Oprah Winfrey gave one of the most rousing speeches we’ve seen since the 2016 political campaign.
The venue? Sunday’s Golden Globes, where she received the Cecil B. DeMille award.
In her acceptance speech, the former talk show host talked about Recy Taylor, a black woman from Alabama who was kidnapped and raped by six men after leaving church. Taylor’s case was an early call for action and civil rights.
Winfrey said women who have stood up to abusers are present-day agents of change. And the men who have sexually abused and bullied them are going to realize “their time is up. A new day is on the horizon.”
Winfrey, who sounded like a presidential candidate, got a standing ovation from the crowd, largely dressed in black to show support for those who have spoken out.
The unusually somber evening continued the thread with awards for shows that tackled abuse (“Big Little Lies” won four, including Best Limited Series; “The Handmaid’s Tale” won two, including Best Drama; “I, Tonya" won Best Supporting Actress).
While Natalie Portman tried to press the point while presenting the Best Director Award (she pointed out there was no woman in the mix), winner Guillermo del Toro (for “The Shape of Water”) pulled it back and gave credit to the women in his films and his life.
Women power continued with “Lady Bird” and its star, Saoirse Ronan, winning in the Best Comedy/Musical Film categories.
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, the stars of “Thelma and Louise,” a film that celebrated the strength of female friendship, presented the Best Actor/Drama prize to Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour.”
And Frances McDormand, the force behind “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” won Best Actress/Drama, adding to her film’s take (it got Best Film/Drama, Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell and Best Screenplay), setting it up as a frontrunner for the Oscars. “The women in this room aren’t here for the food. We’re here for the work,” she said.
“Lady Bird” and “The Shape of Water” appear to be strong Oscar contenders, too.
James Franco won Best Actor/Comedy or Musical, for “The Disaster Artist,” which could help its chances.
The odd men out: “The Post,” Steven Spielberg’s film about The Washington Post and its publisher, and “Get Out” and “Dunkirk,” two early leaders in the Oscar sweepstakes.
TV winners: Best Comedy and Best Comedy Actress to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and its star Rachel Brosnahan; Best Comedy Actor, Aziz Ansari for “Master of None”; Best Limited Series Actor, Ewan McGregor for “Fargo”; Best Drama Actor, Sterling K. Brown, “This is Us”; Best Drama Actress, Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Clearly, though, it was Oprah’s night.