Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Burstyn and Tricia Brock Honored at 2018 Muse Awards

By Olivia Armstrong

Presented by New York Women in Film & Television, the annual event celebrates game-changers in entertainment — and included members of the HBO family.


At New York’s Hilton Hotel in Midtown, members of New York Women in Film & Television,or NYWIFT, gathered for the 2018 Muse Awards. The annual luncheon welcomed women who are advancing the entertainment industry for the next generation of female filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, producers and executives.

This year’s honorees included actor-producer Sarah Jessica Parker (Divorce, Sex and the City); director Tricia Brock (The Deuce, Silicon Valley); Ellen Burstyn (The Tale); as well as Lisa Nishimura, vice president of Original Documentary and Comedy Programming at Netflix; actor, comedian and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid; and Terry Lawler, NYWIFT’s Executive Director.

In addition to honoring “women of vision and achievement,” the gathering also served as a moment of catharsis and reflection following the watershed movement of #MeToo.

“Women took an extraordinary stand this year,” noted Simone Pero, President of NYWIFT. “We witnessed a calling for inclusion riders, contributing Times Up dollars and — with 82 of our colleagues — standing at the steps of the Cannes Film Festival demanding change.” Change was the theme of the luncheon, a tangible result of what happens when women support and mentor one another.

Sarah Jessica Parker, head of production company Pretty Matches (Divorce, Here and Now), credited actor Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech) as an early role model. “She became my gold standard for what I assumed was expected in any workplace,” Parker explained: “And she was feminine and strong.”

Director Tricia Brock — who brought her own “posse of muses” along to celebrate — also spoke of the importance of passing skills and passion onto the next generation of creators, including her daughter, Chloe. “My daughter is now a mother and there’s no greater joy than watching your child become a parent,” she said. “And I hope we model for baby Talulah the richness of having great women in our lives.”

Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn remarked on the impact women have made over recent decades. “I was born in 1932,” she began, “I was there when the final word was always, ‘Well, he’s the man.’ They won because that was the rule. That’s changing,” she emphasized.

“It’s changing because of a change in consciousness,” Burstyn continued. “It wasn’t fair the way it was and we will all benefit from equality.”

Learn more about the Muse Awards and how you can get involved with New York Women in Film & Television.

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