Color Force Producer Nina Jacobson Honored at Big Brother Big Sisters LA Gala

Sherry Lansing (left) and Nina Jacobson

The event also honored Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn and entrepreneur Michael Green.

Actors, studio executives and Los Angeles Chargers players were among the many who came out to the Beverly Hilton on Friday night to support and raise funds for Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, an organization that pairs mentors with youth from underserved Los Angeles communities.

Former 20th Century Fox president and former Paramount chairman and CEO Sherry Lansing told The Hollywood Reporter she's been supporting the organization for over a decade.

"This is an amazing organization, where you can see the effect that one person's life has on another person's life and how it actually changes," said Lansing.  "Of course, we have the wonderful Hollywood Reporter mentoring program by Stephen Galloway which is so great, and I love being a part of it."

Lansing later presented Nina Jacobson, producer and founder of the production company Color Force, with the Sherry Lansing Award and said she was a huge fan of Jacobson's work, which includes Crazy Rich Asians and Pose.

"All of Nina's films have strong female characters," explained Lansing. "But also, Nina's films and TV series' highlight diversity, not just gender and racial diversity but also diversity in personalities. ... They help promote tolerance and understanding."

Upon accepting the award, Jacobson said she was grateful that Hollywood has recently made strides in diversity and inclusion, but said there's still work that needs to be done. Specifically, the producer said more diverse perspectives are needed behind the camera. She spoke of her mentee Jasmine, whom she was paired with through BBSLA and THR’s young executives fellowship program.

"[Jasmine's] a gifted filmmaker and editor whose talent and devotion to her craft is being fueled and cultivated through the young executive fellowship initiative," Jacobson said. "Instead of waiting for Hollywood to represent her, Jasmine is creating content herself and sharing it on YouTube. Thanks to the fellowship, she and her peers are getting the kind of access and opportunities that have historically been denied to all but the most privileged of kids."

Jacobson was referring to THR’s young executive fellowship, created in conjunction with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater LA, which aims to create a pathway for high school juniors who want to work in entertainment while also providing the opportunity for students to intern at THR or a partnering company.

Other honorees of the event included entrepreneur Michael Greene, who was presented the Walt Disney Man of the Year Award, and Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn, who sent in a short video message discussing his appreciation for the inaugural Defender of Potential Award and the role mentorship played in his life.

"I was raised in a single-family home and had a lot of mentors in my life, a lot of people who invested in my dreams, and I’ll never forget that," Lynn said. "Most of those mentors were coaches, and so I became a coach so that one day I could give back."

Roswell, New Mexico actress and longtime Big in the program Heather Hemmens also spoke about her childhood mentor who helped set her life on the right path. Hemmens added that Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles creates real impact.   "Out of all the things that divide us these days, I am certain that we in this room, just by being here, we are in agreement that mentorship changes lives," she said.

The night included a segment where guests contributed anywhere from $19,000 to $100. Afterwards, attendees had the opportunity to donate to the organization by bidding on auction items including vacation homes in Nashville and Mexico.

At the event, Jacobson also told THR about the upcoming season of American Crime Story and said she's excited to start working on the project soon.

"It's very rich in topic —  a deep dive into [impeachment] and especially right now, it is really sobering,” she said. “[The characters] will make an incredible season. We have new casting announcements today — our Bill Clinton is Clive Owens. We have an incredible cast and I can't wait to get started."