Oprah Winfrey proclaimed the end of women having to come forward with stories of “Me Too” is just around the corner in an empowering acceptance speech for the Golden Globes’ Cecil B. DeMille Award Sunday night.
The longtime talk show host, producer and actress brought the crowd to their feet with an inspiring monologue that included shout-outs to social justice activist Recy Taylor and the just-launched Time’s Up initiative.
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” she said. “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.”
Oprah Winfrey said “a new day is on the horizon” in terms of people listening to women.
Winfrey, the first black woman to win the award, dedicated much of her time in the spotlight to Recy Taylor, an African-American who died just shy of her 98th birthday Dec. 29.
Taylor was just 24 years old when she was abducted and brutally raped at gunpoint by six white men while walking home from church in Alabama in 1944.
She reported the horrific incident to police, and famed civil rights activist Rosa Parks was put on the case by the NAACP, though her attackers were never indicted.
Winfrey tied Taylor’s story to Time’s Up, the anti-sexual harassment initiative launched last month by more than 300 Hollywood women.
“(Taylor) lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” she said. “But their time is up. Their time is up.”
She gave a shout-out to Recy Taylor, an activist who died last month just shy of her 98th birthday.
(Phelan M. Ebenhack/ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Time’s Up, also backed by stars like Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes and Natalie Portman, was the driving force in encouraging Golden Globes attendees to dress in all black as a means of protesting sexual harassment.
In her speech, Winfrey came full circle in relating tales of childhood dreams.
She kicked off the speech with a memory of watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar in 1964 and the swell of inspiration that came with seeing a black man celebrated in the spotlight.
In wrapping up, she gave a shout-out to all the girls watching, just as she was all those decades ago.
“I want all the girls watching here 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, 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,” she said.
Highlights from the 2018 Golden Globes
The emotional speech was met with high praise on Twitter from fellow celebrities.
“Oprah has spoken. #TimesUp #WhyWeWearBlack,” “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez wrote.
“(Love) oprah,” added Donald Glover.
The Cecil B. DeMille Award is an honorary award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that’s been given out annually (save 1976) since 1952.
Past winners include Kirk Douglas, Frank Sinatra, Robin Williams and Denzel Washington. Poitier won in 1982.
Winfrey’s moving speech even drew public clamor for a presidential run, which she has previously teased.