The popular press was all gaga over Jennifer Lopez and Reese Witherspoon arriving ‘perfectly in sync’ in their ‘similar read and black dresses as they got frocked up to attend the 2014 Variety Power Of Women Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on a balmy Friday in October.’
The duo represented two of the five power players honored for their philanthropic and activist efforts. AOC loves Jane Fonda, who is ‘sexy at 76’. Rock on, Jane.
Bottom line though — we read not a word about why the women are being honored. Their causes aren’t nearly as interesting as their fabulous bods!! In fact, their philanthropy work isn’t even worth a stylish mention.
Thankfully, AOC Smart Sensuality readers want more substance in celebrity news, so let’s get to work telling the real news story.
Co-hosted with Lifetime TV, the October 10 luncheon paid tribute to Viola Davis and Donna Langley in addition to Fonda, Lopez and Witherspoon.
We share details about these five women and the important philanthropy projects motivate them.
All Variety photos by Williams+Hirakawa
Five Fabulous Women Honored At 2014 Variety Power of Women Luncheon
Donna Langley, Chairwoman of Universal Pictures, had her contract renewed until 2017 this past summer, positioning her as the industry’s second most powerful woman after Sony Co-Chair Amy Pascal. Langley has two major female-directed projects in the pipeline: Sam Taylor-Johnson’s ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (due out early in 2015) and Angelina Jolie’s ‘Unbroken’ (opening December, 2014). Langley was profiled briefly last January by The New York Times.
Langley was honored for her with Vital Voices, an NGO dedicated to identifying, training, and empowering women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe. Vital Voices was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Universal Chairman Donna Langley was introduced by California Attorney General Kamala Harris at the Women of Power luncheon. Listen to her remarks.
Actor Viola Davis is taking ABC television by story in her role as defense attorney Annalise Keating on ABC’s ‘How To Get Away with Murder’. In a recent episode, Viola — as Annalise — removed her wig and all of her makeup before confronting her husband about his infidelities. Removing her wig resonated with so many African American women, with even Halle Berry weighing in, saying: “Girl, I had to send you an email, you’re doing such a great job, I celebrate you.”
Viiola Davis delivered a moving speech at the Women of Power luncheon, where she was honored for her work combatting childhood hunger. ‘Hunger Is’ was founded as a joint charitable initiative of The Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
“I am honored to help bring attention to Hunger Is and increase public awareness of the problem of childhood hunger right here in America, and I am thrilled to see how swiftly we are responding to the issue at the most local levels with the award of over $1.3 million in grants,” stated Academy Award®-nominated actress and Hunger Is ambassador Viola Davis. “Millions of children go hungry every day in the United States. I was one of those children and I pledge to tell and re-tell my story until we have eradicated childhood hunger across the nation,” Davis continued in comments on the foundation’s website.
Standing before the crowd of primarily powerful women breaking bread together on November 10, Davis spoke of her drive against childhood hunger as being fueled by memories of growing up in ‘abject poverty’, stealing and crawling through maggot-filled garbage bins to get food.
“I sacrificed a childhood for food,” Davis said, “and grew up in immense shame.”