You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Celebrities Talk Weinstein’s Academy Expulsion at Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden: ‘We Have So Far To Go’

“Radical Women” is the name of the exhibition that served as the centerpiece for the Hammer Museum’s fifteenth annual Gala in the Garden on Saturday night, but men were on the minds of guests, dominating the evening’s cocktail chatter. Honoree Ava DuVernay even dedicated her speech to them.

“It’s nice to hear good guy stories, right? There are some. There’s a few,” she joked from the stage before saluting the likes of her “dear friend” J.J. Abrams, her father and Dr. Martin Luther King.

But of course the long shadow of Harvey Weinstein loomed over the proceedings. It was obvious that DuVernay was referring to He Who Must Not Be Named when she said: “I won’t focus tonight on men in our culture who conjure cruelty, who develop and dwell in the dark, dangerous places that make the world unsafe for so many women.”

But earlier on the (figurative) red carpet, guests were less tactful, and they couldn’t stop talking about Weinstein’s abrupt removal from the Motion Picture Academy. “F— Harvey Weinstein,” said Selma Blair. “F— him. Good for him that he’s out of the Academy. [But] no one took it away from Woody Allen.”

“I think it’s very interesting to see who else they’re going to do that to,” added Liz Goldwyn. “Because I think there are people who get awarded in Hollywood that have been accused of sexual abuse and assault. It’s time to stop being a boy’s club and protecting their own and start protecting women. There are a lot of people in positions of power — and everyone knows who they are — and people are afraid to speak up still because they’re afraid of losing their jobs.”

Actor Armie Hammer, who made the evening a date night with wife Elizabeth Chambers, did not mince words, either. “You know what, with the amount of stuff that’s come forward and everything that’s going on, I think it seems like a really appropriate reaction — and it was a reaction made democratically by a bunch of people. Personally, as a member of the Academy, I support it,” Hammer said.

Darren Walker, Ava DuVernay, Armie HammerHammer Museum's Gala in the Garden, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2017
CREDIT: Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

“This past week has been really important as far as us moving forward and creating change,” said actress Tessa Thompson, who appeared in DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated film, “Selma.” “But also it leaves you feeling like, ‘Man, we have so far to go,’ you know? When we can be silenced so easily, when we can be outnumbered so seamlessly.” Thompson was thrilled to see DuVernay tweeting the hashtag #WOCAffirmation (women of color affirmation) on Friday while many of their white peers were simultaneously protesting Twitter “just to lift each other up and to amplify other voices that exist around you and to take back power, essentially,” Thompson said.

Tessa Thompson, Priyanka Chopra, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa TomeiHammer Museum's Gala in the Garden, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2017
CREDIT: Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

The elegant benefit, which raised $2.4 million and featured alfresco dining under the stars catered by chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques, celebrated not one but two powerful voices: The New Yorker’s theater critic Hilton Als as well as DuVernay. “They’re inspiring artists,” said co-chair Zachary Quinto, who explained that the two were being feted “for their significant contributions and unique perspectives and for the integrity of their work.”

Miles McMillan, Sofia Boutella, Zachary Quinto (wearing Bottega Veneta)Hammer Museum's Gala in the Garden, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2017
CREDIT: Zack Whitford/REX/Shutterstock

“The Hammer is a place that represents that integrity and tries to acknowledge it and celebrate it whenever they can,” Quinto added. His fellow co-chairs included frequent “American Horror Story” co-star Jessica Lange, the Kayne clan (Jennie, Maggie and Saree), and Tomas Maier, the creative director of Bottega Veneta, which sponsored the gala for the fifth consecutive year. The party capped with a three-song set from Haim, who performed a rousing cover of the late Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” which perfectly captured the vibe on this night.

J.J. Abrams introduced DuVernay as someone who “eats barriers for breakfast.” “She helps us see that the old rules are simply the unchallenged norms of an incurious power class and that each of us has the opportunity and privilege to be part of this hard fought new age. Ava DuVernay is a truth teller, a citizen, a change agent, an artist with a capital A, and one of my heroes,” Abrams concluded.

Earlier, DuVernay told Variety: “It’s incredible to be honored by a space that’s dedicated to art and imagination — that’s my life’s work.” She capped her speech by quoting the unforgettable words of Dr. King. “Art speaks for life, art tells the story of life’s difficulties,” she recited to the crowd. “And if you think for a moment, you’ll realize that it takes the hardest realities of our existences and puts them into music and movement to come out with some new hope, or some new sense of triumph, some kind of miracle.”

Tessa Thompson, Jessica Chastain, Priyanka Chopra, Hilton Als,Hammer Museum's Gala in the Garden, Los Angeles, USA - 14 Oct 2017
CREDIT: Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

More Scene

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Impact Awards Gala Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, Feb. 22 Photographers and videographers clamored near the doorways of the [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazers [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Amandla Stenberg and Sofia CarsonVanity Fair

    Oscar Week Kicks Off With Vanity Fair's New Hollywood Party

    The night was definitely still young Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood party in Los Angeles. The magazine kicked off Oscar week with a party — the first of its three-event Campaign Hollywood series — at Ysabel in West Hollywood to celebrate new and emerging talent. Co-hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscars Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

  • Yalitza AparicioTeen Vogue Young Hollywood Party,

    'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio, 'Central Park Five's' Jharrel Jerome Sound Off on Trump

    Yalitza Aparicio recently reunited with Alfonso Cuarón, who directed her in “Roma,” for a W magazine photo project that featured her standing at various barriers built at the border between Mexico and the United States. The message? “You can make a name for yourself despite the differences,” Aparicio told Variety on Friday at Teen Vogue’s Young [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content