled mitú president and co-founder Beatriz Acevedo at the Power Women Summit in downtown Los Angeles on Friday.

Saracho immediately approached her agent and moved onto another project within days, Acevedo said.

“I didn’t know that term existed until I talked to Tanya,” Acevedo said of “diversity hire,” a label that evokes imagery of the forced eating of vegetables, rather than something that has the potential to flourish. “The fact that there’s this quota, I know it comes from a good place in people’s hearts… but it’s not charity.”

Acevedo emphasized that diversity is “good business,” which has been reinforced at the box office and in TV Ratings time and again. The “Fast & Furious” franchise is just one example of a thriving franchise based on diverse characters. “Pose” on FX and “Empire” on Fox is another.

But Acevedo and panelists Lionsgate executive vice president Jen Hollingsworth and writer for TV series “Vida” Jenniffer Gómez were also concerned with diversity behind the camera.

Acevedo said women creatives and creatives of color tend to be invisible to Hollywood. “We alway hear about how there’s a problem in Hollywood to find us,” she said. “It’s a big problem, it’s a deep problem, but there’s some hope.”

Women and people of color gaining a seat at the decision-making table in Hollywood was one of the solutions the panelists defined. Gómez said that “Vida” is a show that has an all Latinx writing team and cast. The show also features writers and actors within the LGBTQ community.

Hollingsworth said more women-driven and representative narratives gained more popularity and made the most money within the past year. She said the Queen Latifah-led “Girls Trip” reached beyond the targeted female audience. The 2017 film, Hollingsworth said, was a well-told story that both men and women were able to laugh at.

“At Lionsgate specifically, that [female] audience is a focus for us… it’s a focus on telling female stories,” Hollingsworth said.

Another major topic at the panel was the need for mentorship to continue promoting diverse voices in Hollywood storytelling for generations to come. Hollingsworth said it was difficult for her to find a mentor that she could holistically look up to because men dominated the entertainment industry in the past.

“I think my strengths are in being a woman,” Hollingsworth said.

Additionally, Gómez said that she believes mentors have play a big part in making sure that people of color and women continue to have a seat at the table. Even if an up-and-coming woman creative of color doesn’t have the same level of professional experience as a white man — because she hasn’t been given the opportunity as easily — it’s about mentors allowing their mentees to prove themselves.

“You just need to take the risk,” Gómez said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won't: 'The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture' (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is 'How We Protect Each Other' (Video)

Vice News Correspondent Antonia Hylton Says Sexism Is Rampant in ‘Messed Up’ News Industry

Antonia Hylton, a correspondent and producer for “VICE News Tonight,” says much of the sexism she’s faced as a black female reporter was out in the field, by men who frequently comment on her age and her hair.

“Many are still not used to sitting across from a black woman with natural hair,” Hylton told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “White men will comment on my hair and my age and it’s very clearly a tactic to lower my self-confidence before the interview begins.”

Hylton, known for fearless interviews of gang members on Chicago’s West Side, said she’s encountered sexism from her own colleagues at times.

Also Read: Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

“I’ve had cameramen and freelancers start working on projects who talk about the way that I look or the way  that I sound,” she said. “Those are the things that I find all the time in the industry that are still really messed up.”

Hylton spoke during a panel on “Women on the Front Lines,” moderated by former Glamour editor-in-chief  Cindi Leive. She was joined two of her fellow Vice correspondents Elle Reeve and Isobel Yeung.

“There is still a really fundamental problem in the way that people approach women,” Hylton told the audience. “They don’t think of them as being well-read, they don’t think of them as being able to ask really tough questions.”

Also Read: Zoe Saldana Started Social Activism Because She Felt ‘Ashamed’ of Her ‘Fear’ for Newborn Sons

Reeve, who rose to national prominence after covering the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she too battled sexism while covering stories. Reeve recalled an interview with a man who owned a Confederate-themed dinosaur amusement park. At one point the man asked her to turn around, so he could “fix something.”

“He then proceeded to pick up a 15-foot octopus tentacle and touched my butt,” she said. “On camera!”

She said she thought he had hit her by accident until she screened the tapes later. Leive, the moderator, asked if it was sexual assault. Reeve answered that she wasn’t sure — until she watched the tape later.

“I was like, ‘Oh, O.K.. That’s what you did,” she said.

Yeung discussed her reporting on sexism and misogyny in a recent Vice special called “Consent.” She said she decided to focus on the issue after Babe.net published an interview with Grace, the pseudonym given to an unnamed woman who accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct for not heeding her cues that she didn’t want to have sex with him.

“Is that just just bad sex? Is that rape?” she asked. “And that was the conversation I was having with my friends.”

Also Read: Time’s Up Defense Fund Founder Tina Tchen: ‘We Need Folks to Know They Can Be Protected’

“There just seemed to be so much noise on both sides of the debate and it seemed to be such a politicized partisan topic and I just really didn’t understand why,” Yeung said. “And so the goal of the documentary was to to break through that noise and to try and make something that contributed to that conversation.”

“It is one of those topics that has just not gone away,” she said.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to Talk Men’s Role in Gender Equity

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap’s Power Women Summit

Antonia Hylton, a correspondent and producer for “VICE News Tonight,” says much of the sexism she’s faced as a black female reporter was out in the field, by men who frequently comment on her age and her hair.

“Many are still not used to sitting across from a black woman with natural hair,” Hylton told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “White men will comment on my hair and my age and it’s very clearly a tactic to lower my self-confidence before the interview begins.”

Hylton, known for fearless interviews of gang members on Chicago’s West Side, said she’s encountered sexism from her own colleagues at times.

“I’ve had cameramen and freelancers start working on projects who talk about the way that I look or the way  that I sound,” she said. “Those are the things that I find all the time in the industry that are still really messed up.”

Hylton spoke during a panel on “Women on the Front Lines,” moderated by former Glamour editor-in-chief  Cindi Leive. She was joined two of her fellow Vice correspondents Elle Reeve and Isobel Yeung.

“There is still a really fundamental problem in the way that people approach women,” Hylton told the audience. “They don’t think of them as being well-read, they don’t think of them as being able to ask really tough questions.”

Reeve, who rose to national prominence after covering the August 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said she too battled sexism while covering stories. Reeve recalled an interview with a man who owned a Confederate-themed dinosaur amusement park. At one point the man asked her to turn around, so he could “fix something.”

“He then proceeded to pick up a 15-foot octopus tentacle and touched my butt,” she said. “On camera!”

She said she thought he had hit her by accident until she screened the tapes later. Leive, the moderator, asked if it was sexual assault. Reeve answered that she wasn’t sure — until she watched the tape later.

“I was like, ‘Oh, O.K.. That’s what you did,” she said.

Yeung discussed her reporting on sexism and misogyny in a recent Vice special called “Consent.” She said she decided to focus on the issue after Babe.net published an interview with Grace, the pseudonym given to an unnamed woman who accused actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct for not heeding her cues that she didn’t want to have sex with him.

“Is that just just bad sex? Is that rape?” she asked. “And that was the conversation I was having with my friends.”

“There just seemed to be so much noise on both sides of the debate and it seemed to be such a politicized partisan topic and I just really didn’t understand why,” Yeung said. “And so the goal of the documentary was to to break through that noise and to try and make something that contributed to that conversation.”

“It is one of those topics that has just not gone away,” she said.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap's Power Women Summit to Talk Men's Role in Gender Equity

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap's Power Women Summit

Emily Ratajkowski Says ‘Feminism Is Great for Everyone, Misogyny Is Bad for Everyone’

In a time when the word “feminism” and its meaning is being widely debated, model and activist Emily Ratajkowski says “feminism is great for everyone” while “misogyny is bad for everyone.” She argued at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday that everyone should be working together in the fight for equality, also saying that ideas about gender limit men almost just as much as women.

“I don’t want to live in a world like that, and I think it’s important to accept men,” Ratajkowski said, insisting that men also need a seat at the table on women’s rights issues. “Maybe they need to let us be the main voices, but I’m happy for them to show up and be a part of this conversation because it’s impacting them as well. I feel the same way about Black Lives Matter: We have an insane problem in our country with the police force, and I feel I need to get behind it… if I don’t, who will?”

What feminism means to different people can vary, but to Ratajkowski, it’s pretty simple.

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

“Fundamentally, what I believe: Feminism is about is a woman’s right to choose how they represent themselves, what they do with their bodies, what their life is going to be like, and I think that’s pretty much something that everyone agrees with if you are a feminist. I’ve hit a lot of roadblocks within feminist communities, like what happened in a second wave where people asked, ‘Do we accept pornography? Can a woman be a prostitute and a feminist?’ My answer is: absolutely, as long as it’s her choice!” added the “Gone Girl” actress. “If she’s feeling herself in a lacy thong, good for her. As a young woman, I had so many people telling me what to do with my body, making me feel embarrassed, and it was really unfortunately that some of those people were women who were trying to protect me but were at the same time actually limiting me and making me feel ashamed of my body… It’s very important to me whether you choose to cover yourself completely or be naked all the time, that it’s your choice. If you are a woman, if you are making a decision, I respect that.”

Ratajkowski spoke in the Power Women Summit breakout session with Facebook’s Crystal Patterson, who asked the model and actress whether she ever looks back on her social media posts and thinks that she should have reeled back a bit.

“To be honest, the whole editing of your history is not necessarily the right thing to do,” Ratajkowski responded. “That’s also what I believe about feminism: it’s an ongoing developing conversation, and there are probably things that I said previously that I don’t agree with now. That’s what it means to be a feminist in 2018, is to get things wrong and learn from them and have it out there so we can all grow from it… The only things I do regret is when I didn’t listen to myself.”

Ratajkowski also said she believes that the focus of 2018 has been “politically correct,” when in actuality, there are far bigger problems that can’t just be fixed with limiting language.

See Video: Alyssa Milano: Voting Is ‘How We Protect Each Other’

“There is so much call-out culture and worry about being politically correct,” she said. “I grew up thinking language was everything because my mom was an English professor. That being said, we can’t limit our language — we need to be able to talk about things in an honest way and address problems that sometimes may not be PC. That’s what Bernie [Sanders] did really well and I think that’s actually what hurt Hillary [Clinton] so much: People were so critical of her words and it actually limited how she could communicate, which is so unfortunate. As people on the left, we need to learn to be able to have conversations because we limited our languages but we still have insane problems. Sexism is just as prevalent as it’s been. There are words we can’t use or outfits we can’t wear but we have to change the fundamentals that are actually problematic.”

The Power Women Summit at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles Nov. 1-2 is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emily Ratajkowski Talks Getting Arrested With Amy Schumer (Video)

Here’s the Penalty Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Will Face for Arrest at Anti-Kavanaugh Protest

Emily Ratajkowski Turns Lena Dunham Into an ‘Oiled Up Swimsuit Issue Chick’ (Photo)

In a time when the word “feminism” and its meaning is being widely debated, model and activist Emily Ratajkowski says “feminism is great for everyone” while “misogyny is bad for everyone.” She argued at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Los Angeles on Friday that everyone should be working together in the fight for equality, also saying that ideas about gender limit men almost just as much as women.

“I don’t want to live in a world like that, and I think it’s important to accept men,” Ratajkowski said, insisting that men also need a seat at the table on women’s rights issues. “Maybe they need to let us be the main voices, but I’m happy for them to show up and be a part of this conversation because it’s impacting them as well. I feel the same way about Black Lives Matter: We have an insane problem in our country with the police force, and I feel I need to get behind it… if I don’t, who will?”

What feminism means to different people can vary, but to Ratajkowski, it’s pretty simple.

“Fundamentally, what I believe: Feminism is about is a woman’s right to choose how they represent themselves, what they do with their bodies, what their life is going to be like, and I think that’s pretty much something that everyone agrees with if you are a feminist. I’ve hit a lot of roadblocks within feminist communities, like what happened in a second wave where people asked, ‘Do we accept pornography? Can a woman be a prostitute and a feminist?’ My answer is: absolutely, as long as it’s her choice!” added the “Gone Girl” actress. “If she’s feeling herself in a lacy thong, good for her. As a young woman, I had so many people telling me what to do with my body, making me feel embarrassed, and it was really unfortunately that some of those people were women who were trying to protect me but were at the same time actually limiting me and making me feel ashamed of my body… It’s very important to me whether you choose to cover yourself completely or be naked all the time, that it’s your choice. If you are a woman, if you are making a decision, I respect that.”

Ratajkowski spoke in the Power Women Summit breakout session with Facebook’s Crystal Patterson, who asked the model and actress whether she ever looks back on her social media posts and thinks that she should have reeled back a bit.

“To be honest, the whole editing of your history is not necessarily the right thing to do,” Ratajkowski responded. “That’s also what I believe about feminism: it’s an ongoing developing conversation, and there are probably things that I said previously that I don’t agree with now. That’s what it means to be a feminist in 2018, is to get things wrong and learn from them and have it out there so we can all grow from it… The only things I do regret is when I didn’t listen to myself.”

Ratajkowski also said she believes that the focus of 2018 has been “politically correct,” when in actuality, there are far bigger problems that can’t just be fixed with limiting language.

“There is so much call-out culture and worry about being politically correct,” she said. “I grew up thinking language was everything because my mom was an English professor. That being said, we can’t limit our language — we need to be able to talk about things in an honest way and address problems that sometimes may not be PC. That’s what Bernie [Sanders] did really well and I think that’s actually what hurt Hillary [Clinton] so much: People were so critical of her words and it actually limited how she could communicate, which is so unfortunate. As people on the left, we need to learn to be able to have conversations because we limited our languages but we still have insane problems. Sexism is just as prevalent as it’s been. There are words we can’t use or outfits we can’t wear but we have to change the fundamentals that are actually problematic.”

The Power Women Summit at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles Nov. 1-2 is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emily Ratajkowski Talks Getting Arrested With Amy Schumer (Video)

Here's the Penalty Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Will Face for Arrest at Anti-Kavanaugh Protest

Emily Ratajkowski Turns Lena Dunham Into an 'Oiled Up Swimsuit Issue Chick' (Photo)

Time’s Up Defense Fund Founder Tina Tchen: ‘We Need Folks to Know They Can Be Protected’

Tina Tchen, formerly chief of staff for Michelle Obama and now the founder of the Time’s Up Defense Fund, started a legal practice focused on workplace sexual harassment just weeks before the first Harvey Weinstein story broke.

She quickly realized that women who spoke out against powerful Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein would often have to deal with expensive lawsuits. But it was even harder for lower-wage women speaking out in other industries.

“We need folks to know they can be protected if they speak out,” Tchen said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday. “We need people on the other side to know: You cannot bully these people around. You cannot bully these women around because we are going to be there to support them.”

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

Speaking with Ariel Wengroff, publisher of Vice Media’s Broadly during one of the summit’s breakout sessions, Tchen explained the work the Time’s Up Defense Fund has done since it launched on Jan. 1.

The fund has not done much advertising, but more than 3,600 people have reached out asking for help. They’ve come from over 60 different industries including fast food, first responders, retails, corporate offices and more.

Two-thirds of them are low-income workers, and 10 percent are LGBTQ. Further, Time’s Up has raised over $22 million that they’ve used to defend victims who have spoken out against employers and others in their workplace.

“As much as that is, for the thousands of cases that are out there, it isn’t that much. So we are going to continue to press forward,” she said.

Also Read: ‘On the Basis of Sex’ Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder’s Patience

Tchen says more than 800 lawyers have volunteered to be part of the legal defense fund, working pro bono to help people who either can’t bring a legal case because the legal recovery fees are so small, or because the statute of limitations is so short.

“But that they have the ability to sit down with a lawyer and hear them for the first time, and believe them, is honestly helpful,” Tchen said.

Tchen added that if you need help or know someone who does, or if you are a lawyer who wants to help victims of sexual assault and work to change the corporate culture, you can find out more and volunteer at the National Women’s Law Center at nwlc.org.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap’s Power Women Summit to Talk Men’s Role in Gender Equity

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap’s Power Women Summit

Tina Tchen, formerly chief of staff for Michelle Obama and now the founder of the Time’s Up Defense Fund, started a legal practice focused on workplace sexual harassment just weeks before the first Harvey Weinstein story broke.

She quickly realized that women who spoke out against powerful Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein would often have to deal with expensive lawsuits. But it was even harder for lower-wage women speaking out in other industries.

“We need folks to know they can be protected if they speak out,” Tchen said at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday. “We need people on the other side to know: You cannot bully these people around. You cannot bully these women around because we are going to be there to support them.”

Speaking with Ariel Wengroff, publisher of Vice Media’s Broadly during one of the summit’s breakout sessions, Tchen explained the work the Time’s Up Defense Fund has done since it launched on Jan. 1.

The fund has not done much advertising, but more than 3,600 people have reached out asking for help. They’ve come from over 60 different industries including fast food, first responders, retails, corporate offices and more.

Two-thirds of them are low-income workers, and 10 percent are LGBTQ. Further, Time’s Up has raised over $22 million that they’ve used to defend victims who have spoken out against employers and others in their workplace.

“As much as that is, for the thousands of cases that are out there, it isn’t that much. So we are going to continue to press forward,” she said.

Tchen says more than 800 lawyers have volunteered to be part of the legal defense fund, working pro bono to help people who either can’t bring a legal case because the legal recovery fees are so small, or because the statute of limitations is so short.

“But that they have the ability to sit down with a lawyer and hear them for the first time, and believe them, is honestly helpful,” Tchen said.

Tchen added that if you need help or know someone who does, or if you are a lawyer who wants to help victims of sexual assault and work to change the corporate culture, you can find out more and volunteer at the National Women’s Law Center at nwlc.org.

Just a few days before the historic midterm election, the focus of the summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme, “The Road to 50/50 By 2020.”

The summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap's Power Women Summit to Talk Men's Role in Gender Equity

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap's Power Women Summit

‘On the Basis of Sex’ Star Felicity Jones Says Hollywood Should Embrace Director Mimi Leder’s Patience

Oscar nominee Felicity Jones discussed preparing to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. She also showered praise on her director Mimi Leder, who helmed the upcoming biopic, “On the Basis of Sex.”

In the film, which will have its world premiere at AFI Fest next week, Jones plays Ginsburg decades before her appointment to the Supreme Court, back when she was on the rise as a promising young lawyer. Alongside her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), she takes on what would become a landmark case in the fight against sex discrimination.

Also Read: Barbara Boxer: My Grandma ‘Came to America in a Caravan of a Ship’ (Video)

Dr. Stacy Smith, head of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, noted during her discussion with Jones at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles that the actress over-indexes against the industry average when it comes to actors who work with female directors. When asked what she took away from working with Leder, Jones said she has a quality that other directors and Hollywood need to embrace: patience.

“I feel Mimi had an innate understanding of what Ruth went through,” Jones said. “For so much of Mimi’s career, she’s had a balance of bringing up her daughter and having a career… I feel a lot of women have been in situations where they are breast pumping before they go on set have a big action sequence, and she understands the difficulty of that.”

Added Jones: “The film industry needs to adapt for a way of working that allows child care to be part of the system, because then we can forge a way where women can push into leadership roles with that level of support.”

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

When asked how she, a British actress, was able to step into the role of an American icon, Jones said she was able to turn her nationality into something that could connect her to Ginsburg rather than separate them, and that the script, written by Ginsburg’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, made the process even easier.

“I’m British, and I’m an outsider, and that’s what she felt starting her career as a lawyer. She too was an outsider, so psychologically that was my first root in.”

Jones said she was looking for a script about female ambition and a woman who was focused on her career. “That’s what I loved so much about the script, how verbal she was,” said Jones, adding, “I’ve read so many scripts in the past where I really have to work with directors to make sense of a female character and constantly asking questions.”

“On the Basis of Sex” will be released by Focus Features and opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

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Oscar nominee Felicity Jones discussed preparing to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg at TheWrap’s Power Women’s Summit in Los Angeles on Friday. She also showered praise on her director Mimi Leder, who helmed the upcoming biopic, “On the Basis of Sex.”

In the film, which will have its world premiere at AFI Fest next week, Jones plays Ginsburg decades before her appointment to the Supreme Court, back when she was on the rise as a promising young lawyer. Alongside her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), she takes on what would become a landmark case in the fight against sex discrimination.

Dr. Stacy Smith, head of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, noted during her discussion with Jones at the Intercontinental hotel in downtown Los Angeles that the actress over-indexes against the industry average when it comes to actors who work with female directors. When asked what she took away from working with Leder, Jones said she has a quality that other directors and Hollywood need to embrace: patience.

“I feel Mimi had an innate understanding of what Ruth went through,” Jones said. “For so much of Mimi’s career, she’s had a balance of bringing up her daughter and having a career… I feel a lot of women have been in situations where they are breast pumping before they go on set have a big action sequence, and she understands the difficulty of that.”

Added Jones: “The film industry needs to adapt for a way of working that allows child care to be part of the system, because then we can forge a way where women can push into leadership roles with that level of support.”

When asked how she, a British actress, was able to step into the role of an American icon, Jones said she was able to turn her nationality into something that could connect her to Ginsburg rather than separate them, and that the script, written by Ginsburg’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, made the process even easier.

“I’m British, and I’m an outsider, and that’s what she felt starting her career as a lawyer. She too was an outsider, so psychologically that was my first root in.”

Jones said she was looking for a script about female ambition and a woman who was focused on her career. “That’s what I loved so much about the script, how verbal she was,” said Jones, adding, “I’ve read so many scripts in the past where I really have to work with directors to make sense of a female character and constantly asking questions.”

“On the Basis of Sex” will be released by Focus Features and opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

David Oyelowo Joins TheWrap's Power Women Summit to Talk Men's Role in Gender Equity

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Zoe Saldana Started Social Activism Because She Felt ‘Ashamed’ of Her ‘Fear’ for Newborn Sons

Actress Zoe Saldana said she first got involved in social activism after she looked at her newborn twin sons and felt a twinge of fear.

“I felt really happy that I’m going to get to see my reflection for the rest of our lives,” Saldana told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “The second feeling was fear because they were going to be perceived by many as black men that will have to fight twice as hard to prove their worth.”

“I felt just so ashamed that I had that fear, but also I felt that I needed to do something,” she added.

Also Read: Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a ‘Narrative That’s as Strong as Trump’s Fascism’

Earlier this year, the “Avatar” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” star launched digital news platform BESE, with a mission is to shine a light on untold positive stories of Latinos geared to Millennial and Gen Z audiences.

“We’re highlighting stories of underrepresented people within our communities,” she said. “We’re starting with the Latinx community because it is the most marginalized according to its size and growth… so that younger people that look like me, like my sons, can see their reflections and cultivate aspirations for themselves.”

Saldana spoke during a panel called “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation,” moderated by Democratic political commentator Hilary Rosen. She was joined by legendary activist Dolores Huerta and California Congressional candidate Katie Hill.

Huerta, the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, said the country was going through a sea change when it comes to social activism.

“I feel like we have an awakening now in our country,” she said. “Now I think everything is really personal. And we understand that we really have to stand up and do something about these cancers that we have in our society of misogyny, of homophobia and of racism.”

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

Huerta said one of the ways to end those cancers is by changing the educational system to teach kids the “contribution of people of color to this country.”

“We’re not teaching this and this is why we have so much racism in our country,” she said, calling it a “poison of white privilege and white supremacy.”

Hill, who is running in a tight race for California’s 25th district, said she too felt the sea change.

Hill said she was eating at a restaurant with some of her staffers recently when two of her waitresses approached her to tell her that they would be voting for her in the upcoming November midterms.

“Both of them said that this would be their first time voting and they were women in their early 20s,” Hill said. “I think this is a huge deal… those are not reflected in the polls. The polls are showing likely voters.”

She added: “I feel like, and I can be totally have egg on my face after this… that we’re going to see historic returns.”

Also Read: Why We Created the Power Women Summit – The Road to 50/50 by 2020

Huerta said one of the most important thing people can do is go out and canvass.

“It’s all about building power,” she said.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

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Zoe Saldana Calls Out Hollywood ‘Elitists’ Who Look Down on Marvel Films

Actress Zoe Saldana said she first got involved in social activism after she looked at her newborn twin sons and felt a twinge of fear.

“I felt really happy that I’m going to get to see my reflection for the rest of our lives,” Saldana told the audience at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit in Downtown Los Angeles Friday. “The second feeling was fear because they were going to be perceived by many as black men that will have to fight twice as hard to prove their worth.”

“I felt just so ashamed that I had that fear, but also I felt that I needed to do something,” she added.

Earlier this year, the “Avatar” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” star launched digital news platform BESE, with a mission is to shine a light on untold positive stories of Latinos geared to Millennial and Gen Z audiences.

“We’re highlighting stories of underrepresented people within our communities,” she said. “We’re starting with the Latinx community because it is the most marginalized according to its size and growth… so that younger people that look like me, like my sons, can see their reflections and cultivate aspirations for themselves.”

Saldana spoke during a panel called “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation,” moderated by Democratic political commentator Hilary Rosen. She was joined by legendary activist Dolores Huerta and California Congressional candidate Katie Hill.

Huerta, the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association, said the country was going through a sea change when it comes to social activism.

“I feel like we have an awakening now in our country,” she said. “Now I think everything is really personal. And we understand that we really have to stand up and do something about these cancers that we have in our society of misogyny, of homophobia and of racism.”

Huerta said one of the ways to end those cancers is by changing the educational system to teach kids the “contribution of people of color to this country.”

“We’re not teaching this and this is why we have so much racism in our country,” she said, calling it a “poison of white privilege and white supremacy.”

Hill, who is running in a tight race for California’s 25th district, said she too felt the sea change.

Hill said she was eating at a restaurant with some of her staffers recently when two of her waitresses approached her to tell her that they would be voting for her in the upcoming November midterms.

“Both of them said that this would be their first time voting and they were women in their early 20s,” Hill said. “I think this is a huge deal… those are not reflected in the polls. The polls are showing likely voters.”

She added: “I feel like, and I can be totally have egg on my face after this… that we’re going to see historic returns.”

Huerta said one of the most important thing people can do is go out and canvass.

“It’s all about building power,” she said.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Anita Hill, Barbara Boxer, HAIM, Sherry Lansing, Zoe Saldana, Jill Soloway Lead TheWrap's Power Women Summit

Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana to Star in Laika's New Animated Feature for Annapurna

Zoe Saldana Calls Out Hollywood 'Elitists' Who Look Down on Marvel Films

Jill Soloway on 50/50 by 2020: We Need a ‘Narrative That’s as Strong as Trump’s Fascism’

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway sat down with “Steven Universe” boss Rebecca Sugar at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to discuss 50/50 by 2020 —  the goal to achieve gender equity in Hollywood — which just so happens to be the theme of the two-day event.

“In the Time’s Up rooms, we started to ask ourselves the question: If we as artists create the messages that people around the world use to know how to feel about themselves, what does it mean that 96 percent of directors are white men? Ninety-six percent of directors are white men,” Soloway, who co-founded 50/50 by 2020, an intersectional initiative of Time’s Up, said during the panel “Leading by Example.”

The theory of intersectionality maintains that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism, etc. are bound together should not be considered separately.

“And so we started to ask the question: What does it mean to have balance in all leadership, not only as directors and producers on board, but all areas? To us, 50/50 means balance and 2020 means clear vision,” said the activist and artist — who, along with Sugar, identifies as a non-binary person using the pronouns they and their.

“Just make leadership reflect reality. And that’s our mission for 5050 by 2020, at least as this particular part of the Time’s Up spoke,” added Soloway.

Also Read: Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

“We’re out there trying to name this intersectional power movement using the creation of culture as our demand to be able to tell — not only be able to tell our stories to the world — but to tell this story in particular,” Soloway said. “That when you look at that four percent, it’s not some weird accident that the four percent is made up of all ‘otherized’ people: women, women of color, people of color, queer people, trans people, people with disabilities. All otherized people with a capital O. And that’s how we’re beginning to tell the story of a narrative of unity.”

Soloway continued: “So what we’re hoping to do with this creation of culture through the ’50/50 by 2020’ floating signifier, is to start to name a narrative that’s as strong as Trump’s fascism. That’s stronger. We need a narrative that’s strong than Hitler. And the Hitler narrative of, ‘The caravan is coming. We must be powerful. People who are other are a risk,’ is the same narrative as Anita Hill said that everybody is fighting. And it gets worse with intersectional, when you add on you are a woman, you’re a woman of color, you’re a queer person, you’re a non-binary person. It gets worse and worse as all of your otherness gets added on.”

“This narrative, a narrative around the power of love and tolerance, we’re at the beginning of creating this movement, guys. We’re just at the beginning,” said Soloway. “One of the reasons we know we’re at the beginning is because so few cis men — liberal cis men — are standing for this movement right now. So few of them. We need cis men to say, liberal cis men, to say, ‘I want a woman leader. I want a woman boss. We need women of color in politics.’ They need to be out there electing women, not just us.”

Also Read: HAIM’s Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: ‘I Wanna Rock the Boat’

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

HAIM’s Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: ‘I Wanna Rock the Boat’ (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is ‘How We Protect Each Other’ (Video)

Barbara Boxer: My Grandma ‘Came to America in a Caravan of a Ship’ (Video)

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won’t: ‘The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture’

“Transparent” creator Jill Soloway sat down with “Steven Universe” boss Rebecca Sugar at TheWrap’s Power Women Summit on Friday to discuss 50/50 by 2020 —  the goal to achieve gender equity in Hollywood — which just so happens to be the theme of the two-day event.

“In the Time’s Up rooms, we started to ask ourselves the question: If we as artists create the messages that people around the world use to know how to feel about themselves, what does it mean that 96 percent of directors are white men? Ninety-six percent of directors are white men,” Soloway, who co-founded 50/50 by 2020, an intersectional initiative of Time’s Up, said during the panel “Leading by Example.”

The theory of intersectionality maintains that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism, etc. are bound together should not be considered separately.

“And so we started to ask the question: What does it mean to have balance in all leadership, not only as directors and producers on board, but all areas? To us, 50/50 means balance and 2020 means clear vision,” said the activist and artist — who, along with Sugar, identifies as a non-binary person using the pronouns they and their.

“Just make leadership reflect reality. And that’s our mission for 5050 by 2020, at least as this particular part of the Time’s Up spoke,” added Soloway.

“We’re out there trying to name this intersectional power movement using the creation of culture as our demand to be able to tell — not only be able to tell our stories to the world — but to tell this story in particular,” Soloway said. “That when you look at that four percent, it’s not some weird accident that the four percent is made up of all ‘otherized’ people: women, women of color, people of color, queer people, trans people, people with disabilities. All otherized people with a capital O. And that’s how we’re beginning to tell the story of a narrative of unity.”

Soloway continued: “So what we’re hoping to do with this creation of culture through the ’50/50 by 2020’ floating signifier, is to start to name a narrative that’s as strong as Trump’s fascism. That’s stronger. We need a narrative that’s strong than Hitler. And the Hitler narrative of, ‘The caravan is coming. We must be powerful. People who are other are a risk,’ is the same narrative as Anita Hill said that everybody is fighting. And it gets worse with intersectional, when you add on you are a woman, you’re a woman of color, you’re a queer person, you’re a non-binary person. It gets worse and worse as all of your otherness gets added on.”

“This narrative, a narrative around the power of love and tolerance, we’re at the beginning of creating this movement, guys. We’re just at the beginning,” said Soloway. “One of the reasons we know we’re at the beginning is because so few cis men — liberal cis men — are standing for this movement right now. So few of them. We need cis men to say, liberal cis men, to say, ‘I want a woman leader. I want a woman boss. We need women of color in politics.’ They need to be out there electing women, not just us.”

Just a few days before the U.S. midterm elections, the focus of the Power Women Summit is to achieve gender equity in Hollywood, with the theme: The Road to 50/50 By 2020.

The Summit is the largest gathering ever assembled of the most influential women in entertainment and media, attended and supported by studios, news organizations and non-profits across the entertainment industry landscape. It is presented by the WrapWomen Foundation, a division of TheWrap News.

Related stories from TheWrap:

HAIM's Alana on Firing Agent Over Gender Pay Disparity: 'I Wanna Rock the Boat' (Video)

Alyssa Milano: Voting Is 'How We Protect Each Other' (Video)

Barbara Boxer: My Grandma 'Came to America in a Caravan of a Ship' (Video)

Anita Hill Vows to Do What the Government Won't: 'The Down and Dirty Work of Changing Culture'