Variety hosted the annual Power of Women: Los Angeles luncheon, presented by Lifetime and hosted by Judd Apatow Friday in Beverly Hills, Calif. And the esteemed producer got the ball rolling by ominously noting “we have a lot to talk about.”
“I think we picked the right day to have the Power of Women luncheon, don’t you think?” Apatow addressed the crowd of about 500 industry insiders who he then asked if it would be okay to joke on a day of celebration during a tough week.
“Women did a lot of powerful things this week,” Apatow said, specifically calling out the two New York Times reporters who broke the scandal about Harvey Weinstein.
Adding that Variety told him to “go for it” regarding his on-stage remarks, Apatow went on to acknowledge that the women who came forward and told their stories about Weinstein this week were courageous not only for themselves, but for every woman in the business because their shares ended the nightmare.
“This is leading to a new examination of how women are treated in this industry and hopefully we can create a new environment where women feel supported when they speak out against creeps like Harvey Weinstein,” Apatow said.
Apatow acknowledged concerns over what will happen with the Weinstein Co. but to them, he simply said, “Who gives a s—? Shut it down, shut it down. We have enough ‘Project Runway.'” He shared his belief that of course Weinstein’s staff knew about what was going on, citing his own staff as an example. “People know what I’m doing. If I’m in the office, and the door is closed, they know I’m secretly eating red velvet cupcakes,” Apatow said.
But on a more serious note, Apatow added that he is against the feeling that you have to be a father of daughters to know what Weinstein did was awful. Apatow is a father of daughters, but as he pointed out, “You shouldn’t need daughters to get this. Everybody should feel it.”
Apatow also took shots at James Cameron, who spoke negatively about “Wonder Woman,” which Apatow called his and his family’s favorite film of the year. And he talked about Donald Trump, noting that if that “pee pee tape” ever comes out, it should be the thing that makes him “finally go away,” as well as Bill Cosby, pointing out that Cosby has plans to go back on the road after his legal battles are over.
Though Apatow couldn’t ignore the irony in hosting a Power of Women luncheon as a male, he felt honored to be invited and to stand in front of so many strong and passionate women in his business. “I love this event. This event right now is how women should be treated every day in show business,” Apatow said.