Stars use Golden Globes platform to further equality movement

Oprah Winfrey's groundbreaking acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award has already sparked discussion over a presidential campaign in 2020.

Oprah Winfrey's groundbreaking acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award has already sparked discussion over a presidential campaign in 2020.

Image By: Image Courtesy of The Daily Beast

The 75th Golden Globe Awards on NBC Sunday night was the first major awards ceremony to be held since the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment accusations were revealed. Before the show even began, stars appeared on the red carpet draped in all black to support the Time’s Up organization. Powered by women, Time's Up addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace, especially regarding sexual harassment, assault and inequity. Eight actresses — including Amy Poehler, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Emma Watson — were accompanied by activists in various fields, from sports to immigration to preventing sexual violence against farmworkers. This was done in hopes of shifting the public’s attention from abusers to survivors and lasting solutions. The sea of black on the red carpet cast a somber, yet striking shadow on the evening and resonated throughout the ceremony.

The night’s most memorable moments revolved around powerful women in Hollywood discussing the #MeToo movement and promoting Time’s Up, from Oprah Winfrey’s inspirational speech to Natalie Portman's slight, but powerful jab pointing out the all-male nominees for the “Best Director” category. Portman’s comment was made all the more prevalent after Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” won the award for “Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.” Barbra Streisand echoed this remark with a comment regarding her win for Best Director in 1984. “I’m the only woman to get the best director award,” Streisand said upon taking the stage. “That was 34 years ago. Folks, time’s up!” Before Streisand announced the last category of the evening, Best Motion Picture — Drama, which went to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” she stated that more women directors are needed and more need to be nominated. While “Three Billboards” and “Big Little Lies” reaped in numerous awards, Oprah’s speech undoubtedly stole the show.

All hail Oprah Winfrey. Her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille award not only brought the audience to its feet (multiple times), but has everyone hoping for “Oprah 2020.” Winfrey is the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award, which is presented for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Like she has done many times before, Oprah used her prominent platform to call out injustice in Hollywood and beyond, for both women and minorities. It’s difficult to summarize such an emotionally and politically charged speech: My words pale in comparison to hers. You can (and should) read the full transcript of her speech here.

Seth Meyers — who admittedly stated he was in a not-so-great position as a straight, white male hosting the awards this year — did what few could’ve done: have an opening monologue that was funny, self-deprecating and poignant. He was also one of the few men in the room to actually speak about women in Hollywood’s struggle for gender equality. Most men sported “Time’s Up” pins but few took the time to address the issue in acceptance speeches or on the red carpet. Meyers stated, “The people in this room worked really hard to get here, but it’s clearer now than ever before that the women had to work even harder. So thank you for all the amazing work that you’ve all done and continue to do. I look forward to you leading us into whatever comes next.” You can read the rest of his opening monologue here.

The Golden Globe Awards is widely known as the younger, less distinguished award when compared to the Oscars. However, it set an excellent example of the kind of dialogue that needs to be happening in Hollywood. It is exactly this kind of discussion that needs to continue to develop and be heard by all races, ethnicities and genders throughout the nation.

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