There is too much stuff going on! Awards season is always chock-a-block with events, but it feels especially bad this year, with strike-delayed premieres finally happening, and films that would have done more promotion earlier in the year cramming it all now. It also feels like all the galas are happening at once, which might be in my imagination, but I really cannot remember a December so loaded with events. It’s like Oprah shoved a gala under everyone’s chair.
The latest event is The Hollywood Reporter’s Women In Entertainment, which was held in broad daylight yesterday. It ties into their “Women in Entertainment Power 100” issue. The event brought out Lily Gladstone, though she is not included in the Power 100 list. In this case, I am willing to forgive THR, because Gladstone, though a fave, doesn’t have that kind of pull yet. I mean, THR explicitly states their methodology for this:
Methodology Editors consider portfolio sizes, series loads, TV ratings, box office returns, awards, deals, employees overseen, revenue generated, platform subscriber counts and leadership.
So, no Lily is not a mogul yet, but she was included in the event as a speaker, which means someone at THR knew that even if she didn’t qualify by their metrics as an honoree, they should still give her a damn microphone. She used it to say, “Don’t compromise, don’t change who you are.”
It can be said that in her rise through mainstream Hollywood, Lily Gladstone has not compromised. As much I want her to be offered bigger roles, as much as I want her to get to a place where she can pick her projects, where she can make things happen like her peers such as Margot Robbie and Emma Stone, I also don’t want her to have to compromise to get those things. And maybe she won’t have to, already, she has not had to play the kind of stereotypical “Native woman” roles that plagued Indigenous representation in earlier generations, such as in the “John Ford westerns” she references.
But there’s no denying it’s been a slower climb for her than her white peers. Her breakout role was in 2016’s Certain Women, that’s when the industry first noticed Lily Gladstone. And it took seven years for her first major Hollywood role to come out. That’s why I am watching so closely who is inviting her where, who includes her in their honorifics, who hands her a microphone. Anyone working in Hollywood with half a brain knew Lily Gladstone was coming, now I want to see who was prepared for this moment, and who is fumbling, and who makes an effort to catch up. If there is any justice at all in the world, Gladstone’s (agent’s) phone will be ringing off the hook with offers. It’s not just about the Oscars. It’s about who welcomes Lily Gladstone beyond the trophy trail, who makes room for her, makes work for her and with her. It’s about making sure the door stays open behind her.
Live long and gossip,