Michael J. Fox Honored with Impact Award at 2024 TIME100 Gala

Michael J. Fox's advocacy shines at prestigious event

by Zain ul Abedin
Michael J. Fox Honored with Impact Award at 2024 TIME100 Gala
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Actor and activist Michael J. Fox was honored with the prestigious Impact Award at the 2024 TIME100 Gala at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. This accolade, only in its second year, recognizes individuals who have significantly influenced their industry and the world at large.

The evening began with a unique Beyoncé-themed toast by actor Maya Rudolph, setting a celebratory tone. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-anchor Willie Geist introduced Fox, reminiscing about his childhood dreams of time-traveling in the iconic DeLorean or playing basketball with Fox’s werewolf character from his acting days.

“We loved Michael so much, we went along with any storyline he was in,” Geist joked, highlighting Fox's extensive impact on his fans. Geist shared a more personal connection, revealing that after his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Fox became a beacon of hope for their family.

Fox’s speech that followed resonated deeply, utilizing a poignant stanza from Hughes Mearns’ poem "Antigonish" to describe his battle with early-onset Parkinson’s disease - a metaphor for the invisible yet obstructive nature of the illness.

Fox’s advocacy extends beyond personal battles. He took a moment to acknowledge the medical community’s efforts to understand Parkinson’s biologically, expressing optimism about the strides made toward finding a cure.

His enduring dedication to this cause is supported through his foundation, which has raised significant funds for research since his diagnosis in 1991.

Fox's Enduring Influence

Fox, also celebrated for his iconic roles in "Back to the Future" and "Family Ties," has continuously used his platform to increase awareness and foster support for Parkinson’s research, making him a beloved figure both on and off the screen.

Ryan Reynolds, a board member of Fox’s foundation and a close friend, contributed a heartfelt tribute to TIME’s list, describing Fox as “funny, warm, handsome, and intensely smart”. Reynolds emphasized how Fox's openness about his condition has comforted many, including his family.

The TIME100 Gala, a fixture in celebrating global influence, featured performances by Dua Lipa and Fantasia Barrino, adding to the evening’s glamour. This year’s event will be broadcasted in a special TV event on ABC, allowing a broader audience to partake in the festivities and hear from influencers like Patrick Mahomes and Maya Rudolph.

Michael J. Fox