All eyes were on a smoldering Oprah Winfrey in a floor length Versace gown at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards star-studded event brilliantly hosted by Seth Meyers, which aired on NBC live from The Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, January 7, 2018.  The talk show titan was honored with the Cecil B. de Mille Award for her outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment making her the first Black woman to receive this honor.

    The evening’s theme was empowerment and gender and racial equality in the workforce and women wore black in solidarity for their cause.  The stars also donned “Time’s Up” pins in support of the movement to combat sexual harassment and inequality.  Powered by women, “Time’s Up” addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept under respected groups from reaching their full potential.  Many of the stars hosted activists of empowerment movements including activists Rosa Clemente and Tarana Burke.  Clemente is an organizer, political commentator and independent journalist.  Burke is the founder of the #MeToo movement and co-founder of Just Be You Inc.

In showing support of these causes HFPA stepped up its game and President Meher Tatna announced several campaigns that the organization has established to empower women.  As a result Simone Garcia Johnson, introduced by her proud father Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, carried out her duties as the first-ever Golden Globe Ambassador.

Winfrey’s friend and “Wrinkle in Time” co-star, Reese Witherspoon, delivered a moving message of her own when she introduced Winfrey whose stunning speech garnered several standing ovations  with some shouting “Oprah for President!”

Produced by dick clark productions (dcp) in association with the HFPA, the Golden Globe Awards are viewed in more than 236 countries worldwide and are one of the few awards ceremonies to include both motion picture and television achievements.  Executive producers of this year’s production was Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions; Mike Mahan, President of dick clark productions; and Barry Adelman, Executive VP of Television at dick clark productions.  (Photos by Getty Images) (See Page 21 for additional HFPA coverage)

Below is a full transcript of Winfrey’s acceptance speech.

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.” Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney’s performance in 

“Lilies of the Field”:

“Amen, amen, amen, amen.”

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. It is an honor — it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for “A.M. Chicago.” Quincy Jones who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, “Yes, she is Sophia in ‘The Color Purple.'” Gayle who has been the definition of what a friend is, and Stedman who has been my rock — just a few to name.

I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because we all know the press is under siege these days. 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 — 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, which brings me to this: 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. 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 farm workers. 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 politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.

And there’s someone else,  HYPERLINK “http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/us/recy-taylor-oprah-winfrey-golden-globes-speech/index.html” Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have 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. 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’ 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.

In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, 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.

About Recy Taylor

The woman called out by Oprah Winfrey was Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old Black mother and sharecropper, who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama.  Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives.  Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists.  The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice.  Now her story is told in a film by Nancy Buirski.  Augusta Films presents, in co-production with by Transform Films, Inc. in association with Artemis Rising and Matador Content, “The Rape of Recy Taylor,” dedicated to the countless women whose voices have not been heard.  This film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of Black women and reveals Rosa Parks’ intimate role in Recy Taylor’s story.  An attempted rape against Parks was but one inspiration for her ongoing fight for justice for countless women like Taylor. The 1955 bus boycott was an end result, not a beginning. More and more women are now speaking up after rape.  The film tells the story of Black women who spoke up when danger was greatest; it was their noble efforts to take back their bodies that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and movements that followed.  The 2017 Women’s March and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement are linked to their courage.  From sexual aggression on ‘40s southern streets to today’s college campuses and to the threatened right to choose, it is control of women’s bodies that powered the movement in Recy Taylor’s day and fuels our outrage today.   For additional information visit Social Media:

https://falcoink.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4c67cfe4821e202e2c118979b&id=82b35d9868&e=651985de40″ \t “_blank” facebook.com/TheRapeofRecyTaylor,  HYPERLINK “https://falcoink.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4c67cfe4821e202e2c118979b&id=038f8ebbd9&e=651985de40” \t “_blank” twitter.com/RecyTaylorFilm,  HYPERLINK “https://falcoink.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4c67cfe4821e202e2c118979b&id=717b69bb1a&e=651985de40” \t “_blank” instagram.com/augustafilms

For more information contact: April Tonsil /  HYPERLINK AprilTonsil@FalcoInk.com AprilTonsil@FalcoInk.com

 

By Audrey J. Bernard
Women’s Editor

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