“As always and even more so today, women in our business are taking up the mantle of courage and truth-telling and consciousness and they move and inspire me,” Judith Light said on stage at the New York Women in Film & Television’s 38th annual Muse Awards on Thursday. “We are awake now in a way we have never been before.”
Light avoided the red carpet because she did not want to talk “Transparent,” according to the org’s publicist on the carpet. But while the actress didn’t spend her time at the podium addressing Amazon’s investigation into misconduct allegations against co-star Jeffrey Tambor, she did commend the #MeToo movement.
“We have infinite stories to tell and the world is listening,” Light continued. “My faith is renewed by the way I experience this vanguard moving through the world with such grace at such a complex time. Speaking truth to power and creating a legacy for the women and the men who follow. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us and have given of themselves so valuably to change our world. Now is our moment. It is our collective voice that is the muse for our time.”
The org, which aims to improve on gender equality in the New York entertainment industry, honored six leading women including Light and fellow actresses Laura Dern and Alysia Reiner. Female empowerment, sexual harassment, and politics were the main talking points during the two-and-a-half-hour lunch, which was held in honor of NYWIFT’s 40th anniversary, at the New York Hilton Midtown.
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Dern added that “accountability is part of this time. It’s not just looking at the behavior of particularly men in consideration of the abuse of power.”
Dern went on to give a shout out to Jennifer Fox, director of “The Tale,” which Dern stars in and will premiere next month at Sundance.
New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul also gave an impassioned speech on gender inequality at the event, declaring, “It’s over!”
“We will no longer be subjected to assault, innuendos and degradation because of our gender,” said Hochul, who kicked off the kudofest. “You are the ones who can use your art and talents to put a spotlight on what is going on in society today. And today, I’m here to declare a seismic societal shift in how we view women in New York State and in this nation.”
Reiner, who received the “Made in NY” award, kicked off her acceptance speech by thanking the state of Alabama.
“Specifically I’d like to thank the black women of Alabama,” said Reiner, in reference to Roy Moore’s defeat in the recent special election. “Because they restored my faith in humanity and we all need that right now.”
After thanking her muse–her daughter–the “Orange is the New Black” thesp ended her speech in response to Hochul.
“It’s over. Yes, but if it’s going to be really over we have a lot to do and a lot of supporting each other to do.”
The gala, emceed by Nancy Giles, also honored Refinery 29’s chief content officer Amy Emmerich; founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, Regina K. Scully; as well as writer and director Julie Dash.