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Time Magazine celebrated its 2018 100 Most Influential People at the Time 100 gala in New York City on Tuesday night at the Time Warner Center. The individuals honored included a neuropathologist researching football concussions, Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown and the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who covered the Harvey Weinstein scandal since last fall.
“We said if 2017 was about pulling the mask off these various predators who were preying on vulnerable women in the workplace across a variety of industries, 2018 still requires a lot of hard and determined reporting to figure out how to fix the systemic failures that allowed that to happen,” said New York Times reporter Megan Twohey who was honored alongside her colleague Jodi Kantor.
“We have a lot of decisions to make as a society. Are we okay with secret settlements? Is every offense a firing offense?” Kantor said. “We don’t feel like we have the answers, but we want to continue to do reporting that will drive the conversation.”
The New York Times reporters were honored on the list alongside Ronan Farrow, who wrote about Weinstein in The New Yorker. He brought Emily Nestor as his date; she was one of the first women to come forward with allegations against Weinstein.
“Quite literally we might not be here tonight talking about this story if Emily hadn’t done what she did,” Farrow said. “She did it at a time when there was no bandwagon, and there was nothing in it for her besides helping other people. She faced a lot of potential retaliation and so I’m here to celebrate her and all the other women she represents.”
Farrow, Kantor, and Twohey are continuing in their reporting, and Farrow added: “If anyone is reading this and has a lead, my email is right there on my Twitter handle.”
Rachael Denhollander, one of the first women who came out with accusations of abuse against Larry Nassar in the gymnastics community as also in attendance with Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who wrote the tribute to Denhollander in Time.
“At the sentencing, she sat through every single survivor’s victim impact statement which is not something that is easy at all,” Raisman said standing next to Hollander, who added that there were 256 statements. “Giving one yourself is traumatic enough and even listening to a couple, it’s really triggering. So the fact that Rachel sat through every single survivor. It’s incredible.”
Lynda Carter, the original star of Wonder Woman, wrote the tribute to Gal Gadot, the latest star of the superhero film, and Carter says that the character has a new relevance.
“They brought it to the forefront for a new generation which is really important because it’s in the heart, it’s in the soul of this new generation and a powerful feeling for you,” Carter said. “It was that way back then and it’s you now. It’s thrilling.”
Honoree Christian Siriano brought Leslie Jones as his date, and Jones wore one of Siriano’s designs, a white, double-breasted mini dress to the event.
“It should never be a challenge getting a dress. I think there’s a lot going on in our world that is challenging in people’s lives, and getting dressed should be the easy part of the day,” Siriano said.
“He’s a genius. Normal as hell. He knows a woman’s body,” Jones added. “He knows how to make you look sexy. He knows how to make you feel sexy. Everybody, he makes everybody feel sexy, not just skinny people, fat people, he makes everybody feel sexy.”
Jones was sitting front and center for the event, which opened with a performance by Shawn Mendes. Mendes, who is one of the honorees on the list, performed “Mercy,” “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” “Lost in Japan,” “Stitches,” and his new single “In My Blood,” saying that the Time 100 audience was quite different than his usual crowds of throngs of teenage girls.
After the performance several of the honorees raised a toast. Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement and one of the evening’s honorees, spoke about what this moment means to her.
“I think this moment is really important for me to raise a glass to all the black and brown girls around the world, particularly the black and brown girls like me,” she said. “I raise a glass to 6?year?old Tarana, who was confused and didn’t know about the things that had been happening to her and spent years and years and years trying to figure it out until somebody else let me know that I was not alone and gave me the courage to tell other people that they’re not alone.”
Another one of the evening’s honorees, This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown paid tribute to his high school teacher who inspired him to work hard and achieve his goals.
“It was never necessary for Mrs. Bull to tell me what she believed,” Brown said. “She was never inclined to preach to me or mandate that I see the world through the same prism as herself. She simply led a life well lived. And in walking the walk, she influenced the trajectory of my life in ways she and I could never have imagined. She filled me up with so much love; I felt like I could run through a brick wall, and I wanted to do it for her.”
The evening concluded with everyone on their feet for Jennifer Lopez, who performed several of her hits from “Let’s Get Loud” to “Jenny From the Block.” Before she performed the last song, beau Alex Rodriguez handed her a diamond-encrusted Yankees hat.
“I want you to know y’all can sing with me,” she said. “Y’all can dance too.” The attendees jumped to their feet and danced well into the evening.
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