Photo Gallery: Women in Media Holiday Toast celebrates the achievements and potential of “kick-ass women”


We are women, so hear us roar! The 2022 LA Holiday Toast, organized by Women in Media, once again hosted some of the most legendary ladies who left their mark in the entertainment industry, above as well as below the line. 

This year’s media sponsor, Gurus magazine, founded by television personality and philanthropist Derek Warburton, had this to say about the event:

Women In Media truly believes in real equality with beauty and love, and to be a sponsor for a movement like this with Guru’s Magazine as we celebrate our one year anniversary, I just feel honored, it’s incredible.”

Diane Warren and Derek Warburton, Women in Media

Honoree Diane Warren and media sponsor Derek Warburton, founder of Gurus Magazine
(Photo Credit: Neferteri Plessy)

Tema Staig, executive director and founder of Woman In Media, said that women consistently make tremendous contributions to the film and television industry, paving the way for more female talent to break through barriers. 

Tema Staig
(Photo Credit: Neferteri Plessy)

“We make it our mission to shine a light on the amazing women in our industry who should be getting all the awards and who should be in the history books,” Staig said. 

The evening was filled with stories of professionalism, artistry, craft, and trailblazing as it celebrated the extraordinary women who shared their wisdom, leadership and experience. 

Famed songwriter and Academy Awards winner Diane Warren was one of the honorees of the evening and also provided a portion of the night’s entertainment, performing a special musical dedication to her fellow honorees.

Actress Amanza Smith, who currently stars in the television reality show Selling Sunset, said she is pleased to support the WiM cause of helping women succeed in the entertainment industry.

Derek Warburton and Amanza Smith
(Photo Credit: Neferteri Plessy)

“I’m trying to become more of a voice for the women that are coming after me,” she said. “Organizations like Women In Media have allowed me to do that.

Television director Princess Monique said she is currently celebrating her best year in television yet, directing several episodes of the ABC hit comedy sitcom The Goldbergs, as well as episodes of the television series Grand Crew and Bunk’d, and others.

Princess Monique
(Photo Credit: Neferteri Plessy)

What does the WiM Holiday Toast mean to her?

“It means that I am not alone,” she said. “[Women] are still small in numbers but we are mighty in talent. To be around other women still fighting and busting down doors feels good.”

As for being a woman of color in television, Princess Monique said people have begun acknowledging that black women are severely underrepresented in the entertainment industry, and organizations like WiM help shine a light on the issue. 

“People are now becoming part of the change,” she said. “It’s opened their hearts, as we are the lowest in the member numbers for the Directors Guild of America. This type of strategic support is needed and appreciated.”

The evening’s honorees included:

Deborah L. Scott, Costume Designer – E.T., Back to the Future, Avatar: The Way of Water, Oscar-Winner for Titanic

Diane Warren, Songwriter – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing, Un-Break My Heart, If You Asked Me Too, *Oscars Award Winner

Deborah M Pratt, Executive Producer/Writer/Director – Quantum Leap, The Net, Grey’s Anatomy

Becky Sullivan, Supervising Sound Editor – The Woman King, Always Be My Maybe, The Fast and The Furious

Michelle Crenshaw, Cinematographer/Camera Operator – The Watermelon Woman, Grey’s Anatomy, NYPD Blue

The evening’s toastmasters included:

Kimberly Jimenez, Senior Vice President, Post Production Services at Sony Entertainment

Johnny Simmons, ASC Cinematographer – *2023 Emmy nomination – Family Reunion, iCarly, Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn

Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Costume Designer – Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Arc, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Three Amigos!

Romell Foster-Owens, p.g.a., Producer/Director/Writer – President, Jowharah Films, The Three Muscatels, Home Sweet Home, The Lift

Sharon Farber, Composer/Music Arranger – Brainwashed: Sex, Camera, Power, * Grammy Winner – Women Warriors: The Voices of Change, VP – The Alliance For Women Film Composers.

Warburton summed up the evening perfectly, saying it was inspiring to spend the night surrounded by people who support all women, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“Celebrating their contribution to this industry while pushing Women in Media to their next phase in sexuality, also owning who they are and fighting for truth and justice, it’s incredible,” he said. ”Women In Media truly believes in real equality with beauty and love, and to be a sponsor for a movement like this with Guru’s Magazine as we celebrate our one year anniversary is an incredible honor.”



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