By Jack Rico
This year’s Golden Globes, a usually festive, yet historically disreputable and controversial show, had an air of legitimacy behind its wings last night. It was the first time that I took the Globes seriously and that began with the commitment from a diverse group of Hollywood women who gave the Time’s Up movement meaning and intention. The night also gave way to an overarching theme of reclamation, inclusivity, and purpose.
Reclamation because women were seen taking back their respect from powerful men, which was somehow lost in a cosmic, cultural black hole seemingly never to return.
Inclusivity because people of all backgrounds and accents won major awards, and most importantly, were not ignored – like when Guillermo del Toro demanded his exit music be paused so he could finish his poignant speech.
Purpose because women walked in with a mindset to truly make a difference in the world and not just sit back once more to be silent witnesses. The Globes was where they were going to make that mark and begin that change.
Over fifteen Golden Globe awards, between film and television, went to women, female-focused stories and men of a multicultural background. It is a sizeable and noteworthy conclusion for months, if not years, of abuse of gender inequality and overall prejudice. It was a beautiful sight to see the activism behind it, reminiscent of the counterculture of the 1960’s which sparked American unity. Can we apply that same fervor to government and the White House as well?
Speaking of the White House… we’ll we soon see it renamed The Black House? For a while now, Viola Davis has been the social conscious of award seasons. Her speeches are listened to with absolute attentiveness, perhaps with the intention of setting America straight on its lack of wokeness, but even Viola has a sensei and her name is Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey gave a speech for the ages, a speech that was charged with such a Presidential tone, that it roused the most talented, and jaded, Hollywoodians. Davis, Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep, the women that have taken the baton to speak against social injustices, were transfixed at her and her words.
Let me try and anatomize why… Oprah has incredible diction, a vocal tone full of gravitas and uses inflections to create emotional markers in the audience. Essentially, she has the gift of gab, a skilled orator that is inimitable. People we consider famous and/or important genuflect in awe of this talent. As an accomplished professional myself, I sat astonished how easy she made that teleprompter speech seem as if it were off-the-cuff or a monologue scene with the power of something you’d see straight out of Norma Rae. I don’t know if I could ever speak with that dexterity. She makes it seem like an art form.
On another note, much was talked about the way Debra Messing called out E! News for the way they handled Catt Sadler’s resignation over equal pay. Eva Longoria also chimed in with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon in tow. For me, I noticed how the two E! reporters in question, Giuliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest, veterans of red carpet interview for over a decade now, seemed unable to retort or add to the conversation correctly. Much of this could be due to the lack of knowledge of the issues or the inability to articulate those issues with decorum. Perhaps an idea would have been to study up on those relevant topics or replace them with politically inclined correspondents. But E! took a hit in the public eye and clearly seemed unfit to handle interviews outside of the gloss of entertainment.
Overall, with Pixar’s Coco being the first Latino-themed animated film to win a Golden Globe, and Guillermo del Toro winning his very first director award for Shape of Water, it was a great night that inspired hope in the world and in our entertainment industry. Was it a one-off or will we see the same at the Critics Choice Awards on Jan 11th and into the Oscars? I hope Meryl, Oprah, and crew don’t take their feet off the pedal because there is a lot more to accomplish.