Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech Praises the #MeToo Movement

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PAUL DRINKWATER/GETTY

When a celebrity publicly accepts an award, they have a choice with how they will use the attention they will receive during their time on stage.  They can talk about the movie they are about to release, their family, their favorite color.  Just about anything really.

Oprah chose to talk about rape culture.

She opened her speech with a moving story about her childhood.   The main inspiration which fueled her persistent pursuit of success happened in 1964 when the first Black person ever received an Oscar for Best Actor at the 36th Academy Awards.  She recalls Anne Bancroft making the announcement.

“The winner is Sidney Poitier.”

Poitier with his best-actor Academy Award, for Lilies of the Field, 1964.  From  Austral/Zumapress.com; Digital colorization by Lee Ruelle.

Oprah then talked about the significance of her own achievement on that stage.

“At this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first Black woman to be given the same award.”

As tears welled up in her eyes, she celebrated the changes that have been occurring in our political climate with women gaining a louder voice in media.

“This year, WE became the story.”

She listed the many different occupations where there are female leaders whose presence goes unacknowledged.  Everything from domestic, farm and factory workers to engineering, medicine, and science professionals.  “Tech, politics, and business!”

“There are athletes in the olympics and soldiers in the military.”

She transitioned to the topic of rape culture by sharing the case of Recy Taylor, an African American woman who was abducted by six armed white men in 1944.

“She was left raped and blind-folded by the side of the road.”

“They threatened to kill her if she told anyone.”

Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case at the NAACP.  Despite seeking justice, none of the men were indicted.  She recently died on December 28th, 2017, almost 98 years old.

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

“But their time is up.”

After her first standing ovation she emphasized the importance of making a commitment to taking a stand for equal human rights.  Oprah gives the example of Rosa Parks staying seated in the “whites only” section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 which became an important symbol of the Civil Rights Movement and inspired Martin Luther King Junior to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

“It’s here with every woman who chooses to say ‘ME TOO’…”

“And every man who chooses to listen.”

The #MeToo Movement was started in 2006 by Tarana Burke to raise awareness of sexual assault especially for women of color.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – NOVEMBER 12: #MeToo Women’s March In Hollywood, California on November 12, 2017. Credit: Faye Sadou/MediaPunch/IPX

Oprah’s closing statement sparked another standing ovation by attendees including Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

“I want all of 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 a lot of magnificent women — many of whom are right here in this room tonight — and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders that take us to the time when NOBODY ever has to say ‘ME TOO’ ever again.”{:}{:it}

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Lily Khuu
Entertainment Reporter at AfterEllen
Lily Khuu is a psychic lesbian witch who enjoys expressing her predictions through the art of GIF and meme. She is also the founder and event producer of the feminist group Matriarchy (formerly Queertainment) where she channels her LGBT activism by creating safe queer spaces. As an entertainment reporter for AfterEllen she gives the lesbian community a voice through public media. When she isn’t stuffing a microphone in someone’s beautiful face, she’s spinning under the pseudonym DJ Matriarchy. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Author: Lily Khuu

Lily Khuu is a psychic lesbian witch who enjoys expressing her predictions through the art of GIF and meme. She is also the founder and event producer of the feminist group Matriarchy (formerly Queertainment) where she channels her LGBT activism by creating safe queer spaces. As an entertainment reporter for AfterEllen she gives the lesbian community a voice through public media. When she isn’t stuffing a microphone in someone’s beautiful face, she’s spinning under the pseudonym DJ Matriarchy. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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