Hollywood Reporter to Present $1.7 Million in College Scholarships at Women in Entertainment Event

Keisha, Lena Dunham, Nina Jacobson-Split-Getty-H 2018
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic; Walter McBride/WireImage; Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Kesha will unveil the full-ride awards to participants in THR's mentorship program as Awkwafina, Monica Lewinsky and Hannah Gadsby join honoree Viola Davis in the program and Lena Dunham serves as guest editor of the WIE print magazine.

The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday announced that $1.7 million in university scholarships will be given to girls currently taking part in its Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, now in its ninth year.

Each of the 18 girls currently in the program will receive a $10,000 scholarship to attend the university of her choice, with six girls receiving full-ride scholarships worth more than $250,000 apiece to attend Loyola Marymount University, a longtime partner in the program. The scholarships will be presented by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kesha at THR’s 2018 Women in Entertainment breakfast, which is set to take place Wednesday at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. 

Producer Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang TheoryMom) will fund two full-rides to Loyola Marymount, bringing the total he has funded to six. Lori Greiner, the entrepreneur and inventor featured on Shark Tank, will donate her second full-ride scholarship to a deserving girl; she recently received an award from Big Brothers Big Sisters in honor of her work and generosity at the annual gala of BBBS’ Los Angeles chapter. Additional full-ride scholarships will be provided by Twitter and Lionsgate.

Casey Wasserman, president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and CEO of the Wasserman Foundation, will fund one annual $10,000 scholarship per year, the Edie Wasserman Scholarship, named after the late widow of mogul Lew Wasserman.

The additional $10,000 scholarships are co-funded by Lifetime and Entertainment Industry Foundation; continuing a tradition that is now entering its 10th year, the Abbe Raven Scholarship is the award-winning program that matches 20 high school juniors, all girls, each year with some of the top women in film and television.

"We are honored that Chuck, Lori, Casey, Twitter and Lionsgate selflessly donated these Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program scholarships," said Matthew Belloni, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter. "Along with our longtime partners Entertainment Industry Foundation and Lifetime, each has proven their commitment to helping communities in need. It’s a privilege to have the support of so many in the Hollywood community, who show up year after year to help send girls to college who otherwise might not be able to attend."

The Women in Entertainment breakfast coincides with the publication of THR’s Women in Entertainment: Power 100 list, the definitive guide to the leading female creators, producers, dealmakers and executives in Hollywood. Actress, producer and writer Lena Dunham will work with THR’s editorial staff as guest editor of the annual special issue, following Shonda Rhimes in 2017. 

"I am so excited to be guest editing this issue of THR devoted exclusively to women," Dunham said. "We’re going hard at sex, bodies and power (what I like to call the Holy Trinity). It's an honor I take seriously, despite having done almost all of it in pajamas." 

Additionally, Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina will present prolific producer Nina Jacobson with the Equity in Entertainment Award, given to an individual in the community who has committed to providing opportunities for women and people of color. Jacobson follows Ryan Murphy and Amy Pascal, 2017’s recipient, in receiving the honor. The founder and president of the production company Color Force and former president of Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, Jacobson is one of only a handful of women to ever lead a Hollywood film studio. 

Alongside her producing partner Brad Simpson, Jacobson produced the Hunger Games series; the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson; and Pose, the critically acclaimed FX series starring the largest cast of transgender actors in narrative television history. In 2013, Color Force acquired the rights to adapt Kevin Kwan's novel Crazy Rich Asians to film, which in 2018 enjoyed a record-breaking opening weekend and dominated cultural conversation, featuring the first majority Asian-American cast in a modern setting since The Joy Luck Club in 1993.

"For Nina, 2018 has been a year of striking achievement," Belloni said. "Both Pose and Crazy Rich Asians proved that the industry is transformed for the better when more voices are given a seat at the table. Nina has worked for decades to provide opportunities for women and people of color, and couldn’t be more deserving of this honor." 

Activist Monica Lewinsky and Australian writer-comedian Hannah Gadsby will also speak at the annual VIP gala. As previously announced, Oscar-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actress and producer Viola Davis will be presented with the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award after raising more than $20 million for the charitable initiative Hunger Is and working to end poverty in her hometown of Central Falls, Rhode Island.