Ted Sarandos Honored at UFC Brass Ring Awards

Mitch Haddad/UFC (United Friends of the Children)
Co-honorees Ted Sarandos and Jacqueline Caster

The dinner raised more than $1.5 million for foster youth.

More than $1.5 million was raised to help Los Angeles’ foster youth at the Brass Ring Awards, held at the Beverly Hilton on Wednesday night. Hosted by Will Arnett, the event honored Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Everychild Foundation founder Jacqueline Caster for their humanitarian efforts.

The L.A. nonprofit’s mission is to provide foster youth with housing programs, jobs and educational opportunities as they transition into becoming adults. Sarandos said after touring the UFC facilities that he was so impressed by the drive and ambition of the children in the UFC program to get an education and give back to their community that they might not even have needed the words of encouragement he had prepared for his speech that night.

“Myself, my wife and my kids have been very lucky to reap the benefits of success and I’m always impressed to meet people who have none of those advantages in life and are optimistic and hopeful and have a plan," Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter.

Caster received the award named after UFC founder Nancy M. Daly, who also served as Caster’s mentor. Caster said Daly introduced her to the critical issues happening in the L.A. foster system, which sparked her Everychild Foundation that gives $1 million each year to fund an organization’s project that will help children in need.

“Less than 2 percent of the kids that come out of foster care graduate from college,” said Caster. “Many kids, by the time they [are] maybe 14 years old, have been [to] 25 different homes, so we’d like to do things that would improve the system and create better odds for these children as they come out.”

The Goldbergs actor Jeff Garlin presented the Brass Ring Award to Sarandos and straightened out any confusion the audience may have had with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) that goes by the same abbreviation.

“After years of negotiating, the UFC has merged with the UFC, so when our children face adversity, there will be someone there to kick that adversity’s ass,” said Garlin. “If the children do not want to go to college, they will learn to fight.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jim Gianopulos, Constance Zimmer and Robin Wright were also in attendance to show their support for Sarandos and Caster. Looking back on how far he’s come with the growth of Netflix and his philanthropic efforts, Sarandos says it’s gratifying to be honored for making a difference.

“I look back at all of the shows and great showrunners [whom] I grew up on who have now become my friends, guys like Norman Lear and Leonard Goldberg, real legends in this business who come up to me and say that they’re impressed with what’s happening,” said Sarandos. “That means something to me.”