This Is the Oprah Winfrey Cecil B. DeMille Award Acceptance Speech You Don’t Want to Miss
Last night’s Golden Globes ceremony took place during a new moment in the entertainment industry and, if we can do anything about it, everywhere else. Stars wore black in support of #MeToo and #TimesUp, Seth Meyers rolled it into his hosting duties, and Natalie Portman kicked some serious ass with just two words—but Oprah Winfrey’s Cecil B. DeMille award acceptance speech stole the show.
Winfrey began with talk of watching Sidney Poitier win the Oscar for Best Actor, when she was a child in 1964, and his Cecil B. DeMille Award win later, in the early ’80s, driving home how amazing it was for her to take her place on the stage and accept the same award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.”
After thanking some friends and taking a moment to stand up for the press, she segued into the sexual abuse issues we’re finally starting to deal with in our society. Of course that’s a big issue in the entertainment industry right now, but Winfrey was sure to bring up the women who don’t have such massive platforms and find it even harder to have their stories told, much less believed. She recounted the story of Recy Taylor (who passed away just last month), a black woman who was raped by a gang of five white men in 1944 and battled with civil rights icon Rosa Parks to get justice, although her rapists were ultimately never prosecuted.
Winfrey then celebrated the dawn of a new era of efforts to make sure that doesn’t happen, proclaiming that the time of “brutally powerful men” is up, and bringing out cheers, tears, and a standing ovation from the audience. The incredibly powerful speech spoke perfectly to where we are right now as a society and understandably generated a massive amount of buzz, including so much talk of an Oprah Winfrey 2020 presidential run that we’ve already gone several levels deep into backlash (to more celebrity-based politics) and anti-backlash (to the idea that Winfrey is suddenly where people want to draw a line) by this morning.
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