Opinion: Women in black, Oprah for president: Golden Globes takes care of business

Oprah Winfrey, recipient of the Cecil B. Demille Award, delivers a speech at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.
(Paul Drinkwater / NBC)

We knew that Golden Globes night would be different this year. In fact, if you were watching the E! channel Sunday, you saw red-carpet coverage of actresses wearing only black to signify their solidarity with the #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp initiative against sexual harassment in Hollywood. Then you saw an episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” in which Kim Kardashian decides she wants to do something about homelessness and tours a homeless encampment. I wasn’t sure which show I’d seen was more … upending. (Oh, of course, it was the Kardashians.)

The Globes show is always irreverent, relatively speaking — a big, kooky, slightly boozy Hollywood love-in hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the obscurity of which stars like to make fun of even as they accept its awards. Even in this year’s different climate, Frances McDormand, the brilliant, no-nonsense actress who so terrified the NBC censors when she took to the stage to accept an award that they bleeped her before she needed bleeping, made a joke about not knowing who the members of the HFPA are.

But, it was a different show — and possibly a harbinger of what we will hear at the Oscars in less than two months. Actresses, and actors, spoke of the profound belief that the banishment of many of Hollywood’s sexual predators and harassers was more than a passing outrage. This was, they said, a sea change for women, for minorities, for anyone outside the traditional white male power structure who had been harassed or marginalized. I really hope that they are right. But consider all the work that has yet to be done. After Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award and gave a bravura speech that had the Beverly Hilton room on its feet and launched a profusion of tweets drafting her for president, the next award was for best director. And, as actress and award presenter Natalie Portman pointedly noted, “here are the all male nominees…”


As everyone has said repeatedly, Hollywood won’t change until women and people of color are a bigger part of its ranks, and with bigger roles. Can’t wait for the night that Natalie Portman gets to announce that all the nominees for director are women. Or, how about just some of them are?

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