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Sarah Silverman took on Hollywood’s recent sexual assault allegations on Wednesday, when the comedian and actress opened The Hollywood Reporter‘s 2017 Women in Entertainment breakfast presented by Lifetime, held at Los Angeles’ Milk Studios.
“I just want to say before I start, I’ve been asked a lot about my stance on sexual assault in Hollywood, and this is as good a time as any to express exactly how I feel on it,” Silverman said. “I’m against it.”
She also joked with Justin Timberlake, who was one of the few men in attendance at the event, that “if you tell anyone what was said in this room today, you will be killed.” Silverman also commented on common red-carpet questions that women get asked all the time, noting that Timberlake had probably never been asked how he “does it all” as a “working dad.”
“We have a responsibility as women to reject this toxic drug in the air that makes us feel like the success of one woman can only come at the failure of another,” she said. “It’s not true — except for on The Bachelor — one of the great feminist shows of our time.”
Silverman, who appeared in this year’s Battle of the Sexes, also called on the women of Hollywood to help lead the change she sees as vital.
“Not only is there room for all of us, but by raising each other up emotionally, artistically, in the workplace and all facets of life, we are doing something that ‘the man’ fears very much — we are becoming a force,” she said. “You know, it’s really important to be mindful these days, and I’ll just say it: Some of us need to check our privilege — I’m looking at you, me! — so that this movement doesn’t get further divided. I do think that white women have to look at the hashtag “WhiteFeminism,” and internalize it and wonder what it means and make it right.”
At the event, Jennifer Lawrence received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, presented by Lansing; Amy Pascal was honored with the Equity in Entertainment Award; Angelina Jolie gave the keynote speech; and Gal Gadot and Timberlake were on hand to help present $1 million in university scholarships to young women from disadvantaged backgrounds who have taken part in THR‘s highly competitive, nine-year-old Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program.
The VIP event was sponsored by American Airlines, Fiji Water, Forevermark, Gersh, eOne, SAG-AFTRA and Loyola Marymount University in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
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