Give Frances McDormand another Oscar.
The 2018 Best Actress winner made a show-stopping entrance at last night’s annual Women In Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and sponsored by Max Mara, Lancome and Lexus.
Donning her trademark fluffy Ugg slippers and a grass green pant suit, McDormand danced onto the stage to the Kim Carnes song “Bette Davis Eyes” with some smooth hip-thrusting moves and later wielded an “inclusion rider” bumper sticker over her bum.
“’Other’ is what I have felt like for many of the past 35 years in the industry, although I have managed to build a pretty damn good career on being marginal,” said McDormand. “In 1972 when I was 15, someone told me that the definition of feminism is ‘equal pay for equal work.’ That seemed like a good idea to me. I was also told that I could have it all. And lo and behold, I did. But many haven’t. And we are still feminists, which means that there is still not equal pay for equal work and that is not okay by me.”
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“Tonight we celebrate some extraordinary women who didn’t think it was okay either,” she continued, introducing 22 past and present advocates for gender equity in the entertainment industry, including Dr. Stacy L. Smith, recognized for creating the inclusion rider. “This conversation is decades old and it is about parity, artistic expression and inclusion. And I have this feeling in my gut that times are changing.”
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the nonprofit Women In Film organization.
Triple threat director-producer-actor Ellen Pompeo presented her long-time boss, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey (the first African American president of a major television network) with the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television.
“Long before it was a conversation, long before it was a bumper sticker, Channing was just going about the business of making good television and making good decisions and hiring people based on their talent,” said Pompeo. “For 15 years, I had the extraordinary pleasure to have a front-row seat to her career. What color are you? What sex are you? It doesn’t really matter. You feel like anything is possible working for this woman!’
Dungey has made headlines since canceling the Roseanne reboot within hours of Barr’s racist tweet late last month, yet she didn’t refer to the incident. At least not directly. With her 5-year-old daughter Eden by her side to share the limelight, the trailblazing exec tossed out Michelle Obama’s famous “When they go low, we go high” line and stuck to larger topics—creating smart and independent female characters on screen and mentoring other women. It was like she was throwing Barr some reverse shade. “We can’t be afraid to stand up, to speak up, to rise up,” she said. “And when we see things happening around us that are counter to our values and our beliefs, our actions must match our words. The world is not the kindest but I choose kindness. The world can be daunting, but I choose to be brave.”
Svelte in a long form-fitting green Max Mara tank dress, X-Men star Alexandra Shipp wiped tears away with her dinner napkin before walking up to the stage to receive the Max Mara Face of the Future award from actress Regina Hall.
“Growing up, I didn’t see a lot of kids who looked like me; I didn’t really see anyone who looked like me on screen,” she said. “Being a biracial theater geek who dances to the beat of her own drum kind of girl, I often didn’t know where I fit in. Luckily, I have an amazing family and mother who let me be me. I remember watching the 2002 Oscars when Halle Berry accepted her award as best actress and I finally saw someone who looked like me. That was inspiring.That was the moment I realized my dream could become a reality. Hopefully some day I’ll have that same impact on a little girl sitting at home with the same type of dream. That’s my goal.”