- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Flipboard
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Tumblr
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
New York City’s Museum of Modern Art transformed into a stunning event venue — complete with faux colorful trees, champagne flutes and magazines on display — Monday night for the WSJ. Magazine‘s 2021 Innovator Awards. The 11th annual awards honored Ryan Reynolds, Kim Kardashian West and Lil Nas X, among others, for their pioneering talents.
“The people who join us at MoMA span all the lifestyle areas we cover,” WSJ. editor-in-chief Kristina O’Neill told The Hollywood Reporter. “And the eight honorees themselves — it’s such an inspiring night, to feel their combined passions and vision all together in one room.”
Reynolds, Kardashian West and Lil Nas X were three of the eight honorees, which also included novelist Colson Whitehead, fashion designer Kim Jones, Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, artist Maya Lin and Sherrie Westin accepting the Public Service award on behalf of Sesame Street.
During her opening remarks of the night, O’Neill touched on what makes each of 2021’s honorees special.
“The always surprising and entertaining Ryan Reynolds changed Hollywood storytelling with his independence, cleverness and craft,” she said to the room full of guests. “[Lil Nas X,] you are a renegade artist, a beacon for anyone wanting to live freely, proudly and openly,” she added. “Kim Kardashian West, a woman at the helm of a formidable empire, led by her maverick marketing instinct and whose incredible SKIMS shapewear I’m proud to say is holding me in tonight,” she concluded, before leading into videos of the honorees, where they each spoke about their careers and why they do what they do.
In her acceptance speech for the Brand Innovator Award, Kardashian West shared what pushed her to create her SKIMS, explaining that when she was growing up, shapewear only came in pale or Black, neither of which matched her skin tone. So, she would dye the shapewear with coffee and tea bags.
“I thought, if I can’t find my shade, how would my friends? How was my daughter [going to]? It just seemed insane to me that other options weren’t available,” she said, adding that she wants women of “all shapes, sizes, colors [and] ages to feel confident.”
After Lil Nas X released his “little horse song,” “Old Town Road,” which blew up in 2019, he remembers slowly succumbing to the role that society was giving him as the future of country music, but he didn’t want to fall into that box. “I always got a trick up my sleeve,” he said, referring to his first album, Montero, which dropped this September.
“[‘Call Me By Your Name,’ the first song on the album,’] was super important to this era of my life, where I felt like I needed to go if I wanted to keep being myself in the music industry. It was the first song that I was 100 percent openly out on — in a big way,” he said, adding during his speech for the Music Innovator Award, “I’ve never been more myself. I’ve never been more gay.”
When Reynolds took to the stage to accept his Entertainment & Entrepreneurial Award, he thanked his team at marketing firm Maximum Effort, his collaborators, his creative partners, including Shawn Levy, and everyone at his Group Effort Initiative, “who worked their fucking asses off for the last year-plus.”
“I’m lucky enough to work with people who honor the idea that you can’t make anything great without enthusiasm,” he said, also thanking his wife, Blake Lively. “She is a genius. She is a renaissance woman, and she pushes me in ways I never imagined I’d be pushed.”
Reynolds explained that the reason he loves what he does is because it’s meant to bring joy to people and bring them together.
“So, when I do crawl into a box and turn skeleton,” he said, “I hope people look back and say, ‘He brought as many people along for that journey as he possibly could.'”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Cannes: Alicia Vikander, Marion Cotillard, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and More in The Hollywood Reporter’s Festival Photo Gallery
Billie Eilish Slams Critics Who Called Her a “Sellout” for Being More Feminine: “Let Women Live”
How Amber Ruffin’s Mission to Have Fun Helped “Destroy and Then Rebuild” ‘Some Like It Hot’ for Broadway