The 2017 Golden Globes shines light on Hollywood unity
THE SANTA CLARA
January 11, 2017
Controversy rocked last year’s film awards season when the grand jewel of awards shows, the Academy Awards, failed to really honor any person of color. In the weeks leading up to this year’s awards season, people began wondering if this year would be just more of the same. And yet, last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards proved refreshingly different.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association seemed to take into account the overwhelming criticism of last year’s nominations and the lack of racial diversity.
This year’s ceremony featured numerous African-American nominees from films like “Moonlight”and “Hidden Figures” and television shows like “Atlanta,” as well as actors and actresses from “Insecure,” “Fences” and “Loving.”
In fact, diversity proved to be the hot topic on the stage all night. Several winners took the opportunity to speak about the issue, including Tracee Ellis Ross of the show “Black-ish.” The actress opened her acceptance speech by saying, “This is for all of the women, women of color, and colorful people whose stories, ideas, and thoughts are not always considered worthy, and valid, or important.”
In the same vein, “Zootopia,” a film about the barriers that arise within a prejudiced society and the need for inclusion, won Best Animated Feature Film.
As director Byron Howard noted in his speech, “We wanted Zootopia to . . . be about embracing diversity, even when there are people in the world who want to divide us by using fear.”
But perhaps the biggest moment of the night went to Hollywood goddess Meryl Streep. The highly-acclaimed actress received the Cecil B. DeMille Award and used her time on stage to criticize President-elect Donald Trump and his “acting,” referencing the time he mocked a disabled reporter.
She urged fellow actors to honor their privilege and act with empathy and for everyone to support the Committee to Protect Journalists, saying, “We’re going to need them going forward, and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth.”
And yet, the most moving part—and maybe even the biggest takeaway from the show— came at the end of her speech when Streep quoting the recently passed Carrie Fisher, said, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
After a year and an election that left a lot of hearts broken and gave rise to a lot of fear, the winners reflected a political and social landscape in which issues of diversity and injustice are at the forefront of discussion, but also a time in which we all could use some hope.
“La La Land,” which won a record-breaking seven Golden Globes—including Best Picture, Comedy or Musical—confirmed that Hollywood’s greatest love has been and will always be itself.
But beyond that, the film imparts a positive lesson about following one’s dreams, even though those dreams may require serious sacrifices.
With the United States evolving so quickly and massively, life is going to become more challenging for many Americans. However, this year’s Golden Globes and the films honored offered messages of optimism and courage to hold onto moving forward.
According to the stars, now is the time to voice whatever frustration we may have and to act with conviction in the face of uncertainty.
Contact Lindsay Tenes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554 4852.