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Golden Globes 2018 opposes sexual harassment, gender inequality

IANS | Los Angeles |

From an all-black dress code to the presentation of the awards to acceptance speeches, the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards was all about taking forward the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, pitching for gender balance and expressing solidarity to the Times Up movement.

Golden Globes was the first award gala held after the wave of sexual harassment cases involving big names like Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback and Kevin Spacey made news and caused outrage.

The award gala, held here on Sunday, saw Indian-American actor-comedian Aziz Ansari win the Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Master of None.

The evening began as many of Hollywood’s A-listers — from Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Alicia Vikander, Kendall Jenner, Mariah Carey, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Kidman, Kit Harington, Mandy Moore, Heidi Klum and more — walked the red carpet in black ensembles — and extended support to Time’s Up campaign, which hopes “to shift the focus back to survivors and on systemic, lasting solutions” to sexual violence.

The movement to bring in a change continued on the stage too.

Actress Nicole Kidman, who took home the award in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television category for her portrayal of abused housewife Celeste Wright in Big Little Lies, hailed the power of women while accepting the accolade.

Kidman noted that her Big Little Lies character was in sync with the ongoing conversation in Hollywood surrounding sexual assault and harassment.

“This character I played represents something that’s at the center of our conversation: abuse,” said the actress. “I do believe and hope that we can elicit change.”

Elisabeth Moss, who took the Best performance by an actress in a TV series – Drama trophy for her role as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale — an adaptation of a novel by Margaret Atwood, also talked about the “fight for equality and freedom in this world”.

Many winners and presenters at the ceremony brought up the scandal. Host Seth Meyers opened the show with a political undertone — jokes around US President Donald Trump and sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood.

“Welcome ladies and remaining gentlemen. It’s 2018 and marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t,” he said.

As Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille award, she called for — in a powerful acceptance speech — a world free of sexual abusers where nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.

Winfrey’s inspirational and moving speech drew a standing ovation from the Who’s Who of Hollywood.

After talking about the dark phase, the famed talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist said: “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.”

Actress Laura Dern, who won the Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for her role in Big Little Lies, Frances McDormand, who took home the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama honor, and actress-producer Reese Witherspoon addressed the harassment issue.

As far as the winners are concerned, Big Little Lies from the television world and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” from the movie universe won four awards each at the gala, which saw Aziz Ansari make history for Asians.

Actor Sterling K. Brown also created history by becoming the first African-American male actor to win a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama for the role of Randall Pearson in hit series This Is Us.

Actress Natalie Portman joined the conversation by calling out the “all-male nominees” of the Best Director category while presenting the trophy.

The ceremony was aired in India on Vh1, Comedy Central and Colors Infinity on Monday morning.