Magazine article Variety

Exposure

Magazine article Variety

Exposure

Article excerpt

Power of Women

CIPRIANI WALL STREET, NEW YORK, APRIL 13

Honorees and speakers at Variety's fifth annual Power of Women New York luncheon hailed the array of activists who have spurred a seismic shift in attitudes about the scourge of sexual misconduct in the workplace. The roomful of prominent women in entertainment and media were called on to use their voices, their power, their pocketbooks and their passion to drive the social change they want to see in the world.

"I never believed we'd be having a sustained national dialogue about sexual violence in this country, but here we are," said Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement. "Even in these gloomy political times, I feel like anything is possible."

Burke joined actress Emily Blunt, author Margaret Atwood, musician Alicia Keys and multi-hyphenate Tina Fey as this year's honorees. Hosted by Samantha Bee and presented by Lifetime, the gathering included kudos presented to "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi and former "Today Show" anchor Tamron Hall for their charitable endeavors.

In a powerful introduction of Burke, Viola Davis offered chilling statistics about the rate of sexual violence against women of color.

"Tarana has made it her mission to be the voice of women who are deemed unworthy," Davis said, citing the activist's work with the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Girls for Gender Equity. Davis, a former Power of Women honoree, compared Burke to a real-life superhero. "If that's not a golden lasso and a cape, I don't know what is," she said.

Burke and others urged women in the audience to consider running for office. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said a turning point came in October when The New York Times published its exposé of sexual assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. That story "lit a match on a fire that is still burning," she said. "When women decide to own their ambitions, it changes the world."

- Cynthia Littleton

UNICEF Ball

BEVERLY WILSHIRE, BEVERLY HILLS, APRIL 14

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and his wife, Nicole Avant, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, were honorees at the event along with Salma Hayek Pinault, who stressed the importance of maintaining composure when witnessing heartbreaking scenes on humanitarian missions. "I try not to cry," she said. "I don't like to cry - I like to be effective. I like to stay focused so we can get the most done in the least amount of time." Pharrell Williams also performed.

MipTV

PALAIS DES FESTIVALS, CANNES, APRIL 9

Speaking at the TV conference in France, where she received Variety's Achievement in International Television Award, Rohana Rozhan, group CEO and executive director of Malaysian media group Astro, emphasized that the company would play to its strengths as the market evolved. …

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