In 2018, the Time’s Up movement was front and center at the Golden Globes, with the women of Hollywood showing up in droves of all-black to show their support for the movement. Two years later, at the 2020 Golden Globes, the need for change in the film and TV industry (and the world at large) is no less urgent. Once again, Hollywood stars took the opportunity to speak out for a better future — and seriously inspired us along the way.
Make no mistake: We’ve made meaningful progress since 2018, and female-led films and TV shows like Little Women, Hustlers, and Fleabag speak to that. But in order to fix our long history of disrespecting, undervaluing, and harassing women in the workplace and beyond, we need to take a cue from the women who are speaking out and look at this as the continuation of our shared journey, not the end of one.
There were several moments of female empowerment that felt especially poignant at the Golden Globes, host Ricky Gervais even pointed out that not a single female director was nominated for Best Motion Picture for the fourth year running. We need to send a message that that’s unacceptable, and many moments at the 2020 Golden Globes did just that.
Michelle William’s acceptance speech after winning for Fosse/Verdon might be the defining moment of the Golden Globes — if not of this whole awards season. Williams, currently pregnant, spoke passionately about the need for abortion access, and how vital that freedom of choice is for women everywhere.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose,” Williams said. “To choose when to have my children, and with whom…So, women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. But don’t forget we are the largest voting body in this country, let’s make it look more like us.”
Awkwafina’s win for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy was important for many reasons: The Farewell was a female-led production, directed by Lulu Wang, and Awkwafina was the first Asian woman to ever win a Golden Globe in this category. (Also, it was just a damn good performance.)
Speaking backstage after her win, Awkwafina reflected on being the first Asian woman to win in this category. “It feels incredible — but I think there’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more. I hope this is just the beginning.”
Kate McKinnon presented the Carol Burnett Award for excellence in television to Ellen DeGeneres and gave a moving speech on how much DeGeneres has meant to her in her career. “If I hadn’t seen her on TV, I would’ve thought, ‘I could never be on TV, they don’t let LGBTQ people on TV,'” McKinnon shared. “And more than that, I would’ve gone on thinking that I was an alien and that I maybe didn’t have a right to be here.”
While DeGeneres receiving this award was an empowering moment in and of itself, the TV host also offered some inspiring words in the press room. “My life has been a crazy journey; I never could have imagined that I would have won any awards,” DeGeneres admitted. “I think it sends a really powerful message to anyone out there trying to start a career and saying, ‘I’m different.’ You can accomplish a whole lot so — as much as I don’t seem emotional, I’m deeply moved by this, I really am.”
What isn’t empowering about Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge? From her flawless pantsuit to her cheeky shout-out to Obama, Waller-Bridge is a living reminder that women can do whatever the f*ck they want — and the more they march to the beat of their own drum, the more successful they’re likely to be. Our favorite moment?
“Personally, I’d like to thank Obama for putting us on his list,” Waller-Bridge said while accepting the Best Comedy or Musical Television Series Golden Globe. “And as some of you may know, he’s always been on mine.”
We really couldn’t love her more if we tried.