Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Elizabeth Olsen on “It’s a Choice to Be Optimistic.” Brighten Variety’s 2022 Power of Women issue

Variety’s celebration of women’s achievements on Wednesday in Beverly Hills managed to strike a balance between sombre discussions of the stakes for women everywhere and a spectacular party honouring those accomplishments.

Celebrating the annual event and magazine feature, a who’s who of executives, producers, writers, talent, and glitterati descended upon the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and took over the entire venue.

A number of the magazine’s cover stars, including Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Malala Yousafzai, and Elizabeth Olsen, were present to advocate for their respective causes and shine a light on the road to equality for women and other marginalised groups in the United States during a time of unrest.

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Clinton told the crowd, “It’s a choice to be optimistic” when discussing the recent overturning of the landmark American abortion law Roe v. Wade, the safety of women in Iran, and other precarious rights.

One time, the late Madeline Albright, my friend and the previous secretary of state, was asked if she was an optimist. “Yes,” she confirmed. In spite of my pessimism, I worry a lot. Let’s keep a positive outlook, but channel our anxiety into taking positive action.

The sentiment was echoed by Chelsea Clinton, who said she was “full of palpable rage as I look at my daughter and realise she could have fewer rights than I did” as a young woman.

Many of us in this room here today never imagined that in our lifetime, abortion would be banned by law in some states.

That shifted in the month of July. In opening remarks alongside Variety CEO and group publisher Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton said, “I truly believe the power to reverse that wrong lies as much with this crowd as it does in the halls of Congress.”

Guests such as Sandra Oh, Quinta Brunson, Diane Guerrero, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the breakout star of “Dahmer,” Niecy Nash-Betts, Tia Mowry, Kathryn Hahn, and many more mingled over cocktails before the dinner programme began at the Cadillac-sponsored event.

Executives such as Channing Dungey, CEO of Warner Bros. Television Studios, Pamela Abdy, co-chief of Warner Bros. films, Julie Rapaport, head of Amazon films, CAA’s Maha Dahkil, power attorney Ivy Kagan Bierman, Huma Abedin, Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, Margie Cohn, president of DreamWorks, and Courtenay Palaski, vice president of Paramount Television, and Principal

Meg Stalter, star of “Hacks,” served as the evening’s host and greeted the audience with a hearty “Hi, girlies!” Stalter said, in her signature awkward humour, “I love the way I make people feel more than I love the way I look.”

For her work with The Rape Foundation and Stuart House, Olsen of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” fame was given an award (the latter is a well-known Los Angeles resource for children who are victims of sexual abuse).

She took the opportunity to praise the organization’s leader, Gail Abarbanel. Olsen thanked the audience for allowing him to speak about how Abarbanel has helped victims and changed public opinion through “policy reforms, educational reforms in our police force and in homes and communities.”

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, the director of the Latino Community Foundation and a recipient of the award, gave a moving speech in which she inspired residents of the suburbs surrounding Los Angeles to take charge of their own economic and political futures. Her spontaneous request to thank “the workers who have served this food for us tonight” drew applause from the entire room.

As a content producer, Yousafzai has spoken truth to power on the importance of diversity in front of and behind the camera.

Less than four per cent of major roles in Hollywood go to actors of Asian descent, she said. Although Muslims make up roughly a quarter of the world’s population, they only account for about one per cent of on-screen roles in most hit shows. Statistics show that people of colour are even less likely to be in creative roles such as filmmaking.

The 42 female directors behind the OWN original series “Queen Sugar,” many of whom were making their directorial debuts, were given a rousing spotlight by DuVernay and Winfrey. DuVernay whipped up the crowd by reciting the laundry list of high-profile productions that these women have directed since their breakthrough. Oprah capped off the evening with some words of wisdom from Maya Angelou, a mentor and close friend of hers.


I promised Maya that the new school I had opened would stand as a lasting monument to my life and work. The legacy you leave behind is never just one thing, she said. ‘It permeates every surface you come into contact with. Tonight, I reflect on each person whose life we’ve impacted.

Goldsky Productions was responsible for producing Variety’s Power of Women, which Lifetime aired. The production design was done by Vita Motus. Daisy O’Dell oversaw the musical arrangements.

Related Article:

  1. Oprah Winfrey Reflects on the Most Important Thing She’s Learned After 25 Years in the Talk Show Business: “We Want to Know We Matter.”
  2. Oprah Net Worth 2022: A Real Time Update on Richer Life!
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