THR hosted the 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast today, this year the event honored Tina Fey with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, as well as Ryan Murphy with the inaugural Equity in Entertainment Award. The event was held at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, and was presented by Lifetime.
It was Jon Hamm that presented Fey with the official Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, which recognizes female pioneers and leaders in her industry. With nine Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards, not to mention a NYT best-selling book, Fey has been a permanent fixture in all aspects of entertainment.
“I have been thinking over the last month, how can we proceed with dignity in these increasingly ugly times. And it occurred to me that Sherry is the perfect role model. Talk about someone who remained graceful and effective in what must have been an incredibly misogynistic environment,” said Fey as she gave credit to Sherry Lansing who was in the room. And yet she was able to flourish and lead, with all her humanity and femaleness intact. Maybe we can all make that our mantra over the next four years. ‘What Would Sherry Lansing Do?’” she joked.
Previous Sherry Lansing Leadership Award recipients include Barbra Streisand, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Dame Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, Halle Berry, Jodie Foster, Glenn Close and Barbara Walters.
Later that day Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon presented Ryan Murphy with the inaugural Equity in Entertainment Award, which recognizes an individual who has remained committed to greater inclusion of women and people of color in the entertainment industry. In 2016, Murphy launched Half, a foundation within his 20th Century Fox TV-based production company that aims to have 50 percent of all director slots on his shows filled by women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community.
“It was an honor to celebrate Tina and Ryan today, because they both exemplify what this event is all about. They use their enormous influence to question, drive and impact the status quo, while also being incredibly entertaining and smart both in front of the cameras and behind them,” said Janice Min, president and chief creative officer of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group.
Prior to the awards presentation, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly delivered the opening remarks to the group. “There’s no time for wallowing. We have got to get to work. We’ve got to do better. We have to be better. We have to settle for more,” said Kelly. “The past year has convinced me that our charge as women, our next charge and our important charge, is to lead by example – to be our most internally powerful within ourselves, our most inspirational, amazing selves so that others around us see what a woman really is, especially when tough times hit.” Kelly of course has a recent NYT best-seller of her own.
Guests in attendance included Eva Longoria, Lea Michele, Felicity Huffman, Jane Lynch, Constance Zimmer, Michelle Monaghan, Shiri Appleby, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Kathy Griffin, Rita Wilson, Maria Menounos, Kelly Rowland, Omarosa Manigault, Niecy Nash, Kate Walsh, and Taissa and Vera Farmiga.
Award-winning actress Emma Stone and five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles presented university scholarships to schoolgirls currently taking part in The Hollywood Reporter’s storied Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, now in its seventh year.
Each of the 16 girls in the program were awarded $10,000 scholarships to attend the university of their choice. Three girls received a full-ride scholarship, each worth more than $200,000, to attend Loyola Marymount University; one scholarship was provided by 1-2-3 Go! Entertainment and two scholarships were provided by the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. Additionally, one of the event sponsors, American Airlines, gifted each mentee with 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles to help them travel from their hometowns to their future universities.