Having thick skin comes with building a business and a brand in entertainment, and the key to succeeding is knowing how and when to ignore negativity.
In a Power Women Summit 2021 discussion presented by WrapWomen, Elite World Group CEO Julia Haart recalled facing a variety of challenges when transforming her agency into a metaverse company in 2019. The company had been transforming from a modeling agency to a media company and began digitizing all their products, creating avatars and brands to create experiential products. Your favorite stars’ avatars will go shopping with you, for example. This was before Facebook recently rebranded as Meta, and few were talking about the metaverse and augmented and virtual reality platforms for it.
“When I was doing all those things, I literally got mocked constantly,” Haart said. “Because I didn’t have that past, it made it all the more difficult to be taken seriously. People love handing over my accomplishments, my work, everything that I invented, over to some guy.”
Standing up for your mission is important, Haart noted. In her experience, it was about learning to let the personal attacks and comments go; instead, focus on your work and the mission you are after. “If it’s something personal, I genuinely don’t care. … If you’re going to mess with my mission, I’m coming for you.”
Haart was joined on the panel by Tracy Tutor, Cynthia Bailey, Christine Chiu, and Glamour Editor in Chief Samantha Barry, who moderated the discussion.
The women discussed dealing with negative people on social media. “One thing you have to take in stride being on social media, whether you’re a reality star or not, is that it’s a very lonely place,” Tutor, a real estate broker on “Million Dollar Listing LA,” said. “A lot of people will go there that don’t really have any place else to go. It is a responsibility to sort of stand by your mission.”
Part of the problem female leaders face is also negativity from other women. Tutor recently had a conflict with a woman on social media. Tutor was being criticized for what she looked like and what she wore. After exchanging a series of direct messages with the person, she received an apology.
“It really bothers me that women tear each other down like that. We’re our biggest enemies,” Tutor said.
It’s something Cynthia Bailey, entrepreneur and personality from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is all too familiar with. As a reality star, she said, “The trolls really go in on the Housewives.” She said one way of combating negative energy is with empathy.
“It’s like open season for us. … I don’t want to argue and go back and forth with trolls, with people who I don’t know, who don’t care about me. What works for me honestly is, if you are really offensive, I just block you. I don’t want you privy to my life,” she added.
Christine Chiu is one of the stars and producers of Netflix reality series “Bling Empire,” about wealthy Asian-American socialites in Los Angeles. Chiu said one of the benefits of going on reality TV was to expose her culture to more people.
“We knew that the impact the show would have would far outweigh the personal risks we would be taking, and that impact is normalizing Asian faces, voices and stories,” she said.
The Power Women Summit is the largest annual gathering of the most influential women in entertainment, media and technology. The event aims to inspire and empower women across the landscape of their professional careers and personal lives. This year’s PWS provides three days of education, mentorship, workshops and networking around the globe – to promote this year’s theme, “Represent.”