Elle’s annual Women in Hollywood covers yielded eight this year, featuring nine actresses and one showrunner; five of them are women of color, two are likely Oscar nominees, three more would be if American viewers got a vote, one makes all my Thursday night stories, and one… I’d have swapped out for someone else, I think.
In addition to the covers, we have two or three alternate or interior photos upon which to gaze, and a short piece about each, which is where these links will take you: Three of the women of Wakanda, (I wish they could’ve each had their own), Lady Gaga, Sarah Paulson, Shonda Rhimes, Keira Knightley, Yara Shahidi, Charlize Theron, and Mia Farrow. The latter is the choice I was quick to question. The piece is well-written, weaving in quotes from Mia’s 20-year old memoir and some fresh bites, and touches on her own #MeToo experiences. But there is no fresh hook here except what her son has recently done. Mia doesn’t have any current projects, acts very little anymore by her own admission and on purpose, and is not even present in one of the photos: There is a shot of her alone, one of her with Ronan Farrow, and one of Ronan by himself. Yes, a Women In Hollywood cover star got nudged out of one of her own shots. By a dude. Yes, he’s a dude who’s done a lot of excellent journalism making sure that female victims are heard, but…. The writer does a pretty elegant job making Mia, not Ronan, not the focus of the actual story. I just can’t help feeling like the optics were, “How can we get Ronan Farrow in here if he’s not a woman?”