This is the first time I’m writing a something about the Golden Globes, and I think with the impact this season has had so far, and the direction we are going with Thefashionguitar.com, it couldn’t be a better moment to start. So there are basically a few important things you need to know about the 75th Golden Globe Awards, honoring film and American television of 2017: 8 female activists were brought as a +1 in support of the #MeToo movement and with that given platform for their causes, there was an all-black dress code in support of Time’s Up, Oprah made a speech that left us speechless, and – of course – this year’s Golden Globe winners…
The 8 female activists that appeared on the red carpet alongside some of Hollywood’s most famous actresses were:
- Tarana Burke – together with Michelle Williams, nominee Best Actress Drama – who founded the #MeToo movement in 2007, and is senior director of the nonprofit Girls For Gender Equity
- Rosa Clemente – together with Susan Sarandon, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in Feud: Bette and Joan – who made her mark in politics as a political commentator and presidential candidate for the Green Party ticket.
- Soru Jayaraman – together with Golden Globe host Amy Poehler – who is a huge advocate for restaurant workers, and fights to raise wages and labour standards in the field.
- Tennis champion and equal pay activist – since 1970s – Billie Jean King came together with one of my favourite actresses Emma Stone. She’s also the founder of the Women’s Tennis Association.
- Marai Larasi came alongside Emma Watson, who is the executive director of Imkaan, a British organization that fights violence against black and minority women.
- Calina Lawrence walked the red carpet with Big Little Lies actress Shailene Woodley. Calina Lawrence is an activist for Native American treaty and water rights, amongst other causes.
- Ai-Jen Poo, the director of National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of the Caring Across Generations Campaign, walked arm in arm with Meryl Streep.
- Monica Ramirez – together with other Big Little Lies actress Laura Dern – who co-founded Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, which is an organization that works on behalf of female farm workers across the U.S.
And not unnoticed was the collective all-black “dress-code” on the red carpet. Every female actress changed their otherwise colorful or white designer dresses for – of course still the most beautiful – black ones, as a protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, and as a way to show solidarity to those who have been victims over a too long of a time spam. I must admit, I love that this happened, not only took it away from the otherwise – maybe superficial – focus on “who’s wearing what”, but mostly because all of these beautiful, powerful women, who we see as role models, and some so very much look up to, did unite, and took the Golden Globes as a platform where they together could “keep moving our society”. You can criticize this is just something that is happening now, because of media attention it has been getting over the past three months. But it’s NOT. Don’t forget that sexual harassment and inequality in the workspace ALWAYS have been there, and ALWAYS have been a big problem, however, until a few months ago, they went by too often too unnoticed, and THAT has changed. This will not go unnoticed when we – and by we I don’t only mean women, also MAN – unite and fight. We should totally take advantage of the age we live in, an age where social media runs our worlds, anyway. I’m glad tons of amazing images came down my instagram feed that night. What did you think?
Another highlight – and I’m sure you’ve heard people say “Oprah for President” the past week – was Oprah’s acceptance speech for her Cecil B. DeMille award. I’ve tried to find a good video to post here, as I believe that when you hear her speak, the real impact goes deep, but I couldn’t. Instead I found the full transcript on Harper’s Bazaar US:
“Thank you, Reese. In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history:” The winner is Sidney Poitier.” Up to the stage came the most elegant man I ever remembered. His tie was white, his skin was black—and he was being celebrated. I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney’s performance in Lilies of the Field: “Amen, amen, amen, amen.”
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor—it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for A.M. Chicago. Saw me on the show and said to Steven Spielberg, she’s Sophia in ‘The Color Purple.’ Gayle who’s been a friend and Stedman who’s been my rock.
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. To—to tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. 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 are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.
But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So 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.
And there’s someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. 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.
Their time is up. And I just hope—I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man—every man who chooses to listen.
In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So 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 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.”
Last but not least, the actual winners of this year’s Golden Globes… A too long of an amazing list to share here, but one I want to highlight, as I was there when it was first showed on the Venice Film Festival: Three Billboards. Actress Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Drama with her role in this beautiful movie. I can only say: Go see it! And if you want to know who else won, The New York Times will tell you!