Meet the Woman Behind the Most Powerful List of Women in Hollywood


The Hollywood Reporter‘s Most Powerful Women in Hollywood list hadn’t even come out and it was already been written about, this time in the form of a New York Times piece about how influential the list is. Not on the list but clearly worthy of inclusion: the woman who controls it.

THR churns out a lot of content like this: roundtables with actors, writers and directors, lists of powerful lawyers, “definitive” polls of which movies those in Hollywood like the best. But apparently this particular list is so noteworthy it gets coverage not as much about who is on it but about how much women in Hollywood are dying to be on it.

What Powerful Hollywood Women Really Want (Besides an Oscar): Battling for The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 100 Women List” has struck readers as both sexist (why just a piece on the women battling for their particular list and not a piece on the battle over one of the other ones?) and the product of an excellent PR person at THR. While the potential sexism of writing a piece about the list isn’t addressed, the Times‘ Brooke Barnes does note that “the hubbub” over it “strikes some people in Hollywood as distasteful because it can be viewed as pitting women against one another and as undermining how far female executives have come in an industry that remains very much controlled by men.”

“Even some of the women who populate the list see it as overtly sexist,” Barnes adds, before going on to quote Janice Min, the editor of THR:

“Being ghettoized as some sort of special-needs group is not helpful to me,” said one female executive, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity because she did not want to anger Ms. Min. (Now that’s power — although Ms. Min herself does not appear on the list.)
Ms. Min responded, “It has not been an easy road for women in Hollywood, and it continues to not be easy, and that’s partly why we feel strongly about recognizing women as important players.

Min grabbed her position in 2010 after working at Us Weekly. Though she puts this particular list together with the help of a team and in tandem with THR executive editor Matthew Belloni, it is she who is quoted the most in the Times piece. There’s a reason for that: promoted earlier this year to an even larger position overseeing Billboard as well as THR, Min has been credited with (according to the LA Weekly and others) turning the publication from a “dry, highly specialized daily that was being read by fewer and fewer people” to “a slick, glossy, thoroughly modern magazine-style weekly.”

So while some might gripe over the mention of a woman excluded from the list “burst[ing] into tears” when she found out or others painted as “flat-out begging and pleading” to have themselves or their chosen person included, it’s clear who the most powerful woman of all is: Janice Min, who got us talking about THR before we even considered the women they deem worthy.

Image via Jordan Strauss/Invision for THR/AP

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