The current firestorm surrounding the presidential election added fuel to remarks at Variety's Power of Women luncheon presented by Lifetime at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
“We’re here to talk about women and their … or as I like to call them now, ‘
Variety's co-editor-in-chief, Claudia Eller, generated loud applause by calling the timing "particularly poignant. … as it falls on the eve of a historic election when we are going to have the first female president of the United States."
The event honored Hollywood notables and their philanthropic pursuits: Helen Mirren (“Eye in the Sky”) for her work with the Stuttering Assn. for the Young; singer
Other award recipients were Spanx founder
If you weren't there, here are five more intriguing comments you missed hearing.
1.) “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” said director
2.) "All my life, I've been asked about the atrocious discrepancy of roles for women in drama, and all my life, I've always had the same answer. Don't worry about roles for women in drama; worry about roles for women in real life," said Mirren, before focusing on the future of politics. "As women of all ages, of all economic situations, all professions vote. … This is a defining moment. I feel some kind of earthquake is happening, and there is a real, real possibility for change. And what women do, how they influence the coming election, will have an incredible effect all over the world. ... It's time for the best role model in the White House."
3.) Introducing Johansson, Downey had the audience laughing as he considered Variety's suggestions for his remarks. "Now wait a minute," he said. "I'm supposed to sell her [as an honoree] when it's you who asked me to show up here, ostensibly because you deemed her worthy? And now I have to make your case for you?"
4.) In discussing her presenters — she called the group of women "warrior women" who represent her — DuVernay said, "What we put on-screen is important, widely important, monumentally important, but the way we go about our work is also important."
5.) Cyrus wrapped up the ceremonies with a shot at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as she spoke of "the overwhelming and even terrifying responsibility that comes with power" and "the villainous vibes that surround power, and the poor examples of how too many leaders abuse it; and yes, that's for Donald Trump."
She finished her remarks by saying, "I want to send love out into the universe because we desperately need it and I'm wishing for peace on our planet because hate and war have gone on way too long."
Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News L.A.