Port­man calls for ac­tion at women’s lun­cheon

Khaleej Times - City Times - - HOLLYWOOD HUSTLE -

NATALIE PORT­MAN TOOK a flamethrower to the pa­tri­archy. Ge­orge Clooney ad­mon­ished what he called the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s cul­ture of fear. Emma Gon­za­lez im­plored peo­ple to vote. And host Jenifer Lewis spared no one, from Mela­nia Trump and Kanye West to Supreme Court Jus­tices Clarence Thomas and Brett Ka­vanaugh. Noth­ing was off the ta­ble at Va­ri­ety mag­a­zine’s Power of Women lun­cheon held in Bev­erly Hills on Fri­day, al­most ex­actly a year since The New York Times and The New Yorker pub­lished ac­counts from dozens of women al­leg­ing sex­ual mis­con­duct by the once-pow­er­ful movie mogul Har­vey We­in­stein.

We­in­stein, who has de­nied any wrong­do­ing, was quickly os­tra­cized by the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try, which helped gain mo­men­tum for the #Metoo and Time’s Up move­ments.

In a com­mand­ing 15-minute speech, Port­man ad­dressed the un­der­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in all in­dus­tries and laid out guide­lines to in­cite change, such as do­nat­ing to Time’s Up, opt­ing against de­pict­ing vi­o­lence against women in films and hir­ing women for po­si­tions they’re not typ­i­cally con­sid­ered for. She was be­ing recog­nised for her hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts in co-found­ing Time’s Up, a le­gal de­fense fund that was cre­ated fol­low­ing the rise of the #Metoo move­ment to ad­dress and com­bat in­equal­ity in the work­place.

The Os­car-win­ning ac­tress was be­ing recog­nised for her hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts in co-found­ing Time’s Up. “Be em­bar­rassed if every­one in your work­place looks like you,” Port­man said. Port­man said We­in­stein is “still free” be­cause “our cul­ture pro­tects the per­pe­tra­tors of sex­ual vi­o­lence, not its vic­tims.” She added that the Time’s Up de­fense fund has served more than 3,500 peo­ple from “work­ers at Mcdon­ald’s to prison guards to mil­i­tary per­son­nel to women in our own in­dus­try who have faced gen­der-based ha­rass­ment, co­er­cion and as­sault.”

“Re­cently our lawyers helped Me­lanie Kohler tri­umph against Brett Rat­ner and his lawyer Marty Singer...who tried to use Brett’s enor­mous fi­nan­cial ad­van­tage over her to try to bully her into si­lence,” Port­man said. “Be­cause of our lawyers ... he dropped his case of defama­tion.”

Regina King, an hon­oree sup­port­ing the I Have a Dream Foun­da­tion, fol­lowed Port­man say­ing “Man, Natalie Port­man 2020.”

Are we re­ally scared of all the things that ac­tu­ally make Amer­ica great? And if the an­swer is yes, then we’ll have his­tory to an­swer to. Af­ter all the jokes, and in­sults, and re­al­ity show frenzy, what will be re­mem­bered, what will stand the test of time is hold­ing re­spon­si­ble these wolves in wolves’ cloth­ing.” Ge­orge Clooney

Bebe Rexha

Thandie New­ton

Alyssa Mi­lano

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