Oprah Winfrey undoubtedly owned the Golden Globes on Sunday (7 January) as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement award, becoming the first black woman to do so in 66 years.
The queen of daytime TV began her speech at the Beverly Hilton by recalling how she felt when Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win Best Actor at the Oscars in 1964.
Winfrey, 63, said: “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 honour—it is an honour 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.”
Winfrey went on to address the encompassing Harvey Weinstein sexual assault harassment scandal, which saw Hollywood support the Time’s Up campaign by wearing black to the awards ceremony.
Watch Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes 2018 speech in full:
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 8, 2018
The Butler actress said: “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.”
She later continued: “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.”
Perhaps the most moving moment of Winfrey’s speech came when she retold the horrifying story of Recy Taylor, who was gang-raped by six white men in 1940s Alabama and dumped by the side of a road. Rosa Parks fought to try and get justice for Taylor but the men were never persecuted.
Winfrey concluded: “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.
“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.”
Audience members, celebrities and Twitter just couldn’t handle Winfrey’s powerful words and even suggested she run for US presidency in 2020.
Here are all the best reactions to Winfrey’s presidential speech:
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 8, 2018
Congratulations @Oprah! You are an incredible role model. Thank you for your inspiring and moving words and for everything you have done for me personally. You have changed my life. ❤
— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) January 8, 2018
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) January 8, 2018
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 8, 2018
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) January 8, 2018
CONGRATS Ms @Oprah on being the first African American woman to be honored with the CB Mills Award and for remembering all of the mothers who scrubbed floors and their daughters who waited for them to come home. WELL DONE! 🙏🏾👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) January 8, 2018
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) January 8, 2018