“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”
These were the words spoken by TV legend Oprah Winfrey at last night’s Golden Globes ceremony, which was dominated from the start by a stream of women refusing to be silenced and instead speaking out about Hollywood’s reckoning with shocking and widespread claims of sexual abuse and harassment – from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to Louis C.K..
You may have heard of #MeToo – the social media movement empowering women to share their stories – and now high-profile women in Hollywood have set up a new movement to represent sexual abuse victims across all industries.
This latest movement is called Time’s Up and at last night’s ceremony, actors, directors and producers decided to collectively wear black as a symbolic protest on the red carpet, while people also wore pins with the Time’s Up logo emblazoned on them.
A statement on the Time’s Up website explains: “The sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault that has been reported and come to light over the last two months have been equal parts terrifying and illuminating. We stand with all those who have endured sexual harassment: those who have come forward and those who have decided to remain quiet. It’s time for change, and we must act now.
“Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers.”
Hundreds of the women of Hollywood, including the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone and Natalie Portman have got behind the campaign, which was announced in a full-page advert in the New York Times.
You can donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund here: https://www.gofundme.com/timesup
And the Time’s Up message of fighting for equal treatment and an end to harassment flowed through the entire ceremony. These were some of the highlights:
1. Oprah Winfrey’s speech
Accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, Oprah said: “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.”
The emotional address was one of the most powerful speeches ever delivered at an awards ceremony – and it immediately stoked speculation that she could be running for president.
In fact, host Seth Meyers said: “In 2011, I told some jokes about our current president at the White House Correspondents Dinner, jokes about how he was unqualified to be president. And some have said that night convinced him to run. And if that’s true, I would just like to say Oprah, you will never be president.”
If she did decide to run she would certainly be a popular candidate with enormous, national name recognition. And she’d likely enjoy the support of former president Barack Obama, who Oprah famously endorsed when he was still a candidate in 2007.
2. Natalie Portman shading the room when no women were nominated for best director
When it came time to announce the winner for best director of a motion picture, Natalie Portman pointed out what everyone was thinking: not a single nominee was female. “And here are the all-male nominees…” she said pointedly.
Most notably, director Greta Gerwig was shut out of the category – even though her film Lady Bird (which had an amazing Rotten Tomatoes score of 100%) went on to win an award for best film.
This message was repeated by Barbra Streisand who used her presenting slot to share her disgust that she is still the only woman to have won best director in the ceremony’s history – and that was back in 1984 for Yentl. “Folks, time’s up,” she said. “We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for best director.”
Mariah Carey couldn’t help commenting on all the truth-telling during the evening:
3. The success of female-led shows
Some of the best TV shows recognised this year were created by women and told fascinating stories of what it’s like to be a woman. Big Little Lies was a big winner, taking home gongs for stars Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern – as well as being named best limited TV series.
In her incredible acceptance speech, Laura Dern said: “I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice.”
Other successful female-led shows included Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale (starring Elizabeth Moss) and Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Accepting her award, Moss – who has faced criticism for her Scientology background – dedicated her win to Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood. She said: “We no longer live in the gaps… we are the story in print and we are writing the story ourselves.”
4. Seth Meyer’s on-point opening monologue
While it might have seemed more than a little ironic that the host of the evening was a straight, white man, comedian Seth Meyers in fact proved himself totally in keeping with the theme of the night by savagely attacking Hollywood’s sexual predators.
“Harvey Weinstein isn’t here tonight… He’ll be back in 20 years when he’s the first person ever booed during the ‘In Memoriam’ [segment]”, he joked.
And finally, in a moment of pure silliness, fans of cult film The Room will appreciate Tommy Wiseau trying to grab the microphone from James Franco: