LOS ANGELES: Hollywood spoke with one voice at the Golden Globes on Sunday to declare war on the film industry´s culture of sexual harassment and abuse.
The industry’s elite turned the red carpet black for the Globes, the glitzy launch of Tinseltown´s awards season, in a fashionable repudiation of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and others ensnared in allegations of misconduct.
Billed as the most raucous event in the showbiz calendar, the champagne-drenched Hollywood Foreign Press Association´s annual prize-giving is a draw for filmmakers and actors looking to create some buzz ahead of the Oscars in March.
But this year´s ceremony, seen as the first big opportunity for the industry to unite and deliver a message about how Hollywood can move forward, struck a more serious tone.
“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” actress and media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey told the audience at the Beverly Hilton as she accepted a lifetime achievement award.
“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up,” she added, earning a standing ovation.
Actors and actresses turned out in black in solidarity with victims of Weinstein and numerous other figures exposed by the harassment and abuse scandal, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner and Dustin Hoffman.
And the overall message was a call for continued change.
“People are aware now of a power imbalance. It´s led to abuse in our industry. (…) It´s everywhere,” Meryl Streep, who is vying for a Globe for her work in media drama “The Post,” told E! network on the red carpet.
Fellow Oscar winner Viola Davis added: “It´s all of these women just embracing their authentic voices and standing in solidarity with each other.”
Seth Meyers, making his debut as Globes host, opened the show with joke after joke about Hollywood´s post-Weinstein reckoning.
“It´s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s going to be a good year,” the late night NBC funnyman said.
“For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won´t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”
‘Shape of Water’ vs ‘The Post’
The ceremony at the Beverly Hilton is not as reliable at predicting Oscars glory as the galas held by Hollywood´s acting, producing and directing unions.
But it remains one of the most high-profile and glamorous events of the awards calendar and tends to generate more headlines for tipsy tributes and wacky one-liners.
Leading the pack this year is Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance “The Shape of Water” with seven nominations, while “The Post” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” went into the night tied for second, with six each.
Overall, 25 awards are given out — 14 for movies and 11 for TV — and, as usual, the 90-member HFPA has sprung more than a few surprises in the nominations, placing horror satire “Get Out” in the best comedy-musical category.
But there were no nominations at all for female filmmakers despite huge successes in 2017 for Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”), Dee Rees (“Mudbound”), Kathryn Bigelow (“Detroit”) and Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”).