Megan Thee Stallion, Maluma and Shira Haas were among the artists featured in Variety’s Power of Young Hollywood virtual event, which premiered 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET Aug. 6 on Facebook. The program partnered with Facebook to benefit Rock the Vote and encouraged fans to register to vote in the 2020 presidential election.
The hourlong special celebrated young actors, musicians and social media creatives who have continued to flourish during the shutdown of the entertainment industry, exploring new creative outlets or devoting time to their loved ones. Benito Skinner, Instagram star also known as Benny Drama, hosted the event.
Skinner kicked off the night with an introduction of Netflix’s docuseries “Cheer.” The series’ breakout star Jerry Harris had a surprise e-visit from his role model Gabrielle Union, who plays a cheerleader in the 2000 film “Bring It On.” Union said Harris’ journey and positivity made her cry every time he appeared on the show. When asked for advice, she told her mentee to always be on time.
“Time in this town — people act like it’s a suggestion, and that is the quickest way to put yourself right out the mix,” she said. “So many people’s careers have been impacted, because they do not value other people’s time. Just be you. Don’t be weird, and watch your crowd.”
Nickelodeon star Jojo Siwa joined singer Jojo to discuss her music career. The 17-year-old star shared she feels comfortable making her youthful music, rather than telling stories she doesn’t resonate with.
“For music wise, people actually assume ‘she has to be young,’” said Siwa. “She has to dress like she does; she has to walk and talk like she does. But for me, it’s actually the opposite. I am like I don’t want to sing about something yet. I’m not ready to.”
Maluma also expressed love for his music. The Latin artist, named after his mother Marlli, father Luis and sister Manuela, draws artistic inspiration from his Colombian family and feels proud sharing his culture with the world. He has been working nonstop in quarantine, producing his next album and releasing a new single, “Hawái.” He was recently featured in two songs from Madonna’s album “Madame X.”
“[Madonna] texted me. That was crazy,” he said. “She was like ‘oh, I’m Madonna, and I’m making my album right now. I would love to have you be a part of the project.’ We did three songs, two for her album and one for my album.”
Elle Fanning, portraying Queen Catherine the Great in Hulu’s “The Great,” reflected on her transition from starring in child roles to playing “adult” ones. She shared her experience with a mother who asked for advice for her 14-year-old daughter who loves acting.
“You have to make sure you absolutely love it, because as much fun as it is, it definitely takes a lot of work,” she said. “So you have to make sure you got that passion for it, because there can come a lot of rejections and a lot of nos. And I think having that passion will push you through those disappointments.”
“Unorthodox” star Haas joined Michael Cimino and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan to discuss the power of teen dramas. When asked what makes their series special, Haas focused on its power of empathetic storytelling.
“When I read it and I think ‘I wonder what happened to people when they watched it’ is that they thought they’d see something supposed to be very different from them, but then they saw themselves in a way we tell their story,” she said. “And I think it really brings people together and connect people to understand that we’re all just human beings.”
In closing, sisters Chloe x Halle performed “Forgive Me” from their newest album “Ungodly Hour.”
Other stars featured in the event included Hailee Steinfeld, Kelsea Ballerini, Bebe Rexha, Rickey Thompson, Jalaiah Harmon, Adam RayOkay (Rosa), Bretman Rock and the cast of “Outer Banks.” Watch the full presentation below.
Power of Young Hollywood special was produced by Variety, in partnership with Facebook. The program was executive produced by Melissa Durliat and produced by Kai Gayoso for Facebook.