Rousing speeches on gender equality, a fire speech from Oprah and Tommy Wiseau’s ultimate moment
Last night’s Golden Globes was the first high profile awards show since movie kingpin Harvey Weinstein was exposed for years of horrendous abuse. The curtain has been lifted on Hollywood and what’s behind it doesn’t look pretty. In response, the ceremony had an urgently political tone. The red carpet was a place where actors highlighted their cause, people wore black in solidarity and activists were brought along as dates.
Here’s what went down.
THE RED CARPET WAS A SPACE FOR PROTEST
Usually subjected to an onslaught of questions surrounding who they are wearing each year, last night saw the women in attendance use the red carpet to put across their views on the injustices within the industry and beyond.
Debra Messing called out the difference in pay between male and female employees at E! during a brief interview with a reporter from the entertainment channel, while a number of attendees invited activists to join them as their guests – with Meryl Streep joined by Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Michelle Williams by founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke and Emma Watson by Marai Larasi, the executive director of IMKAAN, a UK organisation that addresses violence against Black minoritised women and girls.
Elsewhere, Kerry Washington and Issa Rae opted to wear Prabal Gurung gowns, as the designer promised to donate proceeds of orders of the same dresses to the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund.
#WHYWEWEARBLACK TOOK OVER
In the hours leading up to the ceremony, #WhyWeWearBlack started to trend across Twitter. Attendees including Amandla Stenberg, Adwoa Aboah and Cara Delevingne took to social media to post pictures of their all-black looks and accompanying statements of solidarity with those affected by sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse.
The red carpet itself was an almost total blackout, with Dazed cover star Millie Bobby Brown wearing ruffled Calvin Klein, Tracee Ellis Ross in custom Marc Jacobs and Best Actress winner Saoirse Ronan in an asymmetric Versace gown, all in the sombre hue of the evening.
THOUGH WOMEN DESIGNERS WERE SCARCE
Though Natalie Portman took to the stage to make her pithy statement in Dior, Saoirse Ronan and Angelina Jolie opted for Versace, and Diane Kruger chose a Prada gown (houses headed up by Maria Grazia Chiuri, Donatella Versace and Miuccia Prada respectively) guests repping female designers were few and far between – pretty surprising given the mood of the event.
MARCHESA WAS MISSING
Usually a fan favourite during award season, there was a distinct lack of Marchesa at last night’s Golden Globes. Unsurprisingly, given that the label was created by Harvey Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman. While Chapman said she wanted a divorce from the director following the slew of allegations against him, that wasn’t enough for even one person to dare wear it. Basically, RIP Marchesa.
PLENTY OF SWIPES WERE MADE ON STAGE
People are tired of Hollywood – particularly its leading women. Natalie Portman made a not-so-subtle jab at the severe lack of female representation in the Best Director category.
“Here are all the male nominees,” she said, stoney-faced. The category included Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards), Steven Spielberg (The Post), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Ridley Scott (All The Money in the World). The likes of Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and Lady Bird filmmaker and writer Greta Gerwig were pretty shockingly snubbed.
Seth Meyers’ opening monologue dove right into the difficult convo – “It’s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t.”
He had some serious barbs for Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Donald Trump too. “I think it’s time to address the elephant not in the room,” he said. “Harvey Weinstein isn’t here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumours that he’s crazy and difficult to work with. But don’t worry, he’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the In Memoriam.”
Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Elisabeth Moss and Frances McDormand used their acceptance speeches to show solidarity with the movement and women everywhere.
Moss, winning an award for her part as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, quoted writer Margaret Atwood, and told the crowd: “Margaret Atwood this is for you and all of the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world.
“We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are story in print, and we are writing the story ourselves. Thank you.”
BUT THE MEN WERE QUIET ON #TIMESUP AND #METOO
Many of the male celebrities present showed their support for the Time’s Up Initiative, wearing the group’s pins on their lapels: Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Justin Timberlake, James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Chris Hemsworth and more included.
However, of the men who won awards on the night, none mentioned systemtic sexism or the politically-charged atmosphere in their winning speeches, while the women presenters and winners used the platform to extend messages of solidarity and support.
“Wearing a black tuxedo isn’t enough,” NARAL Pro-Choice America tweeted. “We need men to SPEAK UP and stand beside us to fight to end sexual assault & rape culture.”
Ryan Seacrest, who was presented for E! on the red carpet, has been criticised for repeatedly interrupting Michelle Williams, while she tried to talk about gender equality. Aside from mentioning Call Me By Your Name actor Armie Hammer’s pin briefly, Seacrest failed to bring up the night’s main topic to any of his male interviewees.
AZIZ ANSARI AND STERLING K. BROWN MADE HISTORY
There were multiple historic victories last night: Aziz Ansari became the first Asian person to win Best Actor for Comedy, while Sterling K. Brown bagged the award for best performance by an actor in a TV series drama, for his part in This is Us – the first black actor to win the prize ever.
“I genuinely didn’t think I would win because all the websites said I was gonna lose,” Ansari said when accepting the award for his part as Dev Shah in the hilarious and heartstring-pulling Master of None. Ansari wore a Time’s Up lapel pin.
Brown picked up his award for his breathtaking performance as Randall Pearson, the black adopted son of two white parents. “He’s a fish out of water and two individuals who love him and appreciate him take him into their lives even though he doesn’t look like they do. He’s trying to find his way in the world,” Brown said. “Growing up, my mother always told me I’d have to work twice as hard; that the world wasn’t going to react and respond in the way of my white counterparts. When those kids were making trouble, she said I wouldn’t have the same kind of latitude as them if I got in trouble. The repercussions would be different.”
The actor thanked This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman for his “colourblind casting”, and for creating roles for people of colour.
LADY BIRD AND THREE BILLBOARDS TRIUMPHED
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri came out on top with the most awards last night – scooping four prizes for best drama motion picture, best screenplay, best supporting actor (Sam Rockwell) and best actress for Frances McDormand.
McDormand used her speech to address the politics of the moment. She said: “I keep my politics private, but it was really great to be in this room tonight, and to be part of a tectonic shift in our industry’s power structure. Trust me: the women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work.”
Greta Gerwig’s angsty, coming-of-age triumph Lady Bird beat out Franco’s Disaster Artist and I, Tonya to win best picture (comedy or musical), while Saoirse Ronan (who plays the complicated, flawed and sarcastic Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson) won best actress. Given its perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, a banging mid-00s soundtrack and the fresh, intensely real perspective of Gerwig, it’s no wonder Lady Bird won big.
Big Little Lies was also majorly recognised – Nicole Kidman asserted in her speech that she hoped the series would continue to highlight the struggles of women like those in the show. “This character that I played represents something that is the center of our conversation right now: abuse. I do believe and I hope that we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them,” she said.
AND EVEN MORE WERE SNUBBED
Both Call me By Your Name stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer were up for awards, but the stunning coming-of-age gay drama was pretty much snubbed. Even a little nod for the film’s ultimate star, Elio’s peach, would have sufficed, but nada. You can read back here why we loved Luca Guadagnino’s tale of teenage lust, longing and desire so much.
Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya also failed to pick up an award despite his serious triumph emerging from the sunken place in Jordan Peele’s sharp horror. While I, Tonya’s Allison Janney – who played disgraced figure skater Harding’s mother –rightfully scooped best supporting actor, the intense drama failed to hit it big elsewhere. It was still pretty cool to see IRL Tonya Harding hit the red carpet though.
And of course Natalie Portman called out the snubbing of all women directors this year when presenting the male-dominated best director category.
THE ROOM’S TOMMY WISEAU FINALLY GOT HIS MOMENT
Tommy Wiseau, the tar-haired enigma behind the best-worst movie ever made, finally got his major awards show moment. James Franco, who was accepted his award for best actor (comedy or musical) for The Disaster Artist, brought Wiseau out during his emotional speech.
The Disaster Artist chronicles the making of The Room, a cult classic directed by, starring and mysteriously financed by Tommy Wiseau – it’s known for being gloriously bad. You can read our interview with Disaster Artist director and star James and Dave Franco (who plays Tommy’s best friend and actor Greg Sestero) back here.
Franco thanked Wiseau (and swiftly blocked him stealing the mic): “19 years ago, he was stuck in traffic from the Golden Globes. He said to his best friend Greg: ‘The Golden Globes? So what – I’m not invited, so I show them. I don't wait for Hollywood. I make my own movie. I'm very happy to share this moment with him today.”
Wiseau made the most of his invite to the awards by turning up in a stretch limo, adorned with original The Room posters. You’re tearing me (and my heart) apart, here.
OPRAH’S SPEECH WAS PRESIDENTIAL
Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Golden Globes lifetime achievement honour. After a raucous round of applause, a “humbled and privileged” Winfrey recounted the impact seeing Sidney Poitier, an African American actor, take home similar gongs during her childhood had on her career trajectory. This set her on course for a stirring speech where she detailed how she and other outspoken women in the industry could inspire the next generation of little girls.
The talk show host, actress and mini-deity started by shouting out to the press (Hi Oprah!) and thanked us for our commitment to truth, which we really appreciated. In keeping with the themes of the evening, the rest of her speech centred on women’s rights. She dedicated a portion of it to memorialising the tragic story of Recy Taylor after her recent death. The 97-year-old African American woman was raped by six white men who were never brought to justice. “She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men,” Winfrey explained. “But their time is up”.
It received a standing ovation and an outpouring on Twitter of people begging for the 63-year-old to run for president – apparently America hasn’t yet learned that celebrity candidates are wildly misguided. But while many retweeted, clapped and cried others pointed out there are loads of pictures on the internet of Oprah cosying up to Weinstein, so maybe she knew he was a bastard all along.
yall want oprah to be president without realizing that also means you want oprah calling in drone strikes— Desus Nice (@desusnice) January 8, 2018
MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE
Though the Time’s Up initiative is proving to be a worthy successor to the #MeToo movement, there’s a long road ahead to achieving true intersectional equality. There’s more direct action to do than wearing black dresses. Men must realise that wearing a lapel pin and an all black suit doesn’t absolve them from vocally challenging industry sexism, or examining their own actions. There’s more difficult conversations to be had – Ally Sheedy’s tweets about James Franco should be heralded, and we should listen to her if and when she’s ready to tell a story. An alleged abuser – Kirk Douglas – was honoured on a night that was meant to support survivors everywhere. More needs to be done to elevate the voices of women of colour in the industry, the women behind the scenes, and working class women who aren’t in attendance at a glamorous awards show.