Last year was a year of reckoning for Hollywood. Sunday’s blackout at the 75th annual Golden Globes was the entertainment industry’s big, collective statement as a sea of attendees clad in black, standing in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault, head down the carpet — also painted black — and into the Beverly Hilton.
To amplify the statement, some actresses showed up to the awards with activists. Michelle Williams brought Tarana Burke, the woman who started #MeToo in 2006. Also in attendence were UK organizer Marai Larasi, Rosa Clemente, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance Ai-jen Poo, tennis legend Billie Jean King, member of the Suquamish tribe Calina Lawrence, farmworker rights activist Mónica Ramírez and attorney and labor rights organizer Saru Jayaraman.
The organizers released a statement ahead of the ceremony, outlining their decision to atttend. “Too much of the recent press attention has been focused on perpetrators and does not adequately address the systematic nature of violence including the importance of race, ethnicity and economic status in sexual violence and other forms of violence against women,” the statement read. “Our goal in attending the Golden Globes is to shift the focus back to survivors and on systemic, lasting solutions.”
The night’s speeches were empowering, with actresses like Laura Dern, Allison Janney, Reese Witherspoon and Barbara Streisand praising those who have shared their experiences with abuse.
Sterling K. Brown, the first actor to win best actor in a TV drama, gave a powerful speech too, thanking “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogleman for casting him. “So what I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am,” Brown said about Fogleman writing a role for a black character. “and it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anybody who looks like me,”
Still, one person made the night.
OPRAH STOLE THE NIGHT
Oprah Winfrey made history as the first black woman to be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award since its inception in 1952.
In her speech, she recognized Sidney Poitier for inspiring her and paving the way for black actors.
“I’d never seen a black man being celebrated like that.”
“There are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given the same award. It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them,” she said.
Winfrey joined the ranks of icons such as Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Audrey Hepburn, Denzel Washington, Barbra Streisand and, most recently, Meryl Streep.
Actress Gaby Hoffman is 36 … Singer Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley is 42 … Guitarist Robby Krieger of The Doors is 72.