Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes will go down as one of the most powerful in recent memory. Not only did the honor offer a sweeping look at her career and the movements that inspired her, it ended with a call out to the marginalized and the women who are now saying that “time is up.”
Winfrey is the first black woman to win the award and only the fourth person of color, which she acknowledged by referencing how Sidney Poitier’s win inspired her as a child. Now she can consider herself in the same company as the legendary actor. But it was her message to the women who present in the room and watching around the globe that struck the strongest chord:
“In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love, and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere, and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who have withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here and 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, 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.”
In a night that many hoped would break out of the shadow of Harvey Weinstein and sexual harassment in Hollywood, Winfrey did her best to make that a reality. It might be the only speech anybody needed to hear tonight.