Golden Globes 2018: Message-Oriented Show and Oprah’s Power to Connect

Most of the Golden Globes show, while certainly amped up by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and the personal testimonies that powered them, felt more or less like a normal awards telecast.

There was clearly more pointed energy, and there were blunt, brutal, and welcome assessments of power dynamics, which began with Seth Meyers’ surgically precise monologue.

Natalie Portman pointed out that all the film directors nominees were men.

But none of the other presenters or winners were Oprah. As the highlight reel of her accomplishments made clear, she’s important in many different spheres. But all of her empires were built on this unshakable foundation: She’s a master broadcaster. She connects.

In her speech, she painted a picture of herself as a young girl, awed by “elegant” award-winner Sidney Poitier, who was honored at a broadcast she saw decades ago.

She tied that vision to the prospect of young girls today seeing her get her DeMille Award — and being the first African-American woman to do so.

And in a heartbreaking, necessary way, she brought a new name to the collection of stories every single one of us need to know.

She told the story of Recy Taylor, a woman who brought her brutal rape case to the attention of NAACP officials, including Rosa Parks, who investigated the crime.

“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago,” Winfrey said. “She lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. Women were not believed.”

That time is over, Oprah told us.

More work needs to be done, as Oprah pointed out, in factories, in offices, in science labs, on film and TV sets.  This movement is just in its beginning stages.

She paid tribute to the power of the press to tell the truth, when she celebrated people — many of them women — who told their stories.  When she talked about the justice Recy Taylor didn’t get, she made it real.

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