Every year during award season there is a speech that stands out. Something so moving and powerful and important that it is remembered long after the lights go out on the big event. And this year at the Golden Globes, I think it's safe to say Regina King won the unofficial best speech award. How do I know this already? Because Regina King's Golden Globes acceptance speech silenced the orchestra, and well-seasoned award show watchers know this is highly unusual.
King won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Film Actress for her role in the movie If Beale Street Could Talk. This was King's first Golden Globe win despite having been nominated three times. In other words, this was a seriously big night for the actress, who has been working in the industry since 1985. In other words, she has more than earned her right to get up on stage and say her piece, to use her platform how she sees fit. To take a few extra moments to share an important message. And her message was so important that even the orchestra stopped trying to play her off, as has been their wont in the past, in order to let her finish.
As King noted in her emotional speech, according to Entertainment Weekly:
So often, everyone out here that hear us on the red carpet [says] celebrities are using our time to talk about ourselves when we’re on our soap box, and using a moment to talk about the systemic things going on in life, well, Time’s Up times two. The reason why we do this is because we understand that our microphones are big and we’re speaking for everyone.
At this point the music started to play, which generally signals the end of the winner's speech... but not this time my friends.
Her speech continued:
I'm going to use my platform right now to say that, in the next two years, and it's going to be tough, I am making a vow to make sure that everything I produce is 50 percent women. And I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same. God bless you, thank you.
Of course everyone loved King's speech; her fellow actors and Twitter included. Especially considering the orchestra stopped playing in order to let her finish.
There's a certain attitude some people share about a celebrity's position of power; does that position come with responsibility or are they simply entertainers? How should actors use their platforms, if at all?
I think it's safe to say that Regina King just answered that question implicitly. And her answer is a big Hell, yes. Because, as she pointed out, everyone on the planet should feel challenged to do better and support one another. And if Regina King can stop music with the power of her message, who are we to stop her?
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