Co-producers of HBO's "Big Little Lies," Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon accepted the Emmy for Best Limited Series on Sunday, praising the progress women have made this year on television and calling on other producers to put women at the center of complex narratives. "Bring women to the front of their own stories and make them the hero of their own stories," Witherspoon said. Kidman added, "This is a friendship that then created opportunities. It created opportunities out of frustration because we weren't getting offered great roles. So now, more great roles for women, please."
Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Stacey Snider says she is acutely aware of changes in the industry from digital disruption and competition from companies like Netflix. In this Q&A with Variety, Snider discusses her one-year anniversary in her new role, power struggles within the company and what she's doing to expand more opportunities for women in film. "We partnered with AFI and created a competition for female students to pitch projects that were effects-laden adjuncts to our franchise films. ... This was a way to break it apart and give these women the opportunity to make action-oriented, short movies," Snider said.
"The Handmaid's Tale" director Reed Morano became the first woman in 22 years to take home the Emmy for Best Director of a drama series Sunday night. Reed is the third woman to win the directing award after Mimi Leader won for directing "ER" in 1995 and Karen Arthur for "Cagney & Lacey" in 1985.
Actor and writer of Netflix's "Master of None," Lena Waithe is the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for writing for comedy series in the show's history. "The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is without us in it," Waithe said.
This year's Emmy Awards celebrated a series of firsts, including awards for Lena Waithe's writing on "Master of None," but how much progress the industry continues to make will depend on how many diverse voices are added in front of the camera and behind the scenes, say actors, producers and directors. "If you would have asked me 20 years ago when I started directing, would we be discussing this in 2017? I would have said absolutely not, this would be a non-issue. I don't think it should be easier for women and minorities, it should be an equal playing field," "Homeland" director Lesli Linka Glatter said.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to invest $20 million in female empowerment organizations around the world over the next three years. The investment is part of a larger $80 million pledge Melinda Gates announced in 2016 to tackle social issues affecting women and girls worldwide.
While BoardSource recently revealed that lack of nonprofit diversity is a worsening problem in the US, it is also a problem abroad, as the first contemporary art museum in South Africa has drawn criticism for having a white director and chief curator. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art is also named for Jochen Zeitz, a white German, although it has black staff in curatorial positions and has an endowed curatorial program for African curators.
Creating an open dialogue on the country's deep history of racism, which includes segregation and lynching, will be the primary focus of the Equal Justice Initiative's new museum in Montgomery, Ala., according to Executive Director Bryan Stevenson. "You have to tell the truth before you can get to reconciliation, and culturally we have done a terrible job of truth telling in this country about our history of racial inequality," he said.
North Texas Giving Day raised a record-breaking $39.4 million for local charities in an 18-hour period last week. "I'm sure North Texans have given a lot for hurricane relief, so we were delighted that so many people stepped up again," said Susan Swan Smith, Giving Day leader for the Communities Foundation of North Texas.
Mesa Verde Gardens, a California nonprofit that provides farm workers with low-cost organic vegetables, hopes to more than triple its annual capacity after a successful summer pilot project. The nonprofit was able to help 18 families in its first summer.
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