Last night (January 7), the Golden Globes returned for its 75th outing, celebrating some of the most talented people within the entertainment industry. Over the past 12 months, it’s an industry that has been marred with controversy, following slews of allegations against some very powerful figures, with victims claiming sexual misconduct, harassment and even rape. That was something we knew would be addressed throughout the night, but Oprah perhaps gave the best moment in relation to the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, tackling the darkness that has descended so publicly in recent months in the best way she possibly could. Check out her rousing speech to millions below:
Accepting the 2018 Cecil B. de Mille Lifetime Achievement Award, Oprah had the audience on their feet as she not only addressed sexual harassment, but racial injustice and the freedom of the press. She kicked things off by mentioning Sidney Poitier, known to millions as the first black man to win an Oscar at the 1964 Academy Awards. Almost two decades later, he would receive the Cecil B. de Mille award at the 1982 Golden Globes, inspiring the thousands of black youngsters watching him to go out and chase their dreams.
Going on to thank everybody who had made her own success a possibility, Oprah added: “I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. We know the press is under siege these days. We also know it’s the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice.”
She would then do what many people have been asking a powerful voice to do for some time, noting that sexual misconduct and abuse isn’t something confined to just the entertainment industry, but something that “transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.”
She continued: “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. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”
Oprah then spoke about the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was abducted by a gang of six white men in 1944 in Alabama, raped and left blindfolded on the side of the road. Her case was investigated by Rosa Parks when reported to the NAACP, but in that era, her abusers got off without being prosecuted.
“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday,” Winfrey announced. “She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”
Coming to her conclusion, Oprah told everybody watching: “I want all the girls watching here, 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 here right 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.”
A gorgeous speech, and one we’re sure will go down in history. Let’s hope that the time which Oprah describes is one that’s not too far in the future.