Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes and left everyone in the room — and at home — in tears.
Winfrey won the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at this year’s Golden Globes. During her speech, Winfrey recalled watching Sidney Poitier win at the Golden Globes for 1964’s Lillies in the Field and how it was the first time she saw a black man celebrated on television. “It’s not lost on me that at this moment, there are little girls watching as I become the first black woman to receive this award,” Winfrey said.
Making a plea for a free press, Winfrey said, “I want to say 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. I’m especially proud and inspired by all the woman who felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”
Men and women at Sunday’s Golden Globes showed remarkable solidarity in protesting sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood and the world at large, promoting the new Time’s Up initiative and also wearing black to express unity.
“This year, we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry, it’s one that transcenceds any culture, or workplace,” Winfrey said, before noting that sexual misconduct affects women and men in industries that stretch beyond Hollywood.
Winfrey then pivoted her speech by telling the story of Recy Taylor, who was raped by a group of white men in Alabama in 1944.
“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago. She lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. Women were not believed,” Winfrey said, before adding to the abusive men, “their time is up.”
Winfrey closed her speech with a call for unity: “I want all the girls watching to know 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 they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”
Watch Oprah’s entire speech below.