LOS ANGELES – Where is Kim Kardashian? Why didn't anyone eat the pie? All of these questions were on the minds of those in attendance at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Gala at the Fairmont Hotel on Wednesday morning. But perhaps the most important question is: How can the entertainment industry become a more inclusive and fair place for women and underrepresented communities, and why is this so important?
For Issa Rae, "It's fair."
“I get asked all the time if I want to amplify underrepresented voices and diversity,” the Insecure creator and star said when receiving her Equity in Entertainment Award. "I usually say something about how often we don't get opportunities and how big the opportunity is, or I say something about an active desire to create space for our stories."
But Ray, 37, has recently begun to feel a sense of urgency, almost paranoid.
"I'm obsessed with the time I have left and the little window where I can make the changes I want to see before I get old and die," joked the Emmy-nominated comedian. “Working from that fearful place is actually very rewarding because it makes you want to wait (expletive) and makes you fearless in the face of things you normally fear, like rejection, embarrassment or being belittled.
"I'll just keep going like I don't have many moves left," says Ray.
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Longtime friend and former Insecure co-star Yvonne Orji received the Ray Award honoring people who have brought to light the voices and stories of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry.
Origi praised Ray's loyalty, confidence and unwavering passion for inspiring black voices and stories, saying that she "felt her work was visual, felt understanding and her offbeat, slightly ironic sense of humor reassured me."
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Ray's sense of humor took center stage when she shared an anecdote about a trip to Las Vegas her friends planned for a concert. "First of all, I hate Vegas… My love for (Usher) outweighs my hate for Vegas," Ray joked.
On the day of the party, Ray said her friends bought "jars of herbal juice" which she drank. "Well, look out, I have a terrible history with foods – if I take them, I die," she said to uncontrollable laughter from the crowd. In short, she is dead and falling into "this eternal, terrifying, paranoid, lonely cycle".
Of this "terrifying" condition, she said, "I keep thinking about what scares me the most." "And one of those things is the idea of my own death and the death of the people I love."
Because they are edible and inedible, she said, she "feels like time is running out," and it encourages her to open more doors in the industry for others.
Last year: Jennifer Aniston visited a numerologist and found out she was a "late bloomer."
The trade publication honored 100 women in the industry as pioneers, including journalists Judy Kantor and Megan Toye, who were instrumental in exposing allegations of harassment and sexual harassment against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Carey Mulligan, who stars in She Said, which is about the work of journalists, introduced them and said she was "very indebted".
Before the ceremony, celebs like Margot Robbie, Jamie Lee Curtis (who mingled with Jennifer Gray on the pink carpet), Journey Smollett, Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton, and more showed off their best blacked-out suits and dresses to kick off the holiday morning. . .
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Before introducing Charlize Theron, his Long Shot co-star, on stage to accept Sherry Lansing's award for leadership, Rogen cracked a few jokes.
"These women deserve a better breakfast, I'll just say!" Said the comedian in a burst of laughter as the diners looked at their fresh food at the same time. "We will not eat this quiche!"
Kim Kardashian, who was tapped to help provide scholarships to high school students in Los Angeles, was also asked to cancel at the last minute.
"Are we going to talk about Kim Kardashian not showing up?" Roger said. "I'll just say this: I've watched every episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians and I know they don't do anything more than that. Nothing more."
"Honestly, you're probably dealing with a lot of people right now," Rogen said, referring to the recent scandals surrounding Yee's ex-husband's anti-Semitic remarks and the recent backlash by Balenciaga.
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This article originally appeared in USA TODAY: Issa Rae at Diversity, Usher and Edibles, and the Las Vegas at THR Gala.