Dick Wolf and Bela Bajaria Honored at Saban Community Clinic Gala

Dick Wolf and Bela Bajaria attend Friends of The Saban Community Clinic Gala - Getty - H 2018
Jesse Grant/Getty

The 42nd annual fundraiser was held Monday night at the Beverly Hilton.

The Saban Community Clinic’s 42nd annual fundraiser on Monday evening at the Beverly Hilton was dominated by two powerful figures in entertainment: Jennifer Hudson, who performed at the event, and honoree Dick Wolf, who former NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt called “the greatest TV drama producer we ever had.”

At the pre-dinner reception, co-chair Ellen Hoberman said, “The voters spoke last week, and what they said is what we at the clinic have known who 51 years — that healthcare is the most important issue.” (The clinic itself provides medical care for those who can’t afford it.)

The dinner kicked off with remarks by WME's Richard Weitz, who focused on shelter, jobs and healthcare in his remarks, saying, “No human deserves less.”

He was followed by Greenblatt, Hoberman, Wolf’s attorney Cliff Gilbert-Lurie and then WME's Rick Rosen, who mentioned that "the way Dick Wolf answers unsolicited calls is with the words, 'Good news or money?'"

They were followed by comedian Hasan Minhaj, who in trying to describe the Saban clinic said, “Think about Canada and put it in a clinic.”

Minhaj made the presentation of the event's Lenny Somberg Award to Netflix vp content Bela Bajaria, who he said was “the champion of diverse people in Hollywood, and I’m sure she’s helped a lot of white people, too.”

Emcee Sean Hayes noted that the dinner had raised almost $2 million. “Because of your generosity,” he said, “the clinic now has the resources to treat everyone who steals a parking spot from Alex Baldwin.”

Comedian Maz Jobrani did a strong set before Hudson took the mic, who began with a version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” She danced with audience members, sang three more songs and so dominated the night that when rapper-turned-actor Ice-T came on to present the Leadership Award to Wolf, he said, “How the hell did I end up following her?”

Ice-T, a star of Wolf’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, joked that he was at the dinner because “when Dick Wolf calls, you bring your black ass to the event.” In his remarks, he noted that it has been estimated that Wolf has provided 40,000 speaking parts for actors.

For his part, Wolf focused on the importance of giving and mentioned the expression, “Give until it hurts.” He said it should be amended to read, “Give until you feel good — philanthropy is about helping yourself.”

Wolf ended his remarks by proudly noting that he had made his acceptance speech “in three minutes, only three minutes.”