At the opening of The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment event, presented by Lifetime, on Thursday at The Beverly Hills Hotel, Will Ferrell urged women to take over the world.

Before saying, “Forget about the entertainment world, isn’t it just time? This is such a wonderful event where we honor and support and continue to fight for women in all facets of the entertainment world,” Ferrell spoke. He questioned, “Isn’t it just about time that women take over the globe?” to thunderous cheers. “I promise that I’m not merely trying to appease you, but I’m at a loss for what else to do since, let’s face it, males have been in charge since, perhaps, 10,000 B.C., and we’re not doing so well. So, will you please just take over?

The comedian and actor, who most recently acted in Greta Gerwig’s summer blockbuster Barbie as the anonymous CEO of Mattel, has a very specific candidate in mind for the nation’s top political position: Kerry Washington, who was honored with an Equity in Entertainment Award at the evening.

“Kerry, you’ve always been a wonderful advocate for so many different things and amazing at everything you’ve ever done. Please just run for the presidency. Would you please? You’ll get paid by us. He acknowledged Adele, the other recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award from Washington, and said, “We’ll do a GoFundMe right in this room and we’ll launch you.” (She also appears on The Hollywood Reporter’s cover this week.)

Ferrell’s comments took a turn for the slightly more somber when he discussed The Hollywood Reporter Mentorship Program, which is run in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles and matches high school girls from underprivileged neighborhoods in the city with female mentors who work as top executives in the entertainment industry.

Before making fun of Adele, Ferrell remarked, “Every female studio and agency head has been a mentor in this program, and over $15 million in scholarships have been given out to graduates of this program.” “Those young women have gone on to college at Harvard, Berkeley, and Northwestern, but not at Oxford or Cambridge, because Adele fired Will Ferrell from ‘Rolling in the Deep,’ without cause,” he joked.

In addition, Ferrell paused to honor Jessica Elbaum, his producing partner and lifelong friend, with whom he founded Gloria Sanchez Productions almost ten years ago.

“She was my very first assistant. Later, she pitched me the idea of a production company that would support female actors, directors, and writers while emphasizing female storytelling. I said, ‘Yeah, I guess so.'” Yes, I guess I could accomplish it. Yes, Ferrell clarified.

Elbaum can rattle off a lengthy list of shows that she helped bring to life, including Eurovision, Bachelorette, Booksmart, Dead to Me, Sleeping With Other People, Barb, and Starr. Visit May December, Theatre Camp, Vista Del Mar, and Quiz Lady, he said. “I’m so proud of you, sister-friend, and it’s been all you,” he said.

Cadillac, Google, SAG-AFTRA, Best Buy, Gersh, and Upneeq, in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, Chapman University, and Loyola Marymount University, were the sponsors of the Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Gala. It took place in tandem with THR’s annual Women in Entertainment issue and Power 100 list release.


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