Some of the top women in media attended the Alliance for Women in Media's 41st annual Gracies Award at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The ceremony honors outstanding achievement and programming by, for and about women.
Octavia Spencer awarded Allison Janney her award for outstanding actress in a supporting role — comedy or musical.
“There are so many women who take a stance, who come out and effect change by their opinions, by their position and they effect positive change in the world for women’s rights and that’s what impresses me in little ways,” Allison Janney said.
Andra Day performed at the 41st Gracie Awards.
Lynda Carter was awarded the Llfetime achievement award at the Gracies.
Scott Foley snuck a quick kiss from Lynda Carter after she received her award.
“Groundbreaking women are women who are putting themselves out on the line, rather it’s in politics or media. It’s from Barbara Walters to Hilary Clinton and all of the women in media that put themselves out there when people said they can’t carry a show or they shouldn’t be able to anchor the news,” Lynda Carter said.
Pat Riley had a blast at the Gracie Awards.
“I think it’s a fantastic time to be a woman in media. We have more opportunities now than we ever have. When I started out in this business 50 years ago, there weren’t too many women that had opportunities, especially not women of color. We’ve come such a long way in that area,” said Kathie Lee Gifford, who won the outstanding on-air talent –entertainment award.
Mindy Kaling was awarded outstanding ensemble cast for the comedy “The Mindy Project.”
“I think that someone like me and my career wouldn’t have been possible even 10 years ago and now the amount of courage you feel from network television to have parts and shows for people who don’t look like traditional TV stars is huge,” Mindy Kaling said.
“I look at someone like Viola Davis who’s had an amazing career, Octavia Spencer, women who have opened doors for women of color. I’m from South Africa so to come to America and work and not necessarily be met with the same obstacles that they were when they first started, I’m definitely grateful for,” said Lesley-Ann Brandt, star of “Lucifer” and one of the night’s presenters.
Yara Shahidi embraces her “Black-ish” co-stars Marsai Martin and Miles Brown, who presented her with the breakthrough actress award.
“[Women in media] It still needs to be improved because we’re still a blip on the screen, but I see through new platforms, such as Hulu, Netflix and even ABC, they are taking steps to make it the new normal. It shouldn’t be called diversity, it shouldn’t be, ‘Oh my gosh, look, there’s a woman.’ It should be so organically natural no one questions it,” said Yara Shahidi who received the award for outstanding actress in a breakthrough role.
“[When I think of groundbreaking women] what comes to my mind is a powerful woman that knows what she’s doing, who knows she’s bad and awesome like, for example Michelle Obama and Viola Davis. There so amazing and I love them so much,” Marsai Martin said.
“I think diversity for women should be appreciated more. I think they’ve done so much hard work for everything they do. That’s why I love the Gracies because I came last year and I saw everything was amazing. So I feel like they should have more than like seven of those. And I feel like they work so hard for this,” said Miles Brown, who co-presented his “Blackish” co-star Yara Shahidi with the breakthrough actress award.
“Because of how far we’ve gotten I think it’s easy to say, ‘Oh, we have more women in front of the camera or we have more women behind the camera so we’ve solved the problem.’ I think people speaking out right now is the best time because there are larger strides to be made. The fact that there is that little bit of diversity and that’s the story that’s indicative of the problem,” said Shalita Grant, star of “NCIS: New Orleans” and one of the night’s presenters.
Shaun Robinson presented one of the many awards last night.
"Being here at the Gracies shows us there are so many women that we don't hear about who are breaking and shattering that glass ceiling, so I don't think of one person when I think about the Gracies I think about the whole tribe of women who are here shattering those glass ceilings and making quality programming for the women growing up," said Shaun Robinson, TV show host and a presenter for the night.
“There are so many more men represented in film than women. If you look at casting sheets, the number of roles for men to women is like 5 to 1. So whatever we can do to get more women’s stories told, whether that means we need more female writers and directors who know how to tell those stories, it’s so important to include more of that,” said Danica McKellar, star of “Wedding Bells” and a presenter for the night.