Editor’s Note: Whether on screen or off, Hollywood can always be counted on to keep us entertained. This is especially true when it comes to politics. Join us each week as we shine the spotlight on Tinseltown’s A-listers and their whacky and sometimes inspiring takes on today’s current events.
Stacey Abrams Makes THR’s Top Power Women
“The Hollywood Reporter’s 2021 Women in Entertainment Power 100” was just released and first up on the list is none other than Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams. These women who are “dominating a still-reeling industry” and “who made moves in a year unlike any other,” were chosen among actors, filmmakers, producers, executives, and so on in the industry. Although the ladies did not have a number assigned to them, Abrams was the first picture on THR’s website.
Billed as “Stacey Abrams – Producer; Founder, Fair Fight,” the romance author and film entrepreneur was deemed by the Hollywood magazine as a “political activist” who “earned her first producing credit in 2020, for the Oscar-shortlisted doc All In: The Fight for Democracy.” One of her romance novels is being developed by CBS, and she just finished a legal thriller. “But,” as THR wrote, “Abrams’ key role in Hollywood is as the town’s voting rights moral compass.”
The former first lady also made the powerful women’s list. According to The Hollywood Reporter, her accomplishments include American Factory with an Oscar win, Academy Award-nominated Crip Camp, and her work during the pandemic with biographical documentary Becoming and the children’s series Waffles + Mochi on Netflix. She also launched her podcast, which became the “most listened-to Spotify original.”
Of course, there couldn’t be a list of powerful women in the entertainment industry without including the Duchess of Sussex. “Fresh off that Oprah Winfrey interview devoured around the world,” as THR reported, Meghan and her prince are “making the segue to Hollywood royalty this year.” Too bad Prince Harry doesn’t understand the idea of free speech, though.
The magazine classified her as the “queen of daytime TV” with The Ellen DeGeneres Show but said her real power is from several unscripted series such as Ellen’s Game of Games on NBC, The Masked Dancer on Fox, and Ellen’s Next Great Designer on HBO Max.
Wonder Woman herself made the top 100, even though she was heavily criticized for playing the character of Cleopatra. THR even gave her points for producing and starring in the Paramount film, as well as Heart of Stone for Netflix and a National Geographic documentary series titled Impact.
Some other notables that made it on the list, though much further down, include Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Charlize Theron.
Cheers and Jeers
Sometimes, HollyWeird players make headlines for silly or bizarre happenings, so here is a collection of newsworthy doings — honorable and dishonorable — by the tenants of Tinseltown.
Ricky Schroder Takes on Costco
Ricky Schroder, former child actor known for his role in the ‘80s sitcom Silver Spoons, took a Costco worker to task who insisted face masks were required inside the store. He shared a video on Instagram of the incident, frustrated over the retailer’s insistence on wearing masks even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that fully vaccinated people were no longer required to face coverings in most indoor places.
“There has been. Didn’t you see the news?” Schroder replied. “Nationwide Costco said you don’t need to wear masks.”
Although Costco did make such an announcement, it also warned that states, counties, cities, and even individual stores may not ease the mask mandate. Schroder later apologized to the employee for his outburst.
Ellen DeGeneres Bows Out
Was anyone surprised when daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently announced she will be leaving the show after the 19th season in 2022? “When you’re a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged,” she said, “and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it’s just not a challenge anymore.” The timing makes one wonder, though, if this decision wasn’t more of a reaction to the recent allegations of bullying, mistreatment of staff, and sexual harassment than of a case of burnout.
Tune in next week to see what else Tinseltown has planned.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.