Special Report

50 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment

Source: gageskidmore / Flickr

Lena Waithe
> Job: Actor, producer
> Age: 34
> Wikipedia page views (2 yr.): 1,448,145

After earning acclaim as a writer, Lena Waithe used her fame to lift others. Waithe became the first black woman to take home an Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series for the Netflix show “Master of None.” She created the Showtime series “The Chi” and now serves as the co-chair of the Committee of Black Writers at the Writers Guild. Waithe aims to create more opportunities in film and television for people of color and LGBTQ artists and filmmakers.

Source: Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

Issa Rae
> Job: Actor, producer
> Age: 34
> Wikipedia page views (2 yr.): 1,583,652

Issa Rae started her career on YouTube with a series called “Awkward Black Girl.” She’s now the creator and star of the hit HBO show “Insecure.” At 34 years old, Rae’s career is just getting started. She has starred in several films, has more starring films on the way, and also has a development deal with HBO for future projects.

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
> Job: Actor, producer
> Age: 33
> Wikipedia page views (2 yr.): 1,877,791

The work of Phoebe Waller-Bridge illustrates her many talents. The young Brit wrote, produced, and acted in two successful series: “Crashing” and “Fleabag.” Waller-Bridge also wrote and produced the series “Killing Eve” for BBC America — an endeavor that earned her an Emmy nomination.

Source: Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

Octavia Spencer
> Job: Actor, producer
> Age: 46
> Wikipedia page views (2 yr.): 2,328,679

Octavia Spencer has become a familiar face in recent years, appearing in popular films such as “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water.” Spencer is also active behind the scenes. She co-executive produced the drama “Fruitvale Station” — which she also appeared in — and executive produced “Green Book,” which took home the coveted Best Picture award at this year’s Oscars.

Source: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / Wikimedia Commons

Viola Davis
> Job: Actor, producer
> Age: 53
> Wikipedia page views (2 yr.): 3,230,300

Viola Davis overcame an impoverished childhood to become the first and only African American to win a Tony, Oscar, and Emmy Award. Davis has starred in the popular ABC series “How to Get Away with Murder” since 2014, and she has been a producer of the show since 2016.