Add another well-deserved reward to Kerry Washington’s growing list of achievements, the popular star earned the Hasty Pudding Theatricals 2016 Woman of the Year award.
Hasty Pudding, one of the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, made the announcement earlier today. Kerry Washington, a Golden Globe and Emmy Awards nominated actress, was chosen by the company for being a, “talented and socially engaged film, TV and stage actress who keeps breaking barriers in Hollywood.”
The Woman of the Year Award is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals oldest honor, bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many notable and talented entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and most recently, Dame Helen Mirren and Amy Poehler.
The Woman of the Year festivities, presented by RELATED, will begin at 2:45p.m. on January 28, 2016, when Washington will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. Following the parade, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will host a celebratory roast for the actress. At 4:00 p.m., Washington will be presented with her Pudding Pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1888. A press conference will follow the presentation. Afterward, Hasty Pudding cast members will perform several musical numbers from the group’s 168th production, That 1770s Show.
“We are so excited to honor Kerry Washington as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year and welcome her to Cambridge to celebrate her many achievements. Kerry is an amazing actress with many fans in the company, and the perfect choice for this honor… But we also feel a bit nervous as we set out to coordinate a perfect event for legendary PR whiz Olivia Pope!” said Kennedy Edmonds ’17, HPT168 Producer. “If Kerry is anything like her on-screen character, she may turn the tables on us during her roast!” added Bobby Fitzpatrick ’16, President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.
Kerry Washington was the first African American woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974. Her portrayal of crisis-manager Olivia Pope on the hit Shonda Rhimes show SCANDAL, currently in its 4th season, has earned her numerous accolades including Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Best Actress nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.
Washington recently completed production on the HBO TV movie Confirmation, which she stars in and executive produces. The film details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way people think about sexual harassment, victim’s rights, and modern-day race relations.
Film credits include Save The Last Dance, Lift (for which she received an Independent Spirit nomination), The Human Stain, Sin, Ray, Mr & Mrs Smith, I Think I Love My Wife, Miracle At St. Anna, Mother And Child, The Last King Of Scotland, Night Catches Us, Lakeview Terrace, The Details, Django Unchained and Peeples.
Washington is active in many social and political causes. In 2009 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Washington is a strong supporter of President Obama and has campaigned on his behalf; she commanded the national stage on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in a moving address that urged Democrats to get out the vote. In 2013 Washington was honored with the NAACP President’s Award, which recognized her special achievements in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. In 2014, Time magazine included Washington on its annual Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. Washington received the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award in 2015 and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award in 2016.
Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She is also a brand ambassador for Movado, creative ambassador for OPI and ambassador for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.
The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will announce their Man of the Year at a later date and the recipient will be honored on February 5, 2016.