The energy was unmistakable during Variety’s Power Of Women night. And before the show even opened, Variety’s On the Carpet presentation, powered by DIRECTV, went live to the masses with interviews, celebrity run-ins and more. Conversations ranged from the importance of a woman’s right to choose — whether it was how they dress or the private medical decisions they make with their doctors — to Marvel fandom and “Stranger Things.”
Here are a few of the highlights from the red carpet show.
Hilary And Chelsea Clinton On Overturning Roe v. Wade And Midterm Elections
During their Power of Women Red Carpet interview, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton talked about the philosophy behind creating “Gutsy,” laying out inspirational models for women across multiple professions and fields. “Whether you’re older or younger, hopefully you resonate with the stories, and hopefully you see yourself in the women and hopefully that then helps you find the gutsiness in your own life,” Chelsea remarked. They also touched on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, with Hillary remarking that it was a “direct assault on women’s health, lives and rights, and the power of any woman to make the decisions that are right for her.”
“It’s not just about abortion,” Chelsea continued. “We know that there are Republicans who also want to go after birth control, equal marriage rights, the fundamental right to privacy.” They ended their interview imploring that citizens vote in upcoming elections, with the hope that the nation does not continue going backwards.
Quinta Brunson on Oprah Winfrey Shipping Janine & Gregory
“Abbott Elementary” creator, Emmy winner and Variety cover star Quinta Brunson discussed her recent retweet from Oprah. After the Power of Women honoree retweeted the TV writer and star of the series, Brunson said, “I did hear that she was a big fan of the show… I heard that she was a Janine and Gregory shipper. I got word that she had some really strong opinions on Gregory and Janine getting together and no more Tariq. But I do what I can do, just make my little show and give the people what they want, or don’t want.” But what did the media mogul think of Brunson’s recent homage to her in the “Weird Al” film? While Oprah hasn’t seen Brunson’s interpretation of the host yet, she did hear that she “approves.”
‘Stranger Things’ Vecna Gives Malala Nightmares
Malala Yousafzai shared a powerful message to women around the world: “It’s your right to choose to decide what you wear. It’s none of the government’s or anyone else’s business,” she said on the red carpet of Variety’s Power of Women event. “We need to ensure that we create a society where women can choose for themselves.” Through her production company Extracurricular, Yousafzai is eager to create content that spotlights the pressing issues women face, saying, “I think we need to hear more stories of amazing women around the world. We need to open our mind to hearing about what’s happening in different corners of the world and ensure that we have a more diverse perspective, and not limit ourselves in thinking.” Although the activist is determined to help address Hollywood’s lack of representation, she also enjoys consuming the culture on occasion. Her latest TV obsession: “Stranger Things.” “I absolutely love [‘Stranger Things’], though it is getting a bit scary in Season 4,” Yousafzai said. “Vecna has been causing me some nightmares, but I can’t wait for the last season.”
Fran Drescher On Possibility of a Woman President Some Day
SAG President Fran Drescher used her Power of Women red carpet interview to champion the strength of women, reminding everyone that women are “loud, proud and equal.” She touched on the importance of SAG-AFTRA establishing an emergency fund for natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Florida: “You’re always going to see that female spirit and energy, right there on the frontlines trying to save the planet, save the world, save each other.” Of potentially seeing a woman president of the United States one day, Drescher shared her optimism about seeing it happen, explaining that it is “always darkest before dawn.”
Elizabeth Olsen on Wanda’s Redemption Arc — It’s Possible!
Marvel star Elizabeth Olsen could barely contain her excitement over meeting Secretary Clinton (and her daughter Chelsea) in real life. There representing the important work of the Stuart House, the actress took a little time to talk redemption for her character Wanda Maximoff. Spoiler alert: she was last seen decimating several favorite Marvel characters from Professor X on down. So can this character be saved? “I have no idea, but I feel like there’s gotta be a way we can figure it out,” she said. Hope for seeing the Scarlet Witch again, restored!