The annual Butterfly Ball gala organized by Chrysalis was held on Saturday night in Los Angeles. This event honored notable industry figures including Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane from Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, as well as Chris Hart, who serves as the co-head of talent at UTA. With the writers strike just concluded and SAG-AFTRA still on strike, Ike Barinholtz took the opportunity to lightheartedly address the current atmosphere during his presentation of the awards to Drake and Kahane.
“This is one of the first events in town where we are celebrating post the end of the writers strike,” Barinholtz said, garnering enthusiastic applause from the audience at Los Angeles’ Petersen Museum. “As a proud WGA member, I just want to say I see a lot of folks in this room who work at studios and streamers, and I just would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you guys for picketing. It was a joke, just a big goof, and in the coming weeks and months when I’m pitching TV shows and movies, just remember that tonight I apologized.”
Aside from the comedic tone, the Butterfly Ball had a serious purpose. Chrysalis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating and preventing homelessness. Their mission involves providing job-readiness programs, individualized supportive services, and paid transitional employment to individuals facing barriers in the workforce. Barinholtz commended Lionsgate execs for their contributions to the industry, stating that they have given many people their first breakthrough, taking risks and offering the necessary support for success. He declared them not only exemplary movie producers but also remarkable human beings.
Following a video montage featuring congratulatory messages from notable figures such as Will Ferrell, Kerry Washington, and Robert De Niro, Joe Drake took the stage to express his support for Chrysalis. Drake mentioned that he and Nathan Kahane have been advocating for organizations that aim to bring lasting change to individuals’ lives for the past decade. He emphasized their desire to uplift hardworking people who face overwhelming circumstances, praising Chrysalis as an extraordinary organization that aligns with their mission.
Emcee Terry Crews shared his personal connection to the cause, recounting his struggles to secure a job in entertainment after retiring from the NFL. Eventually, he registered with a temp agency and took a job sweeping floors at a factory, which provided the resources to sustain himself and his family. Crews highlighted that over 1,700 individuals had the opportunity to work transitional jobs with Chrysalis last year. Stephanie Jeffcoat, a successful Chrysalis program participant, received the John Dillon Award during the event.
Another honored guest of the evening was Chris Hart, who received his award from longtime client John Cho. Cho praised Hart’s strategic understanding of the larger picture and his ability to navigate complex situations in the entertainment industry. Hart’s clients, including Nick Jonas, Common, Queen Latifah, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ryan Seacrest, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sebastian Maniscalco, and Xolo Maridueña, expressed their admiration for his expertise in a video message.
In his acceptance speech, Chris Hart shared a personal story of losing his father at a young age while he was starting his career in the entertainment business. Hart acknowledged the support he received from people who believed in him and helped shape him into the person he is today. He expressed his commitment to paying it forward and contributing to organizations like Chrysalis, highlighting the importance of personal growth and helping others in the workplace.