Oprah makes the Golden Globes mat­ter

The Arizona Republic - - FRONT PAGE - Bill Goodykoontz Colum­nist Ari­zona Repub­lic

Most years the Golden Globes is a mean­ing­less awards show in which the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion hands out of­ten head-scratch­ing hard­ware for movies and tele­vi­sion shows. Not this year.

Thanks, Oprah!

More on that in a minute. This year, in the wake of the Har­vey We­in­stein rev­e­la­tions and the #MeToo move­ment and the chance for women who have been mis­treated and abused as a mat­ter of course for years to speak out, the Globes ac­tu­ally seemed like a step on the right path.

It was any­one’s guess how the ditzi­est awards show out there would deal with se­ri­ous sub­jects, but the an­swer was heart­en­ing: Led by host Seth Mey­ers, bol­stered by a re­mark­ably in­spir­ing speech by Oprah Win­frey, quite well.

The mood started on the red car­pet, typ­i­cally an en­vi­ron­ment in which ques­tions rarely get deeper than, “Who are you wear­ing?” But this year many, though not all, nom­i­nees and pre­sen­ters and fa­mous peo­ple talked about the cur­rent cli­mate in­stead of how fab­u­lous their gown was. Vi­ola Davis called it “a com­ing out, all these women ex­press­ing sol­i­dar­ity with each other.”

De­bra Mess­ing, star of “Will & Grace,” called out the E! net­work for pay in­equal­ity among men and women — while be­ing in­ter­viewed by the E! net­work.

Mey­ers set the tone with a su­perb mono­logue that was funny, rel­e­vant and pitch per­fect.

“There’s a new era un­der­way, and I can tell be­cause it’s been years since a white man was this ner­vous in Hol­ly­wood,” he said to laughs. “By the way a spe­cial hello to hosts of other up­com­ing awards shows who are watch­ing me tonight like the first dog they shot into outer space. For the male nom­i­nees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be ter­ri­fy­ing to hear your name read out loud.”

It was just right, giv­ing him time to ad­dress the topic ev­ery­one was think­ing about, if not talk­ing about (yet): “Har­vey We­in­stein isn’t here tonight be­cause, well, I’ve heard ru­mors that he’s crazy and dif­fi­cult to work with,” Mey­ers said. “But don’t worry, he’ll be back in 20 years, when he be­comes the first per­son ever booed in the In Me­mo­riam.”

But it was Oprah who didn’t just el­e­vate the room, but blasted it into space.

She was there to ac­cept the Ce­cile B. DeMille Award for life­time achieve­ment, but that was just a jump­ing-off point to light a fire of in­spi­ra­tion rarely heard in these days of sta­ble-ge­nius tweets and bit­ter, par­ti­san bick­er­ing.

“Speak­ing your truth is the most pow­er­ful tool we all have,” she said, while us­ing that tool with bril­liance. For in­stance:

“For too long, women have not been heard or be­lieved if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. I want all the girls watch­ing here, 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.”

If you didn’t cheer, you weren’t watch­ing. She helped do the im­pos­si­ble: Make the Golden Globes rel­e­vant. And she, along with the others, did a whole lot more.

Reach Goodykoontz at bill.goody koontz@ari­zonare­pub­lic.com. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twit­ter: @goodyk.


Oprah Win­frey poses at the Golden Globe Awards.

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