Selma Blair to receive Equity in Entertainment Award

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Selma Blair is featured in the documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair.” [Strand Releasing photo]

For increasing the visibility of people with disabilities in Hollywood, film and television star Selma Blair will receive the Equity in Entertainment Award Dec. 8 at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment gala.

The Equity in Entertainment Award recognizes individuals who amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry. Previous recipients include changemakers and visionaries such as Ronan Farrow, Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Amy Pascal, according to a news release.

Blair’s long-standing career includes iconic roles in pop culture classics such as “American Crime Story,” “Cruel Intentions” and “Legally Blonde,” and she has worked with an array of acclaimed directors, including Guillermo del Toro and Todd Solondz.

In addition to her acting career, Blair recently was the subject of director Rachel Fleit’s critically acclaimed documentary “Introducing, Selma Blair,” which chronicles Blair’s courageous journey of acceptance and resilience after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, with the goal of assisting others who face similar challenges. Her perseverance and talent are just two of the contributing factors of her earning the prestigious award.

“Introducing, Selma Blair” screened in the DOC NYC Short List section and earned Special Jury Recognition for Exceptional Intimacy in Storytelling from the SXSW Film Festival. It also won the New York Women in Film & Television Documentary Award at the Hamptons Film Festival and received three Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations, including best documentary feature. The documentary was released in theaters via Strand Releasing before launching in October on Discovery+ to strong reviews.

“Selma is a beloved actress and her personal experience with MS is moving and inspirational,” said Nekesa Mumbi Moody, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, in a statement. “We commend her for increasing the visibility of people with disabilities in Hollywood.”

Also at the Dec. 8 event, Jennifer Garner will shine a spotlight on The Hollywood Reporter’s acclaimed Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, a joint venture between the trade publication and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles.

Garner will be joined by Tessa Thompson to present high school students with nearly $1 million in university scholarships to graduates of the mentorship program, which pairs the best and brightest high school girls from underserved communities in the Los Angeles area with top-level female executives, lawyers and agents.

Past mentors have included Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, Imax Entertainment president Megan Colligan, Netflix vice president of content Bela Bajaria and Disney TV Studios-ABC Entertainment chairman Dana Walden. More than 200 girls and 200 mentors have taken part in the program, with the students going on to universities like Harvard, UC Berkeley and UCLA, supported by $10 million in scholarships raised by The Hollywood Reporter.

The event also will include Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the 1619 Project, who will deliver the keynote speech. Hannah-Jones was recognized as one of the 100 most influential people of 2021 by Time magazine. “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” the expansion of her groundbreaking work, was recently released in book form, and a Hulu documentary is in production.

“Nikole Hannah-Jones is one of the most brilliant minds of our generation and has made the nation address the myths and realities of its own creation,” said Moody in a statement. “She forces us to think critically and expand our viewpoint. We are incredibly excited to have her deliver the keynote address.”

Blair, Garner, Thompson and Hannah-Jones will join Jennifer Aniston, who will be honored with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment gala. Steve Carell will present the award to Aniston.

The gala coincides with the release of The Hollywood Reporter’s much-anticipated annual Women in Entertainment issue, which highlights the Power 100, the leading female executives in entertainment. The issue will be on newsstands Dec. 8.

-BAM

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