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Just days after President Trump labeled the press “the true enemy of people,” Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, Maxine Waters and liberal public figures joined together in New York City on Thursday to celebrate champions for women in media.
Fonda cited Trump’s continued attacks on the news media when explaining that voting has “never been more important.”
“If you’ve read anything about the rise of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, you will see the parallels,” Fonda said. “Attacking the media is the first step in the move towards fascism. The cornerstone to democracy is an independent, democratic media.”
The Grace and Frankie star added that “civility” is also under attack. “And we don’t have to take it anymore. Voting is the way to stop it. Everybody has to vote.”
Steinem echoed Fonda’s sentiments, saying that she’s “never felt so strongly that our democracy was at stake.”
And she said she’s far from her breaking point, no matter the obstacles or upsetting defeats — like Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court amid allegations of sexual assault.
“Even if the Supreme Court were to make terribly unfair rulings, if you remember, Martin Luther King said it’s our obligation to disobey unjust laws,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re not going to obey them.”
Persistence in general was a common theme throughout the evening. Cindy Holland, who received the WMC visible and powerful in media award for her work as vp, original content at Netflix, told the audience about a particularly hard time she faced just last year.
“On January 27, 2017, the Trump administration announced the first travel ban,” Holland said. “It also happened to be the night before the Screen Actors Guild Awards. My partner Annie and I were scheduled to go to a nominee’s reception. Not only did I now not feel like celebrating — though the artists certainly deserved celebration — I was deeply troubled, like so many others. I wanted to quit my job and dedicate myself to something more important than entertainment. Annie said to me that Netflix provided a platform to the voices of the ‘other’ — particularly women and different minority groups — to be seen, heard, and understood all around the world. She told me I’m needed where I am, and that I could make a difference.”
Other honorees included Lisa Borders, Abigail Disney, Fatima Goss Graves, Maria Teresa Kumar and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
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