“Nobody gives a f*** about women like women give a f*** about women,” said Issa Rae, host of this year’s annual Elle magazine Women in Hollywood event, during her opening remarks. Hosted in the Beverly Hills Four Seasons’ ballroom, the party honored prolific Hollywood superstars such as Zendaya, Scarlett Johansson, Nicole Kidman, Mindy Kaling, Natalie Portman, and Gwyneth Paltrow among others.
The night was all about empowering the badass women of the entertainment industry. Nina Garcia, Elle’s editor-in-chief, invited the attendees to be themselves and speak their truths. “We are here. We are radical. Get used to it!” said Garcia, who also told the women not to apologize for anything and encouraged them to brag about their accomplishments.
Scarlett Johansson did just that. The star of film festival favorites “Marriage Story” and “Jojo Rabbit” recounted her childhood in poverty and her extraordinary rise to fame. Johansson boasted about her recent work on Marvel’s upcoming Black Widow movie. “Just a week ago, we wrapped principal photography on ‘Black Widow,’ which was the first feature to ever be produced by an actor who also happens to be a woman,” she said. “That was me.”
Another highlight from the night is Natalie Portman’s touching speech. The Academy Award winning actress, and the next actor to play the superhero Thor in the Marvel cinematic universe, used her platform that night to tell young women that it’s okay to screw up. “The most powerful example we can set for the next generation would be for us to do that most human of things: make mistakes and then not follow the narrative of the doomed woman or the fallen woman or the destroyed woman,” she said. “Go out post-mistake and succeed.”
Star of the HBO series Big Little Lies and the upcoming film Bombshell, Nicole Kidman summed up the night perfectly. “I look around me and I see the young people, particularly the young women, that I get to work with, and I’m pretty astounded,” she said. “I am astounded by their confidence, and I was astounded by the powerful ways that they’re using their voices. And that tells me that we are all doing something right.”