Cynthia Nixon said her Tony-winning role in Broadway’s “The Little Foxes” represents the era of President Donald Trump because it offers a “very brutal examination of American capitalism” — despite the fact that Lillian Hellman wrote it back in 1939.
“It’s a classic America play… it’s unbelievably Trumpian in just every way,” Nixon told TheWrap CEO and founder Sharon Waxman at the site’s Power Women Breakfast in New York on Thursday.
Nixon, the Emmy-winning “Sex and the City Star,” earned her second Tony Award earlier this month for her role in a play that she called “gorgeous” and an indictment of “greed, racism and misogyny” that mirrors modern politics.
Nixon found special connections to the Trump progeny in “The Little Foxes” story of two brothers and a sister who are in business together but have a hard time determining where personal relationships end and business relationships begin.
The actress wasn’t the only one with Trump in mind at the June 29 breakfast hosted by TheWrap founder Sharon Waxman, film and TV producer Laura Wagner and Shelley Zalis, CEO of the Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. saber fencer who became the first Muslim American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, said she feels “unsafe” in Trump’s America.
“I had someone follow me… accusing me of carrying a bomb,” Muhammad said. “When we say we feel unsafe, when we say we’re afraid, I feel like you should believe us.”
Muhammad said one thing she can appreciate about the Trump administration is that it has unearthed some negative realities about America.
“If we don’t talk about them, if we don’t acknowledge that, that the racism and bigotry exists then we will not be able to change it,” Muhammad said.
The event also included a panel featuring attorney Lisa Bloom, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.
Bloom discussed how she strove to make good on a promise to a client who had accused former Fox News star Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment.
“It’s way overdue, he’s got to go,” Bloom said she told the woman, a former Fox News employee who thought it was an “impossible” task to hold the primetime host accountable. Although her client didn’t have the money or the resources of the Murdoch family, Bloom said, “the power of public shaming” goes a long way.
“I’m very comfortable using that power,” Bloom said.
James, who shared the panel with Bloom, was one of the women protesting O’Reilly.
“When Lisa litigated, I brought the streets to the front of Fox. It’s really all about money, that’s all they care about,” James said. “Ultimately they recognized that it effected their revenue… we just brought them down.”
James also had Trump on her mind, calling him “Agent Orange” and calling for opposition to the Republicans’ health care proposal.”We’ve got to rise and we’ve got to resist,” she said. “We’ve got to kill that bill because that bill will kill us.”
Poitras, an Oscar-winning filmmaker whose investigation of WikiLeaks had her placed on a terrorist watch list, said Trump ran on a “white supremacist, misogynistic” platform. She said the government considers her an “anti-American filmmaker.”
Waxman asked Poitras if she lives in fear and the filmmaker said she wouldn’t take that question lightly. “There have been many times I have been afraid for my life,” Poitras said. “But some things are possible only because you take risks.”
Poitras said that many people warned her not to meet Edward Snowden but she “couldn’t live” without doing it.
In another segment of the breakfast, Beautycon Media CEO Moj Mahdara joked that she once exposed sexism when asked how she runs a beauty company despite not wearing makeup.
“You should ask John Demsey, who runs Estee Lauder,” Mahdara said as the crowd erupted with applause.
The Power Women Breakfast series brings together influential women of entertainment, media, technology and brands in key cities to network and connect. TheWrap has built a broad community of professional women who are decision makers and mothers, leaders and wives, innovators and activists.
The franchise is now in four cities Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.