The refrain woven throughout the speeches and various unscripted quips during the 2018 Golden Globes awards evening was that patriarchy's "time is up."
Stars wore black in solidarity "as a symbol of protest against sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood." Many wore tiny "Time's Up" pins. The " Time's Up" initiative, announced on New Year's Day, was spearheaded by more than 300 actresses to combat sexual violence in Hollywood.
Oprah Winfrey was the first Black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, an honorary award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Sidney Poitier was the first African-American to receive the award, in 1982. Morgan Freeman won in 2012 and and Denzel Washington won in 2016, the only other two African-Americans to receive that honor.
Winfrey began her speech by offering words of appreciation to the press:
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.
In her fiery speech Winfrey supported women who have spoken up:
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.
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.
Winfrey's entire speech can be read at Harper's Bazaar: Here's the Full Transcript of Oprah's Inspirational Golden Globes Speech
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