While accepting her Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, talk show maven Oprah Winfrey made a speech that touched on everything, from the importance of the moment — Winfrey is the first African-American woman to take home the honor — to the powerful #MeToo movement, according to Love B. Scott.
Winfrey, dressed in black like many of the Golden Globes nominees (as a nod to the Time’s Up movement that looks to protect women who have been sexually abused in the entertainment industry), began her speech by humbly recalling the moment she witnessed legendary actor Sidney Poitier accept his Best Actor win at the 1964 Golden Globes for Lillies in the Field, and his Cecil B. DeMille Award win in 1982.
“It’s not lost on me that at this moment, there are little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award,” Winfrey expressed.
From there, Winfrey thanked the men and women who have helped her become a force in the entertainment field, including her longtime partner Stedman Graham and best friend Gayle King, before leading into a plea to keep the press world as open and honest as humanly possible.
“I want to say I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. I’m especially proud and inspired by all the woman who felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”
Bringing up the evening’s underscored, but prominent show against sexual harassment and abuse through the Time’s Up initiative and the #MeToo movement, Oprah honored the men and women who bravely spoke their truths publicly, and implored others to continue to speak up.
“This year, we became the story,” Oprah mentioned, “but it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.”
After segueing into the story of Recy Taylor, a woman who was brutally raped by six white men in 1944, Winfrey returned to the current times and proudly declared that the time of those who forced others into silence regarding their abuse was up.
“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago. She lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men… but, their time is up.”
Closing out her speech, Oprah called for unity and peace.
“I want all the girls watching to know 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 they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again,” she stated.
Watch Oprah’s empowering speech below.