Just when it looked like it wasn’t possible for Barbie to be any more in the spotlight at the 29th Critics Choice Awards on Jan. 14, 2024, which it heads into with a record-setting 18 nominations, along comes the news that the film will also be guaranteed at least one special moment at the podium.

America Ferrera, who received a best supporting actress Critics Choice nom for her portrayal in the film of a Mattel employee whose daughter is skeptical about Barbies, has been tapped to receive the 8th annual SeeHer Award, which “honors a woman who advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries.”

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Previous recipients: Viola Davis (2017), Gal Gadot (2018), Claire Foy (2019), Kristen Bell (2020), Zendaya (2021), Halle Berry (2022) and Janelle Monáe (2023).

Ferrera made her name with the TV show Ugly Betty, for which she won Emmy and SAG awards, and films like Real Women Have Curves, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the animated How to Train Your Dragon series. In 2023, she appeared not only in Barbie, but also in Dumb Money.

She has also been an outspoken activist. In 2016, with her husband Ryan Piers Williams and friend Wilmer Valderrama, she co-founded HARNESS, a community of artists, influencers and grassroots leaders leveraging art and storytelling to power change and create a more equitable world. In 2020, she launched Poderistas, a digital lifestyle community and non-profit built to inform, affirm and inspire Latinas, alongside nine other prominent women including Eva Longoria Bastón and Christy Haubegger. She has also spoken at major events such as TED, the DNC and March for Our Lives, and was the opening speaker and chair of the Artists’ Committee for the Women’s March on Washington in 2017.

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