This year’s Golden Globe were unlike any other. Although host Seth Meyer’s had promised no jokes about President Trump and his administration, the Globes were not without political talk. The discussion was led by the women of the #MeToo movement and the anti-sexual harassment group, Time’s Up.
Most of the attendees of tonight wore black in solidarity of the #MeToo movement; the coordinated wardrobes were part of an organized blackout by the Time’s Up campaign. Part of the efforts also included fighting sexual harassment, assault and inequality for women in all kinds of workplaces. More than 300 people in the entertainment industry raised over $15 million for a legal defense fund for those who have experienced workplace harassment. (To donate to the fund, click here: Time’s Up)
“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.”
This small but significant fashion blackout meant that the conversation on the red carpet was no longer dominated by who wore what but instead what those walking the carpet stood for. This conversation was continued in the speeches given through the night.
After being honored with the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series or TV Movie, actress Laura Dern gave a powerful speech. Reminding her colleagues and viewers that while many of us were taught not to tattle, this simple action was normalizing silencing victims. “I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.”
The highlight of the night was Oprah Winfrey’s speech during her acceptance for the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Winfrey gave a speech powerful enough to propel many to tweet out with the hashtag #Oprah2020. Though it is unknown if Winfrey will run in the next race for the presidency, this speech was powerful enough to see her as a potentially formidable candidate.
Winfrey spoke about wanting to create inspiration for other young girls who were seeing her as the first black woman to be given the Cecil B. DeMille Award. She recalled her story of seeing Sidney Poitier receive the award in 1964, and feeling pride at seeing a black man win.
In her speech, Winfrey spoke about up for the women who did not have a voice to speak up for themselves. Saying, “I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know.,” she recognized the platform she has to speak up for others.
So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”
She ended the speech by talking about Recy Taylor, a woman who had been sexually assaulted in her youth and had recently passed. Taylor had previously worked with Rosa Parks to try to convict her abusers but who was unable to do anything significant to these men.
Winfrey acknowledged that the work of women who are willing to speak up was what was changing the stories for women like Taylor in present time saying, “A new day is no the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women…and some pretty phenomenal men, …[will] become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
However, Winfrey was not alone in her openness about politics. After Winfrey’s speech, Natalie Portman called out the lack of female nominees when presenting the Best Director Category. Before reading the names of the nominees, Portman said, “here are the all-male nominees,” which elicited shock among her peers. It was during the ending of the awards ceremony that Barbara Streisand reminded everyone that she is still the only woman to have won a Globe for directing… back in 1984.
Though these were not the only significant and politically charged moments of the night, they showed the spirit of a changing industry that is working to better itself.