I left L.A. singing, “Is this the start of something wonderful and new,” from the Oscar-winning song from last year’s “La La Land,” “City of Stars.” I told my airport Lyft driver, an actor of African heritage named Lamarana Bah (pictured on the right), that this new Hollywood era should be helpful finding roles.
I swear I stood taller arriving in my Washington on Women’s International Day. And I did not waste any time employing my expanded height. I rushed to proudly attend a private screening of the most enjoyable “A Wrinkle in Time,” directed by Ava Duverney and produced by the tenacity of D.C.-based producer Catherine Hand. It is one of the largest budgeted films ever directed by a woman of color.
I returned late at night to find a newsletter that lauded those contributing to the creation of an embassy statute without mentioning any of the women who had also worked on the art project. I sent off emails criticizing the exclusion, and sure enough those in power agreed to correct the errors.
I feel McDormand’s message traveling with me as I am working today on a new feminist tale, “Pissed Off,” about how the female senators fought to secure a bathroom for themselves in the Capitol since there had not been women elected to that legislative branch before 1932. Hollywood inspired this story too — the idea came to me listening to a panel last year at The Wrap’s Power Women Breakfast in D.C.
I expect that McDormand’s call for action and advancements in 2018 will be reflected at next year’s ceremony. How about a woman hosting the Oscars? Bring back Whoopi!! Expect another nomination for Morrison’s work on “Black Panther,” and numerous nods for diverse and female nominees.
Meanwhile, there is a most pressing matter. To those women in Hollywood who have led the way please join us here in D.C. on March 24 to walk the streets calling for changes in U.S. gun laws. We need your talent and notoriety to demand that legislators finally demonstrate compassion and wisdom to protect our youth.
Frances, we need you here to billboard the message. And if you have misplaced the button I gave you, don’t worry — we are making many more.