Oprah Winfrey brought the Golden Globes crowd to its feet with a powerful speech during Sunday’s ceremony, calling out sexual harassers around the world: “Their time has come.”
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.”
For years, Winfrey was known as the queen of the daytime talk show with The Oprah Winfrey Show, which ran for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986, to May 25, 2011, while also scoring lead roles in critically acclaimed movies — many of which she also produced. In 1985, she costarred in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, a role for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. In 1998, she produced and starred in the movie adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Beloved, and later in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Ava DuVernay’s Selma. She is also the Chairman and CEO of the cable network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and founder of O, The Oprah Magazine.
Winfrey’s charitable endeavors include establishing The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa to provide education for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The philanthropist returns to the big screen in March 2018 with the upcoming Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s sci-fi novel A Wrinkle in Time, in which she costars alongside Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon.
Although Winfrey is the first black woman to earn the Cecil B. DeMille award, she is the 15th women and the fourth black person among the previous 64 winners.