Tina Fey opened her speech at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon by shouting out the women in her life, including Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph and Kay Cannon, saying, “My whole life is just ride-or-die bitches as far as the eye can see.”
She said the word “bitch” is a compliment, quoting the titular heroine in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” the Netflix series she co-created and co-executive produces.
“These women, my community, they’re in my head all the time, everything I write is just because I want them to think it’s good. I literally don’t care what anyone else thinks, and I’m mostly saying that in case the theater critic for the New York Post is in the room,” Fey said, jokingly referencing a negative review about her newly opened Broadway show “Mean Girls.”
The actress, writer and producer spoke about how when she entered comedy, women were treated like cappuccino machines, meaning a show never thought they needed more than one. That early experience instilled in her a need to hire more diverse staffs when she became the one in charge, saying, “I made a vow to myself to not accept that privilege of being the only woman in the room, to make sure I was not a cappuccino machine and to use any power I had to create opportunity for others,” Fey added.
Fey also used her speech to discuss her support for an organization close to her heart: Reading Is Fundamental, the nation’s leading literacy nonprofit since 1966.
“Reading is power. Reading is access. Reading is the foundation for everything,” she said. “Every child should be able to read.”