Seventh Annual Variety500 Unveiled: The 500 Most Important People in Global Media

Variety500 2023
Cheyne Gateley/Variety

As if 2022 wasn’t difficult enough for the global entertainment industry, 2023 came along and said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

A pair of strikes paralyzed showbiz for much of the year, bringing film and TV production to a screeching halt and challenging management at all levels of the industry to question their most basic assumptions about what it takes to succeed.

But it’s in these difficult times when true leadership shines. The seventh annual Variety500 was all about finding the individuals who can make lemonade out of lemons, the type of people who not only face daunting circumstances but rise to the occasion.

This only makes the accomplishments of those who’ve secured a spot on this year’s Variety500 list all the more impressive. It requires real pros to shine under such tough circumstances. Thankfully, there was no shortage of potential candidates, whether they were executives, directors, producers, writers, actors or game developers.

That’s why this year’s Variety500 feels extra special. The folks who’ve made it onto this list deserve a big round of applause. They’ve managed to stand out and excel in their roles during a time when it’s increasingly challenging to differentiate oneself. To see who made the grade in 2023, visit the Variety500 portal.

The Variety500 has made a name for itself as the ultimate benchmark of power in an industry with huge global influence. No wonder there’s constant chatter, both inside and outside Variety, about who’s going to make the list each year, but our guided selection process hasn’t changed much since the inception of the franchise.

Building the list entails bringing the Variety staff together to make subjective assessments regarding the accomplishments of more than 1,000 different individuals over the past 12 months, as well as how they’ve distinguished themselves prior to that period. But as an annual list, the Variety500 tends to give more weight to recent career performance than past work.

Excellence, especially in the diverse field of media and entertainment, cannot be measured in a single way. The sector encompasses a broad array of career paths. The Variety editorial team scrutinizes every sector in content production and distribution to identify individuals for potential inclusion. They particularly seek out those who innovate, take risks, stimulate growth and make impactful moves that attract the attention of both consumers and industry professionals.

The final selection of individuals is the culmination of months of careful deliberation. Throughout the year, a series of meetings are held to refine the list. Each candidate’s merits are evaluated based on thorough research and consultation with the wider industry.

In conclusion, the Variety500 list is a result of a meticulous selection process. We strive to be as fair and comprehensive as possible, ensuring the recognition of those who truly make a difference in the media and entertainment sector.

If you have any further questions about Variety500, please inquire via email ( We also accept pitches year-round at that address, so feel free to let us know who is about to have an incredible 2024 in media!

From Variety US