Last night was not only a night of celebration for Hollywood, but also an evening of women and allies coming together, through solidarity and powerful speeches, to combat sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood and beyond.
As continuation of the #MeToo movement that reached global levels on Twitter, actors and actresses wore black on the red carpet to stand in solidarity with survivors of assault. Famous Hollywood actresses brought social justice activists as their dates: Michelle Williams brought Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement. Laura Dern attended with Mónica Ramírez, the co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.
The #MeToo movement was a trending topic on the red carpet. Michelle Williams notably shifted attention to Tarana Burke during her red carpet interview, stating:
“I’m so much more interested in what you have to say than what I have to say.”
“Time’s up. Enough’s enough,” said Rachel Brosnehan, who won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Actress later that evening.
“It’s for me to use my platform to help people take the floor and say yeah, I’m standing with you and draw more attention to what’s happening because it needs to start and it needs to change,” said “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya on the red carpet.
But the #MeToo movement didn’t end at the red carpet. In his opening monologue, Seth Meyers brought attention to the movement, stating that while the room may look like a group of privileged people, sexual harassment and assault affects everyone. He brought focus to the PAs who work on set and make-up crews in Hollywood who are also affected, and ended his monologue ensuring that viewers and those in the room had #MeToo on their mind.
During her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Laura Dern called for “all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice.”
In another groundbreaking section of the evening, Oprah Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille award and made an incredibly powerful acceptance speech. She inspired the audience and viewers, ready for a new day where sexual harassment and assault is no longer normalized in our culture. Winfrey stated,
“[sexual harassment] transcends any culture, race, religion, politics or workplace. I want to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse because they, like my mother, had bills to pay and dreams to pursue.” She also acknowledged Recy Taylor, a black woman who was raped by six white men in 1944 and passed away less than two weeks ago. Winfrey’s parting comments may be one of the most remembered comments of the night: “I want all the girls watching herenow to know that a new day is on the horizon.”
While #MeToo and the Golden Globes have been slammed by some for seeming to be an empty form of activism, with so many comments made during the night by actors and activists, it is clear these were not empty promises, and this was not just for show. The women of Hollywood are tired: they stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and believe their stories, on film sets and beyond.
The evening was a win, not only for those who walked away with a Golden Globe, but for all of us who have felt disbelieved and exhausted of living in a culture where sexual harassment and sexual assault is not taken seriously.