Glamour announces 2020 women of the Year

Regina+King+accepting+Oscar+for+%22If+Beale+Street+Could+Talk%22+in+2019

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Regina King accepting Oscar for “If Beale Street Could Talk” in 2019

Katelyn Vargo, Staff Reporter

Despite not being able to hold a traditional awards ceremony, Glamour magazine is still commemorating its 2020 Women of the Year. For the past 30 years, Glamour has held its Women of the Year awards in an effort to recognize female leaders in industries such as entertainment, politics, and medicine. Past winners include the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, activist Malala Yousef, and writer and actress Mindy Kaling. 

This year, Glamour named actress and director Regina King as the 2020 Woman of the Year. Other honorees include nurses and doctors at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, NAACP lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, activist Dolores Huerta, and Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. 

King began her acting career in 1985. She directed her first film in 2020, One Night in Miami, which was the first film directed by a Black woman to be screened at the Venice Film Festival.  One Night in Miami is also favored by critics to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Director category. If nominated, King would be the first Black female to be considered for this award, according to Glamour. 

Most recently, King won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Limited Series for her role as Angela Absar in HBO’s Watchmen. Accepting her award while wearing a T-shirt featuring the face of Breonna Taylor, King took time in her acceptance speech to encourage people to vote and gave a shout-out to Ginsburg saying, “Rest in power, RBG.” 

In addition to her accomplishments in the entertainment industry, King has used her platform to bring attention to racial and gender inequality in Hollywood. In 2019, during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, King vowed to start producing films with at least half of the cast and crew being made up of women. 

As the music began to play in an effort to get King to finish her speech, she said, “I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power — not just in our industry, in all industries — I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

In light of COVID-19 and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, King spent a large portion of her Glamour Woman of the Year interview expressing her desire to use her celebrity status to help enact positive change. She told Glamour’s Soraya Nadia McDonald, “I am filled with gratitude, but I do realize that I would like in my lifetime to see what the other side of this looks like — the other side of what a changed system looks like, true systematic change.”

Professor Theresa Grimm of John Carroll’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Department said, “I think her message is one that should resonate for all of us. While most of us will never have the kind of platform that King has, we all still have the power to make a difference in the world, no matter how small our reach and no matter how limited our means.” 

Even though King cannot accept her award in person, Glamour magazine released a film honoring all of the 2020 award winners, which can be found here