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To create the 27th annual list of entertainment’s top female leaders, The Hollywood Reporter delved into 2018’s box office and ratings hits, hot deals and industry milestones — from cultural phenomena (Black Panther) to mega-mergers (Disney-Fox) — to identify the key women driving those wins and disruptions in C-suites, on backlots, in writers rooms and everywhere power operates in Hollywood. The result is a snapshot of female power that reflects what's changed in the world of entertainment (and what hasn't) amid Time's Up and the industry's merger mania.
At the highest corporate levels of Hollywood, a few women have ascended, notably Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke and THR's Women in Entertainment Executive of the Year Dana Walden, who will take her Fox TV empire (but not her longtime leadership partner, Gary Newman) with her to Disney in 2019. But it's primarily in the creative trenches where female voices have gotten louder, faster, with more and more stars taking on producer duties to tell the stories they care about — so multitasking veterans including Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer and Jennifer Lopez are added to this year's roster alongside meteoric breakouts like Tiffany Haddish.
THR surveyed all these dynamos about their morning musts (much coffee is involved, naturally, and some Peloton), their secrets for dealing with difficult people (listen, mostly — but sometimes, just "run away," advises Sharp Objects showrunner Marti Noxon), their entertainment escapes (there's a whole lot of Great British Baking Show being watched) and the changes they've seen among men in Hollywood over the past year. "There is greater awareness and restraint about inappropriate behavior," says Lionsgate TV's Sandra Stern. "But lack of inclusiveness hasn't changed at all — we still don't get invited to the party," she cautions. "If it's a good party."
An asterisk (*) denotes a Power 100 honoree who declined to give her age.
Profiles written by Ashley Cullins, Rebecca Ford, Mia Galuppo, Carolyn Giardina, Lesley Goldberg, Marisa Guthrie, Natalie Jarvey, Rebecca Keegan, Gregg Kilday, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock, Michael O’Connell, Lacey Rose, Bryn Elise Sandberg, Tatiana Siegel, Rebecca Sun and Benjamin Svetkey.
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