Wait, is Oprah 2020 actually happening?
Wait, is Oprah 2020 actually happening?
BY : ZARNA SURTI
Wait, Is Oprah 2020 Actually Happening?
We’ve all heard the rumors: Kanye 2020, Zuckerberg 2020, and of course everyone’s dream, Michelle Obama 2020. But after Oprah Winfrey’s iconic speech at the 2018 Golden Globes, she might be an actual contender—yes, our favorite bread-loving, car-gifting woman might just have a long shot at The Oval Office.
Winfrey graced us at the awards in an all-black Atelier Versace gown, showcasing her solidarity of Time’s Up. She was also attending the annual event to become the first African-American woman to accept the iconic Cecil B. DeMille Award, an honorary Golden Globe Award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. From covering topics like race, justice, and the #MeToo movement, Winfrey’s speech was by far the most powerful and pointed of the evening. Her arguably most triumphant moment was her final quote, “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, are 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.”
All presidential possibilities aside, here are five of Winfrey’s best quotes of the evening:
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille Award right here at the Golden Globes, and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award.
Although it’s still shocking to think we’re still experiencing so many firsts for people of color, as the first black woman to win this award, Winfrey had the entire crowd—the ones in attendance and the ones watching at home—all cheering her on. She also started the speech out perfectly by honoring the iconic African-American actor Sidney Poitier saying, “In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: ‘The winner is Sidney Poitier.’”
I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, because we all know the press is under siege these days. But we also know it’s the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice, to tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times.
In this overt criticism of Trump’s constant battle with the press and perhaps a nod to her former career as a talk show host, Winfrey hails the press for their dedication and hardwork to discovering the truth in this political climate. She also uses the strong term ‘corruption’ here, a phrase we haven’t heard her use in a public context.
What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.
Stemming from the tragic Harvey Weinstein controversy, Winfrey discusses the sexual harassment issue head on. With personal stories from actresses like Salma Hayek, Lupita Nyong’o, and over 84+ accusers who have come out with their horrifying experiences, Winfrey discusses the context around the #MeToo movement and its issues far beyond Hollywood.
So 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. They are domestic workers and farmworkers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and in politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.
In this heartfelt moment, Winfrey identifies with many of the award show’s viewers, as it switches the lens into their own homes, workplaces, and communities. Winfrey showed support and recognition for those experiencing abuse and assault outside of the entertainment industry and took a moment to acknowledge their struggles.
But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up. And I just hope—I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’s heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man, every man who chooses to listen.
Reiterating her stance with Time’s Up, Winfrey told the story of Recy Taylor, who was brutally abducted in 1944 on her way home from church—her accusers were never persecuted and she died just a few days before the Winfrey accepted this award without any justice. Here she discusses Rosa Parks’s involvement in furthering the advancement of women of color and acknowledges not only the women speaking up, but perhaps an equally important recognition—every man who is listening and standing with them in solidarity.