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Megyn Kelly, Tina Fey talk empowerment in the time of Trump

Associated Press logo Associated Press 12/7/2016 By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer
Commentator Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Commentator Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "What an amazing year it's been for women," Tina Fey shouted out Wednesday morning before she buckled over with a sustained and slightly maniacal laugh. Speaking to a room of celebrities, Hollywood execs and reporters in Los Angeles at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment event, Fey, accepting the Sherry Lansing Award for Leadership with her usual wit and humor, also said she wondered "how we can proceed in dignity in this increasingly ugly, misogynistic time?"

Tina Fey, recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Tina Fey, recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

She suggested looking to her award's namesake, Sherry Lansing, the former CEO of Paramount Pictures for inspiration.

Actress Emma Stone poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Actress Emma Stone poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"You know Sherry Lansing has witnessed some nonsense and some behavior that the young people today would call 'triggering,'" Fey said. "And yet she was able to flourish with all of her humanity intact ... Maybe that's the mantra we can all take with us over the next four years."

Actors Geena Davis, left, and Susan Sarandon, co-stars of the 1991 film "Thelma & Louise," pose at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Actors Geena Davis, left, and Susan Sarandon, co-stars of the 1991 film "Thelma & Louise," pose at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Fey said she didn't want to come and talk about Donald Trump at the event, which included guests and presenters such as Emma Stone, Simone Biles, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon and Jon Hamm.

Journalist Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Journalist Megyn Kelly poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"When I get written up in Breitbart it's because I want them to be mad that I'm making an all-female Hitler biopic," she quipped.

Actor Jon Hamm flashes a look to photographers as he arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Actor Jon Hamm flashes a look to photographers as he arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

But the president-elect was at least a consistent subtext to the proceedings of the morning, which opened with remarks from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly,

2016 U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles waves to photographers at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press 2016 U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles waves to photographers at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

"The subject of 'women' was everywhere this year," Kelly said. "And sometimes, let's face it, in disturbing ways."

Writer/director Ryan Murphy, recipient of the inaugural Equity in Entertainment Award, poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Writer/director Ryan Murphy, recipient of the inaugural Equity in Entertainment Award, poses at The Hollywood Reporter's 25th Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at MILK Studios on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Kelly, however, said that she has "high hopes for (Trump) despite the tweets" and that there is "much to admire about Donald Trump," which elicited a hearty "boo" from members of the audience and a middle finger from attendee Kathy Griffin.

"We should appeal to his best angels and hold him to account when the dark forces appear," Kelly said. "If a fight is unavoidable then we fight with composure and with grace."

The message across the board was action, and, as Fey said the power of saying "no" without negative repercussions, "whether it's writing a pilot for a bad actor or the butter scene in 'Last Tango in Paris' or telling Roger Ailes to put his hamburger meat back in the freezer."

Ryan Murphy, accepting the inaugural Equity in Entertainment award, spoke about how he is trying to make a difference for women, people of color and the LGBTQ community in Hollywood through his Half Foundation, which aims to put those marginalized groups in 50 percent of directing jobs.

"How as a minority could I have been so blind and so selfish?" Murphy said. "I was personally part of the system that was failing our business."

In just 10 months of his program, he's already made good on giving 60 percent of his directing jobs to women.

"What I've learned is if you have power and you want to bring positive change, everyone will conspire to help you do that," Murphy said. "But you have to speak up."

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

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