Charlize Theron honored at Women in Entertainment gala

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For once, Charlize Theron is starting to see more women in powerful roles with the film industry.

“Women are tearing down the whole building,” Theron said after receiving the prestigious Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The Oscar winner was presented with the award by her friend Seth Rogen.

Theron praised female leaders who paved the way as studio department heads, directors, producers and those who have created their own production companies. Women should rely on each other as resources to strengthen their voices, she said.

“I want us to hold each other accountable, use each other as resources, and push each other to continue to use our voices and platforms for something bigger than ourselves,” Theron said. The actor said she was inspired by young people through the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, an organization dedicated to making a difference for the people of South Africa.

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“In the face of what we consider adversity or concrete ceilings, they see opportunity and space for change, growth and inclusion,” Theron said.

Previous honorees include Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Anniston and Barbra Streisand.

In a heartfelt speech, Rogen called Theron the most attractive person he’s ever been around. He later joked that he was physically intimidated to work with Theron on a project “because she kills people in every movie she does.”

Rogen’s joke drew collective laughter from the audience. The actor provided more comic relief when he joked with Kim Kardashian, who was not present as a scheduled presenter for the event.

“I’ve seen every episode of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’. I know she’s not doing anything more important,” Rogen said as the audience laughed and applauded. He then added: “She has never done anything more important.”

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Theron praised the work of Issa Rae, who was previously honored with the Equity in Entertainment Award, which recognizes her for amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry.

Yvonne Orji, who presented Rae with the award, called her a unique visionary and “risk taker”. She credited Ray for creating opportunities for people of color and showing the beauty of South Los Angeles through five seasons of her HBO series “Insecure,” which ended in 2021.

“What stood out to me the most was her unwavering support for the marginalized, her extreme selflessness, her strong belief that everyone can win,” said Orji, who starred in “Insecure.”

Rae said some of her success can be attributed to “operating from a place of fear.”

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“It makes you impatient about what you want to happen,” she said. “It makes you fearless about things you might normally fear.”

Jamie Lee Curtis, Janelle Monae, Margot Robbie, Addison Rae and Gracie Abrams were awarded scholarships as part of THR’s Women in Entertainment mentorship program.

Nearly $1 million in college scholarships were awarded to high school seniors from underserved communities in Los Angeles. High school students will also be paired with high-profile female entertainment executives, lawyers and agents.

Members of the incoming mentor class of 2023 were also awarded new Apple Mac Book Air laptops provided by the Edie Wasserman Women in Hollywood Fund.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This information may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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