Women In Film, Los Angeles has set Marlee Matlin, Siân Heder, Jean Smart, Hannah Einbinder, Zendaya and Ashley Levinson as the recipients of its 2021 Crystal Award, recognizing outstanding artists whose advocacy has helped to expand the role of women within entertainment.
Matlin and Heder will be honored for “setting a new precedent for representation and accessibility in front of and behind the camera” on their Apple coming-of-age dramedy, CODA. Smart and Einbinder, the Emmy-nominated stars of HBO Max’s hit comedy series Hacks, will be recognized for performances that bring to light issues WIF has been working to address for decades—specifically, sexism, ageism, and harassment in the entertainment industry. Then, there’s Zendaya and her producing partner Levinson, who will be acknowledged for their disruption of “the imbalanced, traditional systems of compensation and ownership,” having developed a shared equity model for their acclaimed Netflix feature, Malcolm & Marie.
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The Crystal Award will be presented to these three pairs of collaborators at the first WIF Honors ceremony since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is taking place at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles on October 6. The film and TV duos were selected for the honorary award by the WIF Honors Committee, chaired by Esther Chang, which is comprised of Jamila Hunter, Michelle Lee, Monica Levinson, Talitha Watkins, and Lauren Williams.
“We are thrilled to honor a handful of the many women in our industry who have taken on the unparalleled challenges of our time and created transformative and lasting impact and opportunity for the better, together,” said Chang.
“We are honoring these pairs of women with the Crystal Award to reflect the collective effort it takes to transform this industry into one that rewards equality and succeeds as it becomes more inclusive,” added WIF’s Executive Director, Kirsten Schaffer. “Even in the most difficult of times, these women have taken steps forward towards a more ideal future.”
Both the WIF Honors and the Crystal Award have been presented since 1977. The annual benefit formerly named the Crystal + Lucy Awards supports WIF’s educational and philanthropic programs, along with its advocacy for gender parity throughout the industry. Artists recognized by WIF in years past include Julie Andrews, Maya Angelou, Angela Bassett, Cate Blanchett, Carol Burnett, Glenn Close, Geena Davis, Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Nora Ephron, Audrey Hepburn, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Brie Larson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Poehler, Issa Rae, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington, among others.