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“For years and years, the role of the lead actress on a sitcom was to do two things: look amazing and to make one-third of what my male co-star makes,” Mindy Kaling said at the 41st Gracie Awards, held Tuesday night at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. “So I want to be clear, I do always look amazing on the show, and no man on my show makes more money than me.”
The Mindy Project star and executive producer accepted the prize for outstanding cast ensemble at the awards show, which highlights successful media accomplishments by women. Kaling was among the many female media power players who were honored throughout the night, including Allison Janney, Kathy Lee Gifford and the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, who walked away with the lifetime achievement award.
Janney, who stars on CBS’ Mom, was hailed for her role on the sitcom with the Gracie for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy or musical. “I feel very proud and excited to be included in a group of powerful women,” she said. “I sometimes underestimate what I do or feel that I’m not worthy. It just feels amazing that they recognize me and I feel very humbled by it.”
The host of the evening was Marika Dominczyk. “I couldn’t believe when they asked me [to host] because I was like, ‘Why me?’ and then I found out a little background about the Women in Media foundation and how they put super-successful people with up-and-coming people,” said the actress. “Hopefully it’ll be cool and not boring and people will get drunk and have fun and a lot of deserving women will get some really cool awards.”
Dominczyk was accompanied by her husband, Scott Foley, who plays Olivia Pope’s on-and-off-again love interest on the female-led ABC hit Scandal.
When asked what it’s like to be the supporting partner opposed to the one getting supported, Foley joked, “It’s nice. There’s absolutely no pressure on me to do anything. All the pressure is on her.”
Today co-host Gifford was awarded a Gracie for outstanding on-air talent in entertainment. “When I was growing up, my daddy used to say to me, ‘Honey, find something that you love to do and then figure out a way to get paid for it,’” she said upon accepting her prize. “So that came down to two options for me: show business or hooker.”
Near the end of the evening, Grammy-nominated Andra Day took the stage to sing her new single, “Rise Up,” and received an extended standing ovation.
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