Variety honored funny ladies Tiffany Haddish and Lena Waithe at their 10th Annual Variety Power of Women Luncheon in Beverly Hills this past weekend. The celebration, presented by Lifetime, also honored gun control activist Emma Gonzalez, Regina King (Seven Seconds), and Natalie Portman (Thor) for their humanitarian efforts.
Haddish was recognized for her work with The Unusual Suspects Theater Company, an organization that helps underprivileged kids produce original stage productions. The Girls Trip star gave an acceptance speech focused on the importance of understanding personal identity and staying true to oneself. She said she was fortunate to have “a lot of people along the way that mentioned I needed to be me. I thought I was a white woman for a long time. I’m not. I did my 23AndMe,” she joked. “You become a bitter-ass bitch when you being somebody you not.”
Insecure’s Waithe was honored for her work with The Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth. She said she couldn’t remember a time when women in Hollywood have come together, “not just to discuss strategy, but to share baby pictures and words of encouragement.” Waithe is an outspoken member of the Time’s Up movement, and said the recent changes in Hollywood started when women, “decided to rise up and scream at the top of our lungs and become a chorus of rebels that won’t be treated like second-class citizens.”
Presenters included George Clooney, director Gina Prince-Bythewood, actress Gina Rodriguez, and ABC Entertainment Group president Channing Dungey. Attendees included #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano, Molly Ringwald, Kathryn Hahn, FX Networks head John Landgraf and SAG/AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. Variety holds the luncheon every year to recognize philanthropic women across the entertainment industry and the work they’ve achieved with their causes.