Politely defiant radicalism appropriated the Golden Globes on Jan. 7 as the best televised party in Hollywood was usurped by classy women fed up with being treated as second class citizens. The evening of talented women dressed in black to show solidarity against long standing male privilege, sexual harassment, and unjust economic disparities culminated in 10 minutes of fervid inspiration as Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. de Mille Award, the first black woman to receive the prestigious award.
Winfrey wed the erudite simplicity of abolitionist Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech with the outrage of “Network” news anchor Howard Beale who encouraged his audience to yell: “I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!….I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!”
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” Winfrey said, adding that the “MeToo movement that grew out of the tsunami reaction to stories if sexual harassment and abuse includes women in all industries forced into the economics of consent. “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. Their time is up.”
Keenly aware that she was serving as a role model for millions, Winfrey concluded with: “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, 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.”
The entire next day, pundits were asking if Winfrey would run for president. Best friend Gayle King, who initially ruled it out, said Winfrey was “intrigued” by the idea.
But the real hope for change lies in concrete action now, say the 300 Hollywood women who launched the #TimesUp initiative to fight sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace. The new Time’s Up website includes a “Know Your Rights” section prepared by the TIME’s UP Legal, Legislative and Policy Committee, and an initial $13 million legal defense fund to help less-privileged women protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the potential fallout from reporting it.
As if taking a lesson from the ACT UP of old, the “sisters” are politely defying the mainstream male expectation of silence. Now Silence=Consent and the sisters ain’t having it, some as simply snidely as Natalie Portman’s ad-libbed introduction of the “all male nominees” for Best Director.
“‘Lady Bird’ won one of the two Best Picture awards, its lead actress won one of the two Best Actress trophies, and the screenplay was nominated as well. Yet Greta Gerwig was missing from the Best Director category, as if she wasn’t the one at the helm of its excellence,” Kevin Fallon wrote at The Daily Beast.
Later Barbra Streisand, the only woman to ever win Best Director in Golden Globes history—in 1984 for ”Yentl”—tweeted: “In my humble opinion, I was very disappointed that director Dee Rees and her powerful film @mudboundmovie wasn’t even nominated.” Dee is the lesbian director of the critically acclaimed Netflix film, ”Mudbound.”
All eyes are now on the upcoming SAG Awards and especially the Oscars—Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman who won a Best Director Oscar for The Hurt Locker.
The Oscars will be held on March 4 this year, with the nominations announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23. That’s just two days after the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are broadcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Of particular interest will be if and how the #MeToo movement incorporates pay inequality—an issue Patricia Arquette raised in 2014 when accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar. But now there’s jaw-dropping proof of the gapping disparity. USA Today reported that four-time Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams was paid less than $1,000 to re-shoot scenes in “All the Money in the World” after director Ridley Scott decided to cut out accused gay sexual predator Kevin Spacey and replace him with Christopher Plummer. Supporting actor Mark Wahlberg reportedly received $1.5 million for his supporting role re-shoot.
To heighten the insult, Wahlberg and Williams—who received a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination for her performance and brought #MeToo founder Tarana Burke as her Golden Globes date—both have the same talent agency, William Morris Endeavor. However, Wahlberg is apparently “good pals” with WME head, Ari Emanuel.
WME is now being sued by actor Terry Crews who says that WME agent Adam Venit groped him at a party. Crews also says he met with Emanuel. “Crews expressed fear of retaliation from Venit for reporting the incident, but Emanuel reportedly apologized for him and assured Crews that Venit ‘did not have that level of power despite his title as head of the Motion Picture Department,” Variety reported.
Oprah Winfrey is also represented by WME.