Barbra Streisand honoured at Women in Entertainment breakfast

LOS ANGELES -- Barbra Streisand was the guest of honour at the annual Women in Entertainment breakfast Wednesday, but it was Hollywood publicist Nanci Ryder and studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg who moved the audience most.

See Full Article

Ryder, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease last year, appeared with Katzenberg at the industry event. Because she can no longer speak, he read a statement she had written, and as he did, Ryder wailed and dabbed her eyes with Kleenex. By the time he finished the statement, he was crying, too, as were most of the guests at Milk Studios, where the breakfast was held.

"I aspire to be half the person you are," Katzenberg told Ryder through tears.

In her statement, Ryder urged the entertainment powerhouses at the Hollywood Reporter's annual Power 100 breakfast to work together to create gender equity in the industry.

"I wish my disease were as easy to fix as this," she wrote.

Beyond its annual Power 100 list of the most influential women in Hollywood, the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment initiative includes a mentorship program, which pairs girls in underserved areas of Los Angeles with female Hollywood executives for a year of mentoring.

Singer Meghan Trainor announced at Wednesday's breakfast that three of those girls would receive full academic scholarships to Loyola Marymount University, inspiring another round of tears in the room.

"I never thought I would get to go to college," one honoree said through sobs.

The audience was cried out by the time Streisand took the stage to accept the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, saying she's angry that women are still so underrepresented in Hollywood, politics and medical research.

"Gender discrimination drives me crazy," Streisand said. "Women are still treated as second-class citizens in the workplace and equal representation in Congress."

One area where women outpace men is in death from heart disease, she said. Streisand endowed her namesake Women's Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai in 2012 to conduct research and develop treatments specifically for women's cardiac conditions.

"In the last 55 years, almost all research has been done on men," she said. "Gender inequality even extends to mice in the labs: They're all male! So even female mice are discriminated against."

Like Ryder, Streisand encouraged the powerful people in the room, including the young women receiving college scholarships, to unite and speak up for gender equality.

"Our instinct for love and compassion is something that this world, this chaotic world, needs more than ever," Streisand said. "Speak up until women are treated equally by the people who pay us, by the people who heal us, and by the people who claim to represent us. And remember the more we support each other, the stronger we become."

Lifetime, a sponsor of the event, announced Wednesday that it would support women in entertainment by offering production jobs to all graduates of the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women.

Lena Dunham, Sean Penn, Robert Redford and Melinda Gates also spoke at the breakfast event, where Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Geena Davis and Raquel Welch were among the guests.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Trailer Park Boys star raises money for N.S. boy's leg braces

    Entertainment CTV News
    The family of a Nova Scotia boy with a rare genetic disorder has enough money to buy leg braces and a custom walker thanks in part to online help from a Trailer Park Boys star. Source
  • Report: 3 women accuse music mogul Russell Simmons of rape

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Three women have told the New York Times that music mogul Russell Simmons raped them, the latest in a cascade of serious allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in entertainment, media, politics and elsewhere. Source
  • Megyn Kelly takes on sexual misconduct topic, finds audience

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Three months ago the idea that Megyn Kelly would make news this week about U.S. President Donald Trump seemed unthinkable, but it illustrates her journey in establishing her NBC show as a destination for a national discussion about sexual misconduct. Source
  • Joe Biden consoles daughter of ailing Sen. John McCain on 'The View'

    Entertainment CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden sought to console the daughter of ailing Sen. John McCain after she began crying while discussing her father's battle with brain cancer on ABC's "The View." Meghan McCain, a panelist on the program, told Biden on Wednesday she hadn't been able to get through his new memoir, "Promise Me, Dad," which centres on the 2015 death of his son, Beau, from an aggressive tumour called glioblastoma. Source
  • Final offer choice expected for Toronto house where Meghan Markle lived

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Time is running out to buy the Toronto house where "Suits" actress Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spent time before announcing their engagement last month, as the sellers are expected to choose a buyer as soon as tonight. Source
  • Unidentified buyer found for Toronto house where Meghan Markle lived

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- A buyer has been found for the Toronto house where Prince Harry and "Suits" actress Meghan Markle spent time before announcing their engagement last month. Real estate agent Alex Beauregard says the two-storey, three-bedroom house -- which the future princess rented for two years -- had drawn a lot of interest since it was listed last week, at $1.395 million. Source
  • CBC pulls Transgender Kids doc from schedule after complaints

    Entertainment CBC News
    CBC has pulled the film Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? from its Documentary channel schedule following a series of online complaints. The controversial BBC documentary questions what is the right approach for children with gender dysphoria, a condition in which a person's physical or assigned gender conflicts with the gender with which they identify. Source
  • Mark Ruffalo is 'disgusted' with Trump's monuments decision

    Entertainment CTV News
    ATLANTA -- "Avengers" star Mark Ruffalo said he is disgusted with U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to shrink two sprawling Utah national monuments by nearly two-thirds. Ruffalo told The Associated Press in a recent interview that Trump's decision was a "slap in the face" to Native Americans. Source
  • 'For years, he was my monster': Salma Hayek opens up about Harvey Weinstein

    Entertainment CBC News
    In one of the most vivid accounts yet of Harvey Weinstein's alleged abuse and harassment, Salma Hayek says the disgraced movie mogul turned the making of her 2002 passion project, the Frida Kahlo biopic Frida, into a nightmare after the actress refused Weinstein's relentless advances. Source
  • Hayek says rebuffing Weinstein led to nightmare on 'Frida'

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- In an op-ed, Salma Hayek said that her refusals to Harvey Weinstein's advances led to a nightmare experience making the 2002 Frida Kahlo biopic "Frida." "For years, he was my monster," Hayek wrote in her account, published Wednesday by The New York Times. Source