Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 75th annual Golden Globes Sunday night, calling for action against sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
As Oprah addressed the crowd of A-list stars, she proclaimed that “a new day is on the horizon” as the culture of sexual intimidation and harassment is exposed in Hollywood.
Oprah said in her acceptance speech:
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.
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.
Winfrey discussed how she had been inspired as a young girl by Sidney Poitier, as she watched him win the Best Actor Oscar in 1964 as she sat on the floor of her mother’s house in Milwaukee. Poitier also became the first black man to be awarded the Cecil B. DeMille award, in 1982.
“I tried very 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 peoples’ houses,” Winfrey said.
“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 the same award,” she added. “It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them.”
Winfrey also told the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was attacked and raped by six white men while walking home from church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1944. Winfrey told the Globes audience that Taylor died in December, without ever having received justice for the attack.
“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,” Winfrey said.
“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon!” she went on. “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.”
Winfrey’s speech comes after several months in which dozens of prominent figures in the media and entertainment industries have been accused of sexual misconduct. Actresses attending the Globes Sunday night wore all-black ensembles to protest the industry’s treatment of women, while numerous stars also wore “Time’s Up” pins.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.