Oprah Winfrey stole the show at the Globes

While receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey managed to do that difficult thing that she makes look so easy: she focused the themes and surging energies of a specific moment and distilled its messages and its painful essence.

Oprah Winfrey stole the show at the Globes

This, while making viewers feel as though she was speaking directly to each one of them as individuals.

Most of the Golden Globes telecast generally felt more or less like a normal awards telecast.

Many winners gave fine speeches, and quite of few of them eloquently expounded on themes of intersectionality, gender, race, class, and the marginalisation and abuse of the powerless.

But none of those 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 honoured at a Golden Globes 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.

Briefly, eloquently, 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, and when Oprah tells you a thing, you want to believe it.

More work needs to be done, as Oprah pointed out, in factories, in offices, in science labs, on film and TV sets. She was clear about the fact that this movement is in its beginning stages, not at an end.

But when 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, and when she talked about the justice Recy Taylor didn't get, it was hard to think about these things as abstractions. I don't know about you, but Oprah made me feel these things in a cathartic way.

In a room full of master storytellers, Oprah showed them all how it was done. Oprah united the famous and the unknown, the powerful and the powerless, the farm worker and the film star.

As she built to the close of her speech, with the crowd on their feet, Oprah told those who oppress and bully and assault that their time was up.

Time will tell if she was right. Maybe she won't be; maybe the entire night was all so much well-orchestrated, well-intentioned theatre. But in that moment, it felt like having Oprah on the side of the avenging army of women would make the movement unstoppable.

We can only hope.

Online Source

Tune India Radio Sydney Australia

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