Stop Everything—Oprah Winfrey Just Gave an Amazing Golden Globes Speech Reminding Us Why the #MeToo Movement Matters

It's safe to say that whenever Oprah Winfrey is involved in something, that thing becomes infinitely better. Such was the case at Sunday night's Golden Globes ceremony, where Oprah received the Cecil B. DeMille Award, given to a Hollywood figure who has contributed extraordinarily to the world of entertainment. Following a pattern of speeches that addressed sexual abuse and its role in Hollywood, Oprah fit the tone of the night in a empowering, impassioned way, turning the focus from her own achievements to the changing tide of the world's social climate. 

After being introduced by her A Wrinkle in Time co-star Reese Witherspoon, Oprah began her acceptance speech with a memory from her childhood, in which she saw actor Sidney Poitier become the first black man to win an Academy Award. He later received the Cecil B. DeMille award in the 1980s, thus the historical moment paralleled her own, as she was the first black woman to accept the award. 

"It is not lost on me that, at this moment, there is some little girl watching as I become the first black woman to be given the same award," she remarked. "It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them."

First thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the honor, Oprah highlighted the struggles journalists have faced in the past year. "We know the press is under siege these days," she said. "We also know it's the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice...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."

The speech then transformed into award show history before our eyes. Oprah has a talent of making any ordinary saying sound legendary (I mean, think about the commercial where she talks about loving bread), but this delivery is one for the record books. 

"I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault," she continued. "They're the women whose names we'll never know." She then shared the story of Recy Taylor, a wife and mother who was abducted and raped by six white men in 1944. Although the men threatened that they would kill her if she told anyone, Taylor shared her experience with the NAACP, where Rosa Parks helped lead her case for justice. Her abusers were never persecuted.

"Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday," Oprah said. "She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men."

Then to resounding cheers from the audience, particularly its female members, Oprah declared, "But their time is up. Their time is up."

Mentioning the wide array of people she has interviewed and portrayed in the past, Oprah closed with the shared quality that these humans all seem to possess in the bleakest of times. "The one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights," she said. "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...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."


While I was particularly moved by the shots of black women in the audience watching Oprah with such pride and admiration, Twitter was far from shy about their love of the speech. 

It can be difficult not to sound like a broken record when addressing sexual harassment and abuse in any industry, but Oprah reminded us why it's crucial to risk repetition with this acceptance speech. If your 2018 was off to a rocky start, do yourself a favor and listen to her speech. A new day is truly on the horizon, and it's our job to help women reach that breakthrough.