Celebrities have been using popular award ceremonies as a podium to raise awareness about sociopolitical issues for a while. And stars at the Golden Globes 2018, which took place Monday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills didn’t shy away from doing just that in full force. While honouring the best in film and television, entertainers decided to use their star power to address Hollywood’s ongoing sexual harassment scandals and back campaigns like #MeToo, which supports survivors of sexual violence and encourages them to speak out. #Time’s Up, another huge initiative that fights against sexual harassment in the workplace, was the other big name murmured in union with Hollywood’s big night. Many A-listers are involved in #Time’s Up, and the majority of attendees wore black and #Time’s Up pins to show their support.
The Plus Ones
Amy Poehler and Saru Jayaraman
Emma Stone and Billie Jean King
Emma Watson and Marai Larasi
First up, A-listers turned up on the red carpet with various gender and racial fairness activists as their dates. Michelle Williams, who came up with the idea of actresses bringing campaigners with them as guests, was accompanied by #MeToo movement Founder Tarana Burke. And Meryl Streep walked Ai-jen Poo, the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, down the red carpet. Emma Watson, who delighted “Harry Potter” fans by teaming up with Robert Pattinson to present an award, came with friend Marai Larasi. She is the Executive Director of Imkaan, a U.K.-based women's organisation "aimed at responding to and preventing violence against black minoritised women and girls." Susan Sarandon also had an important plus one, grassroots community organiser Rosa Clemente, Founder of PR (Puerto Rico) On The Map. Additionally, Calina Lawrence, who shines a spotlight on social injustices that take place in tribal reservations and urban Native communities, accompanied “Big Little Lies” actress Shailene Woodley. Amy Poehler's guest was Saru Jayaraman, the president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United & ROC Action, while Emma Stone’s partner was Billie Jean King, whose life she plays out in "Battle of the Sexes."
Meryl Streep and Ai-jen Poo
Michelle Williams and Tarana Burke
Susan Sarandon and Rosa Clemente
Comedian Seth Meyers, who was the evening’s host, kicked things off with an opening monologue with jokes that blasted the alleged abusers that have made headlines. Then came the winners and presenters who certainly weren’t afraid to direct shade and share their views about sexual misconduct and the need for gender parity.
While giving out the last award, Barbara Streisand expressed her concern that she remains the only woman to with the Best Director award, which she earned in 1984 for “Yentl. ” She wasn’t the only one to touch on the troubling lack of diversity in the Best Director category. Natalie Portman delivered a scathing mic drop, going off-script while giving out the Best Director award. “And here are the all male nominees,” she said, before announcing the winner. Then there was the point winner Nicole Kidman, who plays a victim of domestic violence in “Big Little Lies,” made, saying, “I do believe and I hope that we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them.” Another notable moment was when Geena Davis reunited with Susan Sarandon (didn’t they make an emboldening duo in “Thelma and Louise?”) to give out the Best Actor in Drama awards. She joked the actors had all "agreed to give half of their salary back, so the women can make more than them." Best Actress (Drama) winner Frances McDormand also spoke about women opening up.
However, it was undeniably Oprah Winfrey’s speech that stole the evening and roused the biggest reaction from the star-studded audience. The billionaire media mogul brought the house down with her heartfelt words after she went on stage as the first black woman to pick up the honorary Cecil B DeMille trophy. Her inspiring acceptance speech shaped hope for females. “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said. The empowering and presidential speech has sparked talk about her running for office in 2020.