×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCU Chairman Bonnie Hammer Honored For Work With Foster Children

Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable and Entertainment Studios, was honored Wednesday night at the Alliance for Children’s Rights’ 26th annual dinner.

The organization, which protects the rights of abused and neglected youth, presented Hammer with the National Champion for Children award for her work caring for those living in poverty and foster care. During her acceptance speech, the NBCU executive spoke about her personal connection to the cause, as she found out at 12 years old her older sister had been adopted, and has since helped other couples with the process.

“There are two ways you can look at an honor like this: it can be a celebration or a motivation,” Hammer said when she took the stage. “While tonight is a wonderful celebration, I hope we all see this as a motivation to do more for children and families, to bring more hope into the world, and to advance the work of the Alliance to give all children the loving, stable home they need and they deserve.”

“Suits” actress Gina Torres, who will star in USA Network’s upcoming spinoff of the hit show, presented Hammer with the award, saying, “while I play a strong boss lady on TV, Bonnie is the real thing. She has been a force for change, using her tremendous platform to uphold the principles of inclusion, acceptance, understanding and diversity, a thread that runs through almost everything she does. She embraces different points of view and is helping to grow our next wave of leaders.”

The gala, hosted by Andy Cohen, welcomed guests Christian Slater, Lisa Edelstein, Mark Feuerstein, Sarah Rafferty and Paul Adelstein. Darren Criss performed three songs during the event, which featured an auction to raise money for the Alliance. The night’s program also included a memorial for former NBCUniversal executive vice president of deputy general counsel Jamie Lichtman, who died suddenly in November.

Edelstein, star of “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” told Variety that Hammer fought for her amid criticism that she was too old for the show’s main role and would need some form of plastic surgery to make her look younger.

“When I got the job on ‘Girlfriend’s Guide,’ the first message I got from Bonnie was to please not touch my face,” the actress said. “She was worried, because it happens, that I was going to show up filled and injected, which I don’t do anyway, but I really appreciated the fact that at the time they’d hired a 48-year-old woman and they wanted a 48-year-old woman to show up for work. That was totally a Bonnie Hammer influence.”

Edelstein added that in the era of female empowerment in Hollywood, Hammer was a trailblazer, as “I really admire what a powerhouse she is and how successful she is. Now we see a real thrust for women moving forward but that was not the case when she started in this business.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Renee Zellweger Rufus Wainwright Sam Smith

    Renée Zellweger: Judy Garland Was 'My Childhood Hero'

    Awards buzz is building around Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland, emerging as a frontrunner in the Oscar race for best actress. But for her, the real prize was paying tribute to Garland, of whom she’s been a lifelong fan. “Nobody was prettier, nobody sang prettier…the adventures she had, [she was] my childhood [...]

  • Keke Palmer BlogHer19 Summit

    Keke Palmer Brought to Tears Accepting Truth Teller Award at #BlogHer19 Creators Summit

    Keke Palmer stood surprised and wide-mouthed on the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit stage as she was presented with the Truth Teller Award for her recent acting work — and her viral “sorry to this man” clip. “This means so much,” the multi-hyphenated star softly whispered as she got teary-eyed upon accepting the award. Last week, the [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content