The Golden Globes on Sunday night were the first major awards ceremony to be held since the sexual harassment accusations against Harvey Weinstein were revealed. You could almost draw a direct line from #MeToo and Time’s Up (the anti-harassment initiative sponsored by powerful Hollywood women) to many of the evening’s most memorable moments — like Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech and Natalie Portman’s presenting of best director. Here’s a look at those and other highs and lows of the night:
All hail Queen Oprah. Her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award brought the house down and then some, not just as the most rousing speech of the night (among many calls to arms) but also as the instantly iconic address of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements.
Few if any people blend the personal and political as well as Ms. Winfrey, and she wove together stories of her childhood, watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar in 1964 while her mother, “bone-tired from cleaning other people’s houses,” watched. She traced her own career rise, and praised journalists for unearthing stories of corruption and abuse.
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” Ms. Winfrey said, as she settled into a preacher’s rousing cadence. She recounted the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was raped in 1944 and whose white assailants were never charged. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men,” Ms. Winfrey said. She paused, just for a moment. “But their time is up.” The audience broke into applause. “Their time is up!” The audience rose to its feet. “Their time is up!”
But that wasn’t the end of the speech. Ms. Winfrey closed by proclaiming that “a new day is on the horizon,” and envisioning “a time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too,’ again.” She delivered those lines over rapturous cheers and applause. Imagine if every awards ceremony had a speech like this. — Margaret Lyons
Even before the Globes began, an acting challenge of sorts was on display: watching Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic do their part for #WhyWeWearBlack and try to pivot from clothes to crises during their “E! Live from the Red Carpet” show.
Ms. Rancic and Mr. Seacrest had pledged to not ask their guests who they were wearing, but rather why they were wearing black. It sounded like a promising approach, though it was undermined, somewhat, by the continued presence of the E! Glambot, a gadget that creates a wholly unnecessary slo-mo 360-degree view of outfits, and that could really have done with a new name, if the network had actually been thinking things through.
The piercing replacement questions Mr. Seacrest and Ms. Rancic came up also didn’t really advance the cause. Samples: “What were your New Year’s resolutions?” (Mr. Seacrest to Neil Patrick Harris.) “What are some strange secret talents you have?” (Ms. Rancic to the cast of “Stranger Things.”)
And while the hosts dutifully tried to discuss the issues, they didn’t seem to really know what to do with the answers from the boldface names. Especially when stars like Debra Messing and Eva…
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