Election mourning and empowerment at Women of the Year event
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Glamour magazine closed its 26th annual celebration of trailblazing women with a star-studded tribute to Hillary Clinton.
Lena Dunham, Shonda Rhimes, Elizabeth Banks, Chelsea Handler, Ted Danson and Constance Wu were among the entertainers who paid homage to the Democratic presidential candidate at Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards Monday in Los Angeles. They listed Clinton’s achievements and thanked her for her leadership as a guitarist played a somber tune.
“We thank you for your composure, your compassion and your grace,” Banks said, “and for always looking so darn fierce in those freaking pantsuits.”
Though Clinton wasn’t in the audience, she was a presence throughout the two-hour ceremony as presenters and recipients lamented her loss to Donald Trump in last week’s election.
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross opened the evening by inviting guests to “make a primal sound” in response to the election results: She demonstrated with an exaggerated gagging noise.
Despite disappointment in Clinton’s failure to become the country’s first female president, the tone was of empowerment and determined resolve as the magazine recognized women for achievements in art, activism, sports and business. Bono also received its first Man of the Year award.
Amy Poehler introduced the U2 frontman, who was recognized for his commitment to gender equality through his ONE organization and its Poverty is Sexist campaign.
“There is nowhere on Earth where women have the same opportunity as men,” Bono said. “And unless we address this problem — both men and women together — our world will continue down this misogynistic, violent and impoverished path.”
Survivors of violence were also among the honorees Monday. Rashida Jones introduced 23-year-old Nadia Murad, who was saluted for her bravery and efforts to take ISIS to international criminal court. The extremist group murdered her parents and made Murad a sex slave, but she escaped and is fighting for justice.
Stanford Law professor Michele Landis Dauber accepted an award on behalf of Emily Doe, the woman who was sexually assaulted by Stanford swimmer Brock Turner.
Actresses Gabourey Sidibe, Freida Pinto and Amber Heard read portions of Doe’s letter of Turner — the powerful condemnation that went viral in June.
One of the night’s most poignant moments came when Rhimes recognized the founders of Black Lives Matter. Citing statistics that say black people are three times more likely to be killed by police officers than white people, Rhimes described the three women behind the movement as “patriots.”
Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi created Black Lives Matter after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer in 2013.
“These women have fundamentally altered the course of civil rights in America,” Rhimes said. “I believe (they) are patriots in the strongest sense of the word, for they are trying to form a more perfect union.”
Other honorees included model Ashley Graham, singer-actress Zendaya and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, whom Mindy Kaling introduced as “my personal hero.”
James Corden introduced Gwen Stefani, who thanked boyfriend Blake Shelton for “kissing me back to life.” Venerable Vogue editor Anna Wintour presented an award to fashion designer Miuccia Prada.
Laura Dern introduced lifetime achievement award recipient Christine Lagarde, the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund, who urged audience members to continue to work for gender equality.
“No matter what sorrow, sadness, and frustration we feel, we just have to continue that fight,” she said. “What I hope is that all the young girls, all those yet to be born, will actually be empowered to be leaders: to be leaders in finance, to be leaders in politics, to be leaders in anything that they choose to accomplish, and will be free and will not be the victim of any discrimination. That is really worth your time and your energy, and all of mine.”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .