Leah Remini, Rachel Bloom, Sheryl Crow & More Radiated Strength At The 44th Annual Gracie Awards

The 44th Annual Gracie Awards highlighted many of the most influential women in the media, providing these individuals with a spotlight to recognize the contributions each have made to the industry. Established in 1975, the Gracie Awards was named after American vaudevillian and comedian, Gracie Allen. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation brought these extraordinary women together, to advocate and strengthen the ability of storytelling. Her Campus at UCLA had the wonderful privilege to attend and be inspired! 

This year, the Gracie Awards took place at the beautiful Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The venue was stunning and the color purple flourished everywhere, creating an elegant ambiance. Each table was served a menu of horseradish gremolata crusted tenderloin, Chilean sea bass and Israeli couscous, rosemary essence. The dessert was presented in adorable packing, and consisted of truffles, macaroons and mini chocolates. Superstore actress, Lauren Ash, was the host of the night and kept the audience on their toes with her wit. During her opening speech, she encouraged the audience to mingle, urging that “the movement for equal rights is in process.” One of the major themes of the show was bravery, celebrating the women who speak truth in all the platforms they work in. 

The audience was gifted with a special performance by Sheryl Crow, who delighted us with a three-song medley, including her hit single, “If It Makes You Happy.” Playing both the piano and the guitar, her sweet and soulful voice resonated throughout the entire room. She joked remarking, “It’s so nice to be in a room with inspiring women. I’ve been engaged three times. I never got married but I had a rockin time not getting divorced!” 

Other highlights included Lori McCreary being awarded “Best Producer in Entertainment to Madam Secretary.” The Bold Type stars, Aisha Dee and Melora Hardin, presented McCreary with her award. During her speech, she stated, “I’m honored to stand in sisterhood with remarkable women who are making sure the face of our industry reflects the face of all Americans.” McCreary is a UCLA alumnus and the CEO of Revelations Entertainment, a company she co-founded with Morgan Freeman. Lynda McLaughlin, producer of The Sean Hannity Show, shared on stage, “I feel so lucky to do what I love and be able to bring awareness to issues that would otherwise be unknown and unreported.” Leah Remini, one of the honorees of the night, took the stage and acknowledged the success of all the women in the room. She praised, “You are a woman, you are badass, you are talented and a master of the multitask… be unapologetically you.” Angela Yee, host of The Breakfast Club and winner of a national radio award, gave comforting words during her winning speech saying, “It’s okay to be uncertain. Just don’t let it cripple you.”  

We left the Gracie Awards feeling extremely empowered and optimistic about our own future, knowing that such visionary women are currently paving the way for media and entertainment. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation promotes educational programs to benefit the media, donating $20,000 a year in scholarships for female students! The power of storytelling is real and being able to witness such incredible women speak their truth was unforgettable. Thank you for inviting Her Campus at UCLA to such a wonderful event! To become involved, visit their website at allwomeninmedia.org and follow them on Twitter or Facebook