Kerry Washington will receive this year's Equity in Entertainment Award at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment breakfast gala, presented by Lifetime, on Dec. 7 in Los Angeles.
Oscar winner Ariana DeBose will present Washington with the award at the gala, which will be attended by 750 industry leaders and VIPs. Washington joins Adele, who The Hollywood Reporter previously announced will receive the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, as an honoree at this year's gala.
The Equity in Entertainment Award recognizes individuals who amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry. The award was created in 2016, and previous honorees include Issa Rae, Ryan Murphy, Amy Pascal, Nina Jacobson and Selma Blair.
"Kerry Washington is an incredible force of nature who has shown us at each phase of her career why she is one of Hollywood's most important creative talents. Just this year alone, she produced and starred in Hulu's acclaimed Unprisoned as part of her Simpson Street shingle and wrote the best-selling memoir, Thicker Than Water, which ignited a national conversation about the different definitions of family," said THR co-editors-in-chief Nekesa Mumbi Moody and Maer Roshan. "Those works represent just a slice of her barrier-breaking career, which includes her formidable acting credits, her burgeoning production work that has elevated diverse voices, her philanthropic efforts and her political activism. She has spent decades working for equity everywhere, so we are so excited to award her with our Equity in Entertainment award at Women in Entertainment."
Washington is an Emmy-winning and SAG- and Golden Globe Award-nominated actor. She received widespread recognition for her role as Olivia Pope on ABC's hit drama Scandal, breaking barriers as the first Black woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974. Her recent acting credits include the Netflix film The School for Good and Evil and Unprisoned.
Washington is the founder of Simpson Street, a production company that stands courageously at the intersection of what makes people different and the same. She is also the author of 2023's New York Times best-seller Thicker Than Water, a memoir that shares the deeply moving journey of her life so far and the bravely intimate story of discovering her truth.
In addition to her creative work, Washington is a lifelong activist who advocates for numerous social causes, particularly democracy-building. She is the founder of Influence Change, an initiative that partners with nonprofits to increase voter turnout. She also launched Vision Info Power Cohor to provide grassroots organizations with resources and knowledge to build civic engagement in their communities through storytelling and collective action. She also partnered with LAUSD and a coalition of industry leaders and actors to launch The Roybal School of Film and Television Production, a magnet school seeking to drive transformational change across the entertainment industry for students from underserved communities. She has received numerous accolades for her activism, including the NAACP President's Award, the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award.
The WIE gala coincides with the release of THR's much-anticipated annual Women in Entertainment issue of the magazine (arriving on newsstands Dec. 7), which highlights the Power 100, the leading female executives in entertainment.
The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment event is presented by Lifetime, and sponsored by Cadillac, Gersh and Upneeq and presented in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, Chapman University and Loyola Marymount University.