Women dominated the 75th Golden Globe Awards – and it’s about time. The solidarity of women was just one of the winners of the night, with actresses dressed in black as a symbol of protest at injustice throughout the film industry. The night was amplified by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the personal stories that drive them.
Even more, the biggest winners Sunday night were films and television series that center women featuring strong female narratives – Lady Bird, Three Billboards and The Shape of Water on the big screen, and Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on television.
And then there was Oprah. What is there to say about this outstanding, powerful woman, role model, and future President of the United States? Oprah received the honorable Cecil B. DeMille Award and used the opportunity to deliver a powerful speech that will be remembered for a long time.
The OWN founder, former talk show host, actress, film and TV producer and humanitarian became the first black woman to be given the award. She recalled the moment that would change her future – as a young girl watching Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the best-actor Oscar in 1964. And here she stood herself, referencing the young girls who may be watching her accept her Award and being the first African-American to do so.
She tied that vision to the prospect of young girls today seeing her get her DeMille Award — and being the first African-American woman to do so. Oprah covered many important issues in her speech, including today’s press, civil rights and violence against women. She celebrated women who were brave enough to tell their stories.
“I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room is celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.”
She shared the tragic story of Recy Taylor, a woman who brought her brutal rape case to the attention of NAACP officials including Rosa Parks, who investigated the crime in a time and “culture broken by brutally powerful men. Women were not believed.”
But that time is over, Oprah told us. She said that the reign of abusive men was coming to an end: “Their time is up!” More work needs to be done – not just in Hollywood, but in all industries.
I went to a Live with Oprah show in 2013 and even had the honour of meeting her (ever so briefly). Watching her speak is so empowering and enlightening, and she is one of the few people who can make you feel as though she is speaking directly to you. She courageously told her story long before any movement for others, and has always been a fierce advocate for women.
Oprah has the natural ability to unite us all, despite race, religious, gender, political view or workplace. This new movement is just beginning – let’s hope it can create real change.
So I want all the girls watching here and now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! 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 that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.