There were many winners at last night’s 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards. But the people who walked away with the honor of hearing Oprah Winfrey’s speech were the greatest winners of all! Oprah was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille award, for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” She was presented this award by another powerful lady, Reese Witherspoon, her friend and co-star in the upcoming Disney film A Wrinkle in Time. Dedicating her speech to young women in true Mama Oprah style, this speech will continue to revolutionize and power this female led movement for generations to come.
“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.” – Oprah
See the full Speech Below:
“Thank you, Reese. In 1964, I was a little girl siting on the linoleum floor of my mom’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor . . . 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. 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 say is quote “amen, amen.”
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille ward right here . . . it’s 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. It is an honor. It is an honor, and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and the the incredible men and women who’ve inspired me, who’ve challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for AM Chicago. Quincy Jones, who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg yes, she is Sofia in the Color Purple. Gayle who has been the definition of what a friend is. Stedman, who’s been my rock. Just a few to name.
I’d like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, because we all know the press is under siege today, but we also know that it is the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps ups from turning a blind eye to corruption and 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, 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, and 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 academia and engineering and tech and politics and business.
And there’s someone else. Recy Taylor. A name I know and I think you should, too. In 1942, Recy Taylor was a young wife and a mother. She was just walking home from a church service she’d attended in Alabama when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left by the side of the road. 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. 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 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th bday. She lived, as we all lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. 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. Their time is up. Your 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 women who chooses to say ‘Me too.’ And every man who chooses to listen. In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do whether on television or film is to say something about how men and women really behave. Just say how we experience shame . . . how we fail, retreat, persevere, and how we overcome.
A new day is on the horizon! But 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 phenomenal men who are fighting hard to make sure they . . . leaders who take us to the time when nobody has to say me too again. Thank you.”