“Incredibles 2” director Brad Bird and “Insecure” creator and star Issa Rae were inducted in Variety’s Hall of Fame Tuesday night alongside Paramount Pictures’ president of worldwide home media distribution Bob Buchi and YouTube global head of content Susanne Daniels.
In her acceptance speech at the Montage Beverly Hills, Rae thanked HBO, who produces “Insecure,” for giving her “space to suck.”
“I’m grateful to Casey Bloys and Amy Gravitt at HBO because they gave me so many opportunities to suck…a lot,” she said. “And then get better because that matters, and that means a lot too.
“Sometimes as people of color, as minorities, we can be crippled by fear of failure because we know we only get one chance and when you get that one chance and you f— up, people are like, ‘Well, we gave her a shot, we gave that black woman, we gave that woman, a shot and they f—ed it up for everybody, so, we tried,’” she explained. “And you know, you think about that a lot. So, to come up with so much help and so much support…that’s meant so much to me.”
Bird took the opportunity to praise the moviegoing experience and liken it to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ desire to house Macs for sale in a specific Apple Store, rather than alongside other products.
“Let’s not neglect [the moveigoing] experience, it’s the oldest experience, it’s the experience that was here in the ’20s,” he urged. “That was when movies were first powerful, and let’s not forget the power of that.”
A veteran entertainment executive who most recently was president of programming at MTV and, before that, president of Lifetime Television and the WB, Daniels has led the development of some of TV’s most iconic shows, from “Dawson’s Creek” and “Charmed” to “Smallville,” “Gilmore Girls” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Buchi took the helm of Paramount’s home entertainment business in April 2015, nine years after he came aboard as senior VP of brand marketing.
“I am really excited about the future of the business — and the future here at Paramount,” he told Variety ahead of the induction dinner. “There’s new excitement and energy and discipline, and that’s showing up in our slate and partnerships.”