Posted by: Emily Carrancho | January 17, 2018

“A new day is on the horizon.”

As thousands of people tuned into the Golden Globes this year as usual, some were not ready to see the positive and strong leadership that would emerge throughout this program. Of all the different men and women who attended the award show in hopes to receive a win, a majority had one underlying motivation to attend. There was talk of an all black dress attire to stand up and silently support the #metoo movement. These men and women who wore black did not disappoint. Many also had pins that read “Time’s Up.” Time is up for women at award shows being questioned and interviewed only on what or “who” they are wearing on the red carpet. In addition, time’s up for the gender gap in leadership and the sexual harassment/abuse that happens in the industry.

Almost everyone who attended the award show showed up in black. Many celebrities gave speeches about standing up to the societal norms and making a movement through essentially saying, “stop objectifying us and ask us about our work and nominations.” By wearing black they show that they are a unified force while supporting the #metoo movement. They were speaking out for those women who are either too apprehensive to share their sexual harassment stories or for those women who have missed their chance to.

For example, Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award this year and instead of taking 10 to 15 minutes to say thank you and talk about herself, she used her time to speak up and advocate against sexual assault in the workplace. Oprah commended all the women in any field, race, religion, and/or culture who have shared their story and their “truth.”  Oprah even briefly mentioned her mother being a victim as well. Oprah was truly inspirational with how she spoke and displayed leadership by speaking up for women who have been victimized by sexual assault. The purpose of Oprah’s speech was to inspire women and girls who were watching to know that “a new day is on the horizon.” Oprah expressed that this new day would 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.”

Oprah used her influence as a celebrity to speak about something greater than herself. She broke the gender divide by saying how both men and women would be the ones who would make that new day come to reality. She never said anything negative about men and how they shouldn’t lead or that women are the all empowering leaders. She eloquently put that this new horizon would not come without both genders working together as humans; with most importantly “men who listen.

Oprah is one of the many women who were able to break through the “glass ceiling” as a model for future women to do the same. Her speech reminded me of the video we watched in class when Shonda Rhimes accepted the Sherry Lansing award for leadership. Rhimes explained that the award was a participation award because she was joining the collective group of women who had broken through the “glass ceiling” at “just the right place at just the right time.” Similarly to Oprah, Rhimes used her speech to talk about others instead of herself and her own accomplishments.

Many celebrities have a huge following behind them, especially Oprah Winfrey and Shonda Rhimes, and they exemplify true leadership by using their influence to speak to the world. They are not the only women who have broken the glass ceiling before. Countless other women and men have also spoken up about the gender discrepancies that are present in society. My question however, is do all celebrities have a responsibility to share their “truth” or to advocate for something larger than themselves since they have the capacity to reach multiple audiences?

For those who wish to watch Oprah Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes click on the following link:    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN5HV79_8B8

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Responses

  1. This topic is definitely one that is growing and gaining more traction everyday. Just this past weekend, celebrities like Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Whoopi Goldberg were rallying women and promoting the upcoming Womens March 2018. These are all highly influential women that have the power to change things, but also have voices, unlike so many other women. Whoopi Goldberg said it best when she said in a speech “We have to decide that the people who represent us have to represent all of us. They can’t represent some of us.” This shows that the problem women are facing is for all women, not just the celebrities. Her speech backs up Scalett Johansson’s speech on Saturday in which she tells James Franco she wants her pin back (#Timesup pin) that he wore to the Golden Globes. Franco has been accused of sexual assult from different women but has denied any involvement. Johansson claims that he cannot support the women cause while preying on defenseless women. Ultimetly, both articles urge for women to untie together no matter their backgrounds in order to make changes, which is what so many actresses and actors did at the Golden Globes this year.

    Womens March Article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/01/20/alyssa-milano-stars-speak-2018-womens-march/1051198001/

    Scarlett Johnasson Article: https://www.wmagazine.com/story/scarlett-johansson-womens-march-speech-james-franco

  2. This is a problem that is growing and gaining traction everyday. Just this past weekend, celebrities like Natalie Portman, Viola Davis, and Whoopi Goldberg were rallying women and promoting the upcoming Womens March 2018. These women are all celebrities that are highly influential and have a voice to change things, unlike so many other women. Whoopi Goldberg said it best when in her speech she declared that “We have to decide that the people who represent us have to represent all of us. They can’t represent some of us.” This claim also supports the speech Scarlett Johansson made this past weekend, in which she urged James Franco to return her pin (#Timesup pin) that he wore to the Golden Globes. Franco has been accused on sexual assult from multiple women and Johansson claims that he cannot support the womens cause while preying on defenseless women. Ultimatley, both of these articles call for women to ban together regardless of their backgrounds in order to change the world. We saw many actors and actresses supporting this by wearing all black to the Golden Globes this year.

    Womens March 2018 Article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2018/01/20/alyssa-milano-stars-speak-2018-womens-march/1051198001/

    Scarlett Johnasson Article: https://www.wmagazine.com/story/scarlett-johansson-womens-march-speech-james-franco

  3. I think celebrities are gifted with a powerful platform on which to make a statement. They have the potential to influence hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people; it is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. However, since this class does focus on equality, I think it is unfair to expect every famous person to publicly take a stance on social issues. Unlike politicians, who signed up to speak on behalf of the people, I am sure some movie stars just wanted to act; becoming famous is merely a side-effect.

    For example, Rihanna, a very famous singer, summed up this idea perfectly when she said:
    “See, people … they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead. The things I say in my songs, they expect it of me, and [being a role model] became more of my job than I wanted it to be. But no, I just want to make music. That’s it.”

    I am sure other stars feel the same. I think its incredible when you have a situation like the Golden Globes where so many influential people come together to make a statement. However, I think it is only the responsibility of politicians to actually have a stance on issues, and we cannot blame famous people who choose to not participate in social issue movements.

    Link on Rihanna:
    http://www.mtv.com/news/1671882/rihanna-role-model-british-vogue-uk/

  4. I love reading about this movement that took place at the Golden Globes. I really admire those who took this time honoring themselves to focus on issues that affect others and make it more visible what is going on in our country that is just straight up unacceptable. However, I do not agree with how people are perceiving it. Following Oprah’s speech, many took to social media saying “Oprah for President” and “Winfrey 2020,” which is nice agreeing with her values but I do not believe celebrities and politics should mix all too much.

    Using their platform to advocate for social issues is a positive use of their fame, but it is not them making decisions for the country it is those elected officials. We need to hold them more accountable, and if we want to see a change we need to start on the local level, not on the Golden Globes level with Oprah.

  5. As someone who rarely watches award shows like Golden Globes, I was intrigued to read this post. I find it inspiring that the attendees wore black to give awareness to an important movement. It must have felt unifying to see most everyone there in the same color. I found it surprising that there were pins reading “Time’s Up!” because when I think of interviews among the genders, it’s true, the women receive different types of questions. Even when nominated for a huge award, the interviewers are asked to find the answers to the wrong questions. Asking about the designer of clothing is not going to enhance the knowledge of the nominees’ intelligence of the entertainment industry. It has become a norm for interviewers to ask useless questions, just focusing on a promotion for the designer, making the women objectified.

    Oprah’s quote that “A new day is on the horizon” is very motivational for young adults. It gives hope that gender won’t “define” leadership for the generations to come. This speech also reminds of me the video we watched in class about the glass ceiling. Both of the women decided to speak about something bigger than their accomplishments.

  6. It’s interesting to me how even famous women are subject to this idea where their worth seems to be in their appearance where men are questioned about their work. You would think that since these famous and highly influential individuals would stand against these gender roles and be a beacon of strength and leadership, yet the media still depicts them still as a famous individual yet somehow lesser. Actresses aren’t at an award ceremony to talk about their designer, it’s for them. I feel as though this is such an easy problem to fix just by changing the mindset and questioning of the public media where reporters focus on their achievements instead of their attire. Although, it is known that the media reports on what will make them the most money and what people want to hear, so it may be harder to change the media’s ways if you have to change the public’s first.

  7. First, thank you for sharing Oprah’s speech because I personally did not watch the Golden Globes; however I looked up the statistics and 19 million people did. That is 19 million people who tuned in to see women and men of the film industry accept awards for their accomplishments. That is 19 million people who heard the speech Oprah gave and even if it did not consciously resonate to some as a prominent issue in society, subconsciously it was heard. I listen and I hear the women who have risen and become role models for all generations older and younger to continue the push to be heard… to have a voice! It has been a long time coming and we still have a long way to go; but with the continuing successes and outreach to women who have ended up on top giving strength to those who have previously failed to try again and those who are just now starting the fight to persist a movement is happening. Change is occurring and it is beautiful to see.

    To answer your question, I believe celebrities have a following they can reach to on a deeper level than the average women in a business. It is hard being a nobody and making a impactful change to the world. However, I do not believe it is their responsibility to share their opinions and truth. The weight should not be on them completely, I believe they have a duty that if they want a change to be made they should use their power for the betterment of their cause.

    Going along with Oprah’s speech, I was on Facebook and saw Halsey’s Women’s March speech and was moved. Here this is :

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/01/22/us/halsey-womens-march-poem-speech-trnd/index.html

    Yearly Golden Globe watcher statistics since the year 2000
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/266669/golden-globes–number-of-viewers/

  8. As someone who does not watch these kinds of shows like the Golden Globes, Grammy’s, Emmy’s etc. I find it pretty amazing that they could all come together to support a topic that needs more attention and victims to speak up. Seeing how many celebrities came together to support this movement gives me hope that their influence can truly make an impact in the world. Surprisingly enough when I was younger I actually did realize that on the red carpet the men would be asked about their work and the women would be asked what they are wearing. I remember noticing this because I really did not care what they were wearing and I’m sure there were many others that shared my view. I simply cared if they were gonna be in any big movies or something that I would want to go see.

    I feel as though celebrities have a unique opportunity to help a lot of people and this can start with reporters asking the right questions and the celebrities who are role models for many people to do what is needed when it comes to those who can not help themselves. The pins are a great place to start, and giving notice to the #metoo movement can really go a long way.


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