Golden Globes 2018
Many people were given awards at the 2018 Golden Globes, but there was just one winner and that was the #metoo movement and the cause of women’s equality. From the sea of black gowns that women attendees wore as a sign of the “Time’s Up” movement to the barbed comments from host Seth Meyer, presenters like Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon, the theme of the night was that discrimination and abuse will no longer be tolerated and women’s voices will no longer be silenced. As Meryl Streep said, ““We feel emboldened in this moment to stand together in a thick black line dividing then from now.” (The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan points out that many women declined to give credit to their designers on the red carpet. This is something of a mixed message as on one hand they want to be seen as more than mannequins representing the designers, but on the other hand, as creative artists they should respect the work of the designers and their staffs that made their finery, well, fine.)
Many of the women who attended brought non-celebrity activists with them including the founder of the #metoo initiative, Tarana Burke. Several speakers emphasized that the movement is inclusive of people outside the Hollywood celebrity community.
Unquestionably the show’s high point was Oprah Winfrey. It was fun to see some of the biggest stars a bit abashed when they took the podium to accept their awards and saw her sitting in the front row. Winfrey herself took the stand to accept the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award, the first black woman to receive it. Her nine-minute speech was stem-winding, spell-binding, and just plain thrilling. The Baltimore Sun called it “a moving jolt of moral authority.”
Winfrey spoke about being a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of her mother’s home, waiting for her to come in from cleaning other people’s houses, and seeing Sidney Poitier receive the Oscar for “Lilies of the Field,” realizing for the first time that even for a poor black girl, the possibilities were endless. She spoke to the girls out there now, who needed to get that message from her.
Many of the most significant awards went to stories about women, including HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” Amazon’s “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Hulu’s “Handmaid’s Tale,” and the film “Lady Bird.” Portman noted in presenting the Best Director award that all of the nominees were male, excluding “Lady Bird’s” writer/director Greta Gerwig.
Men of color made some news as well, with Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”) as the first black man to win Best Actor in a Television Series and Aziz Ansari became the first South Asian man to win Best Actor in a Comedy Series.
Meyers was a capable host, making some pointed jokes and some welcome points during his monologue and then getting out of the way. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association made some progress in improving its reputation with million-dollar grants to two journalist organizations, including one of my favorites, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Some of the other highlights: Amy Sherman-Palladino’s heartfelt “Spanx, oy” comment when she accepted her award for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Carol Burnett and the Thelma and Louise team up of presenters and the tribute to Kirk Douglas not just as an actor but as a fearless advocate in breaking the blacklist, underscoring the evening’s themes of integrity and justice.