“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – Fox Searchlight Pictures(LOS ANGELES) — Yes, there were a bunch of awards given out last night in Hollywood at the 75th Annual Golden Globes, but who won what took a back seat to who said what, as the evening was punctuated with passionate and heartfelt speeches from women praising and championing the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up initiative.
Seth Meyers got the show started with joke after joke about the fallout of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandals, taking on Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and men in general. Unfortunately, he disappeared for most of the rest of the show.
Every female star who took the stage last night wore black in solidarity with victims of abuse and assault, including Oprah Winfrey, who received the Cecil B. DeMille Award and brought down the house with her rousing and touching speech. She began by recalling watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar in 1964, and how it inspired her, and how she hoped that she was inspiring young girls watching her tonight, as she became the first black woman ever to be presented with the honor.
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” she said. “I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories…This year, we became the story.”
“I want to tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault,” she added. “Because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”
Oprah then shared the story of Recy Taylor, who in 1944 was raped by a group of white men in Alabama, and whose case was championed by Rosa Parks. “Recy Taylor died 10 days ago. She lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. Women were not believed,” said Oprah, who then remarked about abusive men, “Their time is up! Their time is up!”
“I want all the girls watching to know a new day is on the horizon,” she continued. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again!” The applause was thunderous.
Other women who spoke out about the Time’s Up initiative, and the #MeToo movement, included Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Nicole Kidman of Big Little Lies, which won four awards, and Frances McDormand, who was named Best Actress in a Drama for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. That movie also won four awards, including Best Drama.
Also speaking out: Rachel Brosnahan who won Best Actress in a TV Comedy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Elisabeth Moss, who won Best Actress in a TV Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale.
Lady Bird was named Best Comedy or Musical, though its director, Greta Gerwig, was not nominated. Presenter Natalie Portman pointedly made reference to this when she announced the nominees for Best Director by saying, “And here are the all-male nominees.” Guillermo del Toro won that category for The Shape of Water.
But it wasn’t just sexual harassment that women spoke out against last night: The wage gap between male and female actors, as well as the lack of women in powerful positions in Hollywood, were also remarked upon.
Awarding the Best Actress in a Comedy trophy, Jessica Chastain said, “The winner will receive the 25 percent of her salary that went missing in the wage gap.” Presenting the Best Actor in a Drama award,Geena Davis said that the winner would give “half of their salary back so that women can make more than them.”
Barbra Streisand, presenting the final award of the night for Best Drama, was introduced as the only woman in history ever to win the Golden Globe for Best Director. But, she noted, “That was 34 years ago! Folks, time’s up!”
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