Time unveiled its new 100 Women of the Year project today, but there will no longer be a fancy event to launch it on International Women’s Day.
Speakers, including news personality Katie Couric, are now free Sunday evening after execs at the Marc Benioff-owned magazine decided to postpone the Manhattan party amid coronavirus fears.
“After much consideration of current developments around COVID-19, and the health of our guests, we have decided to postpone our 100 Women of the Year event,” organizers said in a notice Thursday, adding that it will announce a new date shortly.
Guests were set to celebrate Time’s latest project, which recognizes the most influential women of each year from 1920-2019, over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Town Stages theater in the trendy TriBeCa neighborhood. There, the plan was to screen an exclusive short documentary, produced in collaboration with award-winning filmmaker Alma Har’el. That was to be followed followed by a panel conversation about the Women of the Year project, featuring former Time editor in chief Nancy Gibbs, Couric and Har’el. Additional speakers and guests were not made public, but it was no doubt meant to be a glitzy event filled with famous faces.
It has become customary for the magazine to promote its Time 100 franchise with glossy, celebrity-filled events over the years. At the end of last year and in a bid to build off the success of its 15-year-old Time 100 list of the most influential people and reach a younger audience, the magazine invited a collection of the next 100 Big Things to a gathering at Pier 17 in the Seaport District.
And in April, it hosted its Time 100’s first summit, where speakers included Hillary Clinton, House speaker Nancy Pelosi, Apple chief executive Time Cook, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King.
As for its latest project, each of the 100 Women of the Year have been recognized with a TIME cover that is visually emblematic of the period its subject represents. Recipients include Greta Thunberg, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. In addition to the covers, the initiative features profiles by notable contributors of some of the Women of the Year — Brittney Cooper profiles Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Melinda Gates writes about Tu Youyou and Natalie Portman pens a piece on Jacqueline Kennedy.
Of the project, Time executive editor and Women of the Year editorial director Kelly Conniff, said: “For me, seeing women on the cover of a magazine created by men for ‘busy men,’ as Time’s founders wrote in their original prospectus, is always powerful. I joined Time in 2012, when over the course of a year just a handful of women were featured on the cover. In 2019, Time featured more solo women on its cover than men for the first time in our 97-year history. The world has changed and Time has too, but there have always been women worthy of Time’s cover.”
Time is among a sea of canceled events due to concerns over COVID-19. Among the many other events that have been postponed is Shoptalk. Leaders of the annual retail and e-commerce event, set to be held later this month in Las Vegas, have decided to reschedule the conference to mid-September.
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