Ideas and activism dominated the lunchtime talk as Hollywood starlets, studio executives and politicians endured the blistering heat for a lunch in West Hollywood on Monday, hosted by Glamour and Facebook.
The lunch, part of the partnership struck between the magazine and the social media site in the spring, drew a cast of players including Sophia Bush, Tracee Ellis Ross, Sarah Hyland, Shiri Appleby, Busy Philipps, Christina Milian, Minka Kelly, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Nancy McFadden, executive secretary for the office of California Gov. Jerry Brown.
The two companies in March unveiled an initiative aimed at rallying women to vote in the upcoming election via town halls and other events tackling different topics culled from data mined by Facebook. It’s part of the 51 Million — a reference to the number of 18- to 44-year-old women eligible to vote — election vertical Glamour launched about a year ago focused on election coverage.
The near 100-degree weather pushed the day’s event inside at the Sunset Tower Hotel. “We can’t be taking down that many titans of industry, heads of studios [and] members of Congress,” Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive said about the meal’s move from outside poolside to cooler quarters indoors.
Guests went around the table as appetizers and entrees were served, introducing themselves before the group, talking about their charity or activist work, with much of the discussion turning to women’s roles in politics, the boardroom and society while also stirring political discourse and some jabs about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The teaming of Glamour with a tech titan is an interesting one perhaps for what it represents about the future of digital journalism and the means by which content is culled, although Leive pointed out she draws no distinction between the channels used for reporting.
“I’m of the mind that journalism is journalism and what’s important to Glamour is that there’s a robust, loud [and] lively debate among women about the issues that they care about and that women get and that politicians address women’s concerns,” she told WWD. “You can do that in print. You can do that on a web site. You can do that in social media. You can do that on video through broadcast television. And I don’t feel one is better than the other.”
For Glamour, the 51 Million program lives on multiple channels — in print, online and Facebook, the latter of which, Leive said, is becoming increasingly important to be able to talk to the magazine’s readers.
“This is where our audience is. It’s where they’re hearing about news. It’s where they’re watching political videos,” she said.
The social media giant has a politics and government initiative aimed at helping candidates from any party running for any office use the Facebook and Instagram platforms to get their message across.
“There are lots of ways to be relevant in the campaign,” Instagram chief operating officer Marne Levine said. “Different candidates are looking for different ways to connect with voters, different segments of the electorate and to get the right message in front of the right person probably depends on the channel you pick for that purpose.”
Being able to rally female voters via the Glamour partnership was a good opportunity to speak to a large segment of the population, she said. Levine cited the statistic that 53 percent of those who voted in the 2012 election were female. “It means that they determined the outcome of the election,” Levine said. “Women have an incredible opportunity to help shape the future of this country.”