Channing Dungey Talks Failure, TV's Strong Female Role Models in Wake of 'Roseanne' Cancellation

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The ABC Entertainment president was honored with the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television on the Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards.

She quoted Michelle Obama and author Washington Irving, praised the virtues of kindness and shared the highlight along with her younger daughter Eden, however in accepting Women in Film’s Lucy Award for Excellence in Television, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey didn’t deal with the small-screen’s most controversial topic of the month — Roseanne Barr. 

Then once more, perhaps she did not want to say Barr by title with strains like this: “When we see issues which might be taking place round us which might be counter to our values and our beliefs, our actions should match our phrases.” Dungey, who was named head of ABC Entertainment in February 2016, most just lately was behind the choice to cancel comedy Roseanne, after Barr’s racist tweet prompted an uproar. Within hours of Barr posting the tweet, Dungey had made the swift resolution to cancel the very best rated present on tv. “Roseanne’s Twitter assertion is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values,” Dungey stated that day on May 29.

Since then, Dungey has saved a comparatively low-profile and made one public look over the previous two weeks, delivering remarks at Step Up’s Inspiration Awards. Behind the scenes, sources inform THR that community executives, together with Dungey, have been engaged on a option to reboot the collection and transfer ahead with out Barr. 

The Lucy Award, based in 1994, is known as for TV icon Lucille Ball and acknowledges these whose accomplishments have enhanced the notion of ladies by means of the medium of tv. Past recipients embrace Tracee Ellis Ross, Taraji P. Henson, Jill Soloway and Kerry Washington. Women in Film’s Crystal + Lucy Awards — introduced by Max Mara, Lancome and Lexus — have since 1977 honored girls within the leisure business. This 12 months’s occasion, on the Beverly Hilton, additionally honored actresses Brie Larson and Alexandra Shipp, music producers NOVA Wav and the ladies (each in entrance of and behind the digital camera) of Black Panther.

Ellen Pompeo, a community icon herself who stars on ABC’s long-running hit present Grey’s Anatomy, introduced the Lucy Award to Dungey and in doing so, expressed her gratitude for having a front-row seat to Dungey’s profession these previous 15 years. She described it like “being in a champagne bubble” the place something is feasible. 

In accepting, Dungey first touched on how she was influenced by tv rising up as a TV junkie whose display time was carefully monitored every week by her dad and mom. “It was essential for me and for different younger women to see girls on TV portrayed as sturdy and good as a result of I really imagine that should you can see it, you may be it,” she stated, garnering laughs when she stated that this was earlier than the DVR, ahem, VCR period. “Stories inform us who we’re and what we will imagine in. They allow us to see ourselves in others or think about one thing even higher.” 

She continued: “Great exhibits can remind us how a lot we have now in widespread regardless of our variations. Over the years, fortunately, the profile of multi-dimensional, outspoken and various girls on TV and leisure has grown much more. It’s been an honor to assist showcase sturdy unbiased girls on tv like Meredith Grey, Rainbow Johnson, Annalise Keating, Beverly Goldberg, Jessica Wong and the gone however by no means forgotten Olivia Pope.”

Dungey additionally praised some real-life characters in her private story, together with her first boss in tv, Mark Pedowitz, “an unimaginable mentor,” who all the time responded to good concepts and good technique with “let’s give it a shot.” Current boss Bob Iger additionally bought a shout out.

“There’s nothing extra fantastic or extra releasing than these 5 phrases,” Dungey stated. “Those phrases provide the freedom to strive, however equally as importantly, they provide the freedom to fail. I see the identical management at Disney at this time with Bob Iger. Bob talks so much concerning the significance of danger taking and having the center to take probabilities as a result of in his view, ending up with one thing that is nice often means somebody took a danger to get there. And that is the place the best issues in life come from — from giving it a shot and taking an opportunity. If you fail, so what, it is simply a part of the method. You be taught from it and you may work out learn how to do it otherwise the following time.”

She provided some recommendation for these within the room about learn how to navigate by means of the method when it looks like the playing cards are stacked in opposition to you. “If you actually love for one thing, advocate for it, pursue it and do every thing in your energy to present it life even when everybody round you would not get it, even when they inform you its ridiculous. You should imagine in your self. You should imagine in your concepts and your means to choose your self up should you fail.”

She then title checked girls who served as function fashions for her whereas she was rising by means of the ranks, girls like Lucy Fisher, Sherry Lansing, Gail Berman, Anne Sweeney and Oprah Winfrey. “The means to see girls in key roles is extraordinarily essential,” she stated.

Also essential: Making the alternatives on the place to put one’s values. She quoted Obama’s “once they go low, we go excessive” after which referenced good manners and braveness. “The world isn’t the kindest, however I select kindness,” Dungey stated. “The world may be daunting, however I select to be courageous.” 





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