Saturday, April 13, 2024

Tennis Great Billie Jean King on How Men Should Behave: “Loosen up, cry like Roger Federer. He sobs whether he wins or loses”


Cathy Schulman, noted producer and Women In Film (WIF) President hosted a revival service of sorts Hollywood style last evening: the 11th Annual WIF Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party at Crustacean in Beverly Hills. Academy Award Winner Viola Davis played her role perfectly as the Inspirational Preacher.  Tireless advocate Cathy got the night started by saying, “We’re at an absolute tipping point with this moment right now.  It takes all of us to do all the important work necessary to turn this tipping point into actual progressive and systemic change so that women’s careers can be long sustainable and successful.” 

Schulman then introduced her “woman king” Viola Davis and as usual Davis captivated the room.  “With all the women in this room feeling like we have a little extra weight on us, feeling like especially in this past year that we have testimonies of sexual assault, feeling like we are less than, and always at the caboose, burgeoning.  We’re still worth it.  With all of our imperfections complexities and confusion, we’re worth it.  This is a year of owning who we are.  You either own your story and you share it or you stand outside of it, always hustling for your worth.  I am a proponent of the moment you came out of your mother’s womb, you are worthy.  That’s what we are learning this year. Even the women who are still in silence and the women who stepped up and spoke up.  All the women nominees and all the women that could have been and should have been nominees, we’re all worth it.  That’s what we need to come into the room with and what we need to go into 2018, 2019 with. That the privilege of a lifetime is being exactly who we are.” 

Emma Stone then took the stage and quipped, “No one should have to follow Viola Davis, ever.” Stone then introduced Billie Jean King whom she portrayed in “Battle Of The Sexes.”  Billie noted that “women are taught to be perfect, and boys an men are taught to be brave.  So women stop apologizing and men you don’t have to be brave all the time.  Loosen up, cry like Roger Federer. He sobs whether he wins or loses.”  

Other VIPS sipping on Jane Walker (yes, the companion now to Johnnie Walker,) were Keegan Michael Key, Songwriter Diane Warren, Agnes Varda, whom everyone wanted to meet, Margot Robbie, Mary J Blige, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, Bradley Whitford, Sharon Lawrence, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, Greta Gerwig and more.  With Cathy at the helm and women more determined than ever to achieve equal rights in Hollywood, change is happening.

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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