You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Politics at the Golden Globes: Why Talk Trump When We Have Oprah?

The Golden Globes slighted President Donald Trump in a very different way than past recent award shows: in jokes, introductions, and acceptance speeches. In fact, Hollywood figures refrained from directly naming him or even referencing him at all.

Save for a few jokes from Seth Meyers, the theme of the evening was on sexual abuse, harassment, discrimination, equality, and representation. There was no extended diatribe, a la Meryl Streep last year, on the current occupant of the White House, or even much that could taunt him.

The high point was Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech on receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award, in which she gave an eloquent, even soaring voice to the #MeToo movement.

“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said, to cheers and then a standing ovation. “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.” Meyers riffed about the idea of Oprah running for president in 2020, kicking off the hashtag #Oprah2020 which quickly started trending on Twitter — and NBC was all in on the notion in a tweet that was later deleted. (“The tweet was sent out by a third party agency for NBC Entertainment in real time during the live broadcast,” said the network in a statement. “It is in reference to a joke made during the opening monologue and not meant to be a political statement.”)


Winfrey has in the past dismissed the idea of running, but her speech quickly ignited a new round of media what-ifs? Winfrey’s longtime partner, Stedman Graham, helped fuel speculation as he told a Los Angeles Times reporter that she would “absolutely” run for the White House.

Winfrey has plenty on plate at the moment — juggling her multiple roles as the head of her own network and production studio, as well as on-camera roles in projects like Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” directed by her frequent collaborator Ava DuVernay, due in March.

The most self-critical moment of the night may have been what came right after Winfrey’s speech, when Natalie Portman, presenting the best director award, noted that they were all male nominees, a reference to just how few female helmers have been recognized in all of the industry’s major award shows.

Barbra Streisand, the only female to win a Globe for directing, followed up by saying, “Folks. Time’s up. We need more women directors, and we need more women to be nominated for best director.”

Ever outspoken in speeches and social media, she stayed away from partisanship.

There also were mentions of press freedoms — apt given the nominations for “The Post” — but again, there was no overt reference to the White House. “I value the press more than ever before,” Winfrey said, after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced $1 million contributions to two journalism organizations.

Trump and his supporters have in the past responded to award-show barbs and zingers aimed his way as yet another example of Hollywood elitism and even hypocrisy. At the Globes, presenters and honorees seemed to have a certain caution when it came to biting political comment, that a quip at the latest Trump tweet or “Fire and Fury” would seem trivial or tone deaf compared to the emerging #MeToo movement.

A number of winners talked of the hope that the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the fallout that followed would be the cultural moment that generates lasting change. Those in the room left little doubt that they plan to continue to use their platforms to push for it.

Catherine Zeta-Jones presented with her father-in-law, Kirk Douglas, now 101, and noted that he was instrumental in ending the blacklist. That was another dark moment in Hollywood that was followed by a long period of recovery and reconciliation.

Streisand, in presenting the final award of the night, expressed a sentiment that in the wake of all of the revelations of sexual misconduct and sexism, the industry was  changing itself.

“I’m proud that our industry, faced with uncomfortable truths, has vowed to change the way we do business,” she said.

More Politics

  • Trump Jim Acosta CNN White House

    The Gradual Disappearing Act of the White House Daily Press Briefing

    WASHINGTON — The Trump White House has dropped an event that used to be a prized invite for journalists and their families in D.C.: A holiday party for the media. But another tradition has been disappearing from the West Wing agenda as well: the daily press briefing. The regular televised afternoon back and forth between [...]

  • Nexstar Logo

    Nexstar Settles With Justice Department Over Sharing of Ad Information

    WASHINGTON — Nexstar Media Group, which recently announced plans to acquire Tribune Media and become the largest owner of TV stations in the country, has settled with the Justice Department as it investigates broadcasters’ sharing of competitive advertising rate information with rivals. Six other station groups, including Tribune Media, reached a settlement with the DOJ [...]

  • Donald Trump

    National Enquirer Parent Admits to Making Karen McDougal Payments to Help Trump in 2016 Election

    WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors said National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media, admitted that it made a $150,000 payment to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal “to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations” about Donald Trump in advance of the 2016 presidential election. AMI’s admission could bolster any case prosecutors make against Trump for violating [...]

  • Ajit Pai

    FCC to Launch Review of Media Ownership Rules, Including Ban on Broadcast Network Mergers

    WASHINGTON — The FCC will review whether to modify or even eliminate a series of media ownership proposals, including a current ban on mergers among the four major broadcast networks. The review, mandated by Congress every four years, includes no specific policy proposals, but will take public comment on whether changes are warranted. The FCC will [...]

  • US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says She's 'Feeling Just Fine' After Falling Last Month

    WASHINGTON — As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg watched Focus Features and Participant Media’s “On the Basis of Sex” for the first time at a National Archives screening in Washington, D.C., she got big applause for how she described her wellbeing after suffering a fall last month. “I’m feeling just fine, and I am meeting my [...]

  • Michael Cohen

    Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

    Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of charges, including a campaign finance violation in which he implicated President Trump. In an appearance in a New York federal court before his sentencing, Cohen said that he was sorry for his crimes, explaining that when he served as [...]

  • Sundar Pichai Hearing

    Key Takeaways From Google CEO Sundar Pichai's Day in Congress

    WASHINGTON — Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai made it through a 3.5-hour hearing before the House Judiciary Committee free of committing the company to new business practices or behavior. He didn’t even promise not to pursue a censored search engine in China, even as human rights groups have called on the company to abandon the project. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content