Advertisement

‘A Quiet Place’ Star Millicent Simmonds Says Hollywood is Becoming More Inclusive and Accessible to the Deaf Community: ‘People Seem to Be More Open-Minded’

New York Women in Film & Television hosted its 44th annual Muse Awards on Wednesday afternoon in New York City. More than 700 guests gathered at Cipriani 42nd Street to celebrate the achievements of honorees Fran Drescher, Alex Borstein, Kyra Sedgwick, Tantoo Cardinal, Latasha Gillespie, Millicent Simmonds, Michèle Stephenson and Oscar-winner Raney Aronson-Rath.

SAG-AFTRA executive vice president, Linda Powell, accepted an award on behalf of Drescher, who wasn’t able to make it to the gala due to her father’s recent death.

More from Variety

Powell read directly from a statement written by the SAG-AFTRA president, who pointed out personal challenges she faced in 2023 during the historic Hollywood strikes. “I couldn’t escape the misogyny that plagued press coverage of the strike and our negotiations,” Drescher wrote. “It was disgusting, but I refused and will always refuse to conform to masculine expectations.

“Even during the most challenging weeks at that strike, I remained inspired by those thousands who came to the picket lines and raised their voices refusing to allow changing technology and business models to displace their ability to have a career in the performing arts,” “The Nanny” star continued. “I was emboldened by thoughts of future generations whose dreams of achieving sustainable livelihoods needed to be protected. As I told our 160,000 SAG AFTRA members, it’s hard to change. We’re in a different era now. And sometimes the best way to create a better world is to refuse to accept anything less. Know your value. Don’t go on sale.”

Fellow honoree Simmonds also spoke on the importance of Hollywood recognizing progressive change recently. The “A Quiet Place” actor, who is deaf, told Variety, “I’ve already seen such a major shift in the industry. In the past few years, you see more things that are accessible. You see more captions. You see more inclusion in the industry. People seem to be more open-minded. I’m seeing that there is more compassion. I’m so grateful for that shift.”

During the NYWIFT event that puts female luminaries in the spotlight, Borstein also spoke about the significance of being an honoree.

“My biggest piece of advice to people is that it is wonderful to have inspiration and a muse, but inspire yourself,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Emmy-winner said.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.