Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Sen. Kamala Harris all appeared via a pre-taped video at the Women in Film Crystal Awards to introduce various award winners last night, but it was Clinton’s swipe at current leadership that garnered the most oohs, ahhs and applause.
In keeping with what appeared to be the theme of the night, praising the existence of the film Wonder Woman, Clinton gave a shout-out to its director Patty Jenkins, saying, “I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but I’m going to, in part, because it’s directed by the fabulous Patty Jenkins, but something tells that a movie about a strong, powerful woman fighting to save the world from a massive international disaster is right up my alley.”
Rather, who received The Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award from his old pal Robert Redford, said, “I appreciate and value highly you [WIF] carrying the torch of basic American decency, tolerance and generosity at this difficult crossroads of our history, of our own monsoon of uncertainty … at this difficult crossroads, it’s easy to say, I’m going to play in my lane, so to speak, that is not what women in film do. We see and hear every day on our television screens and read in the headlines of the day inflammatory and divisive language — boorish behavior to say the least — and too many of our national leaders. And, too, there is a movement into the murky, dangerous world of post-truth, post-fact political hero, the so-called alternate facts and the denigrating of science and education.”
He said that Women in Film “is a tremendous value to our nation as a whole” beyond the film industry because of the values the organization holds so high. “I am here humbly, respectfully remind you that your country, our beloved country, and the world needs you and the work you do and what you stand for perhaps now more than ever in that world. I suggest that you cannot, must not back down, back away or turn around. You must not waiver, hesitate or get distracted, for yours my friends is essential, noble work.”
Prior to accepting the award, Rather told Deadline he had known Redford since the 1970s when he did a story about his activism for 60 Minutes. “I have much respect for all he’s been able to accomplish and how he has used his celebrity to get things done.”