Golden Globes: A Stunning Lack of Gender and Ethnic Diversity

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Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey (Courtesy of the Golden Globes)

The 2018 Golden Globes Awards placed a huge focus on sexual harassment awareness taking the entertainment industry by storm. But diversity once again took the backseat as nearly all white winners accepted awards.

Of 25 awards given, 10 (not including best foreign film) are not gender-specific. Of these 10, only one was given to a production with only a female director. Three of them had a mix of white male and female directors.

No films or shows with Black directors won, and all the shows and movies that garnered awards had at least one male director on board (with the exception of “Lady Bird,” which won for best musical/comedy and was directed by Greta Gerwig).

Denzel Washington lost for his role in “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” “Get Out,” Jordan Peele’s critically-acclaimed racial film, garnered no awards. Mary J. Blige and Hong Chau both lost the award for Best Supporting Actress for their respective roles in “Mudbound” and “Downsizing.”

Anthony Anderson did not receive the best television performance by an actor award for a musical/comedy for his part in “Black-ish”; however, Aziz Ansari made history as the first Asian actor to win in this category for his role in “Master of None.” Similarly, Sterling K. Brown became the first Black actor to win best performance by an actor in a TV series drama for his role in “This Is Us.”

Despite the usual lack of diversity that accompanies most award shows, Oprah Winfrey delivered a powerful, noteworthy speech.

Winfrey on Sunday became the first Black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award — and once again raised hope and speculation that she would also become the first Black woman to become president.

Winfrey opened her speech by recalling being a little girl and watching Sidney Poitier win the Oscar for best actor in 1964.

“Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen,” Winfrey shared. “I remembered his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I’d never seen a Black man being celebrated like that.”

“In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille Award right here at the Golden Globes, and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first Black woman to be given this same award.”

She thanked various people who helped her along in her career, from her beginnings as a host on “AM Chicago” to playing Sofia Johnson in “The Color Purple.”

She then spoke about the “complicated times” we live in.

“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” she stated.

Winfrey acknowledged that the reality of women facing sexual abuse and assault is “one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.”

“So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farmworkers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and in politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military. And there’s someone else: Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too.”

Taylor was a Black woman in Alabama who in 1944 was abducted and gang-raped by half a dozen white men in Alabama while she was walking home from church. The men blindfolded her and left her on the side of the road. Her attack was reported to authorities, but two separate juries — both consisting of all white men — failed to indict any of the rapists, despite the fact that some of them confessed to their crimes. Taylor passed away last month just days before her 98th birthday.

“She lived as we all have lived — too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. And for too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared speak their truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said of Taylor.

“But their time is up. Their time is up! Their time is up.”

Winfrey ended her speech by declaring this “a new day.”

“So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, are fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again. Thank you.”

Winfrey spoke with another powerful Black woman following her speech, according to The Los Angeles Times:

“#MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who accompanied actress Michelle Williams to the ceremony, was visibly moved after Winfrey’s speech.

Burke told The Times afterward what transpired when Winfrey spoke to her.

’She thanked me and gave me a hug and said something like, ‘We’re doing it together.’ It meant so much to me because when I was in the early days of doing workshops with women, it was Oprah and Gabrielle Union whose stories I used.’

‘So to hear her say #MeToo up there was such a full-circle moment,’ Burke added. ‘I don’t even want her for the presidency. I just want to create something new for her.’”

Hardly for the first time, calls for Winfrey to make a White House bid were renewed. Many celebrities took to Twitter to give the entertainment mogul an early-bird endorsement.

On Monday, Oprah for President was trending on Twitter.

Full list of the 2018 Golden Globe Award winners:

1. Best Motion Picture (Drama) – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” white male director
2. Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy) – “Lady Bird,” white female director
3. Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – “Big Little Lies,” white male and white female directors
4. Best Director (Motion Picture) – Guillermo del Toro, white male
5. Best Television Series (Comedy) – “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” white male and female directors
6. Best Screenplay (Motion Picture) – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh, white male
7. Best Motion Picture (Animated) – “Coco,” white male directors
8. Best Original Song (Motion Picture) – “This Is Me,” written by two white males
9. Best Original Score (Motion Picture) – Alexandre Desplat, white male
10. Best Television Series (Drama) – “The Handmaid’s Tale,” white male and white female directors
11. Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Frances McDormand, white woman
12. Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) — Gary Oldman, white man
13. Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy) – Saiorse Ronan, white woman
14. Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Allison Janney, white woman
15. Best Supporting Actress (Television) – Laura Der, white woman
16. Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy) – James Franco, white male
17. Best Supporting Actor (Television) – Alexander Skarsgaard, white male
18. Best Television Performance by an Actor (Drama) – Sterling K Brown, Black male
19. Best Actress Television Performance by an Actress (Drama) – Elisabeth Moss, white woman
20. Best Television Performance by an Actress (Musical/Comedy) – Rachel Brosnahan, white female
21. Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – Sam Rockwell, white male
22. Best Television Performance by an Actress (Limited Series) – Nicole Kidman, white female
23. Best Television Performance by an Actor (Musical/Comedy) – Aziz Ansari, Asian male
24. Best Television Performance by an Actor (Limited Series) – Ewan McGrego, white male
25. Best Foreign Film – In the Fade (German film)

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