Although Oprah Winfrey wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe this year, she'll still be going home with an award. This year the former talk show host was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that Winfrey would receive the honorable accolade last month, so fans have been anxious to hear her speech ever since. And looking back at the transcript of Oprah Winfrey's Golden Globes speech, it's clear she did not disappoint. But, of course, are any of us really that surprised?
The Cecil B. DeMille was first given to DeMille himself, back in 1952. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association created the award to celebrate "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment," according to the official Golden Globes website. Last year the award went to Meryl Streep, who gave a very memorable speech that called out Donald Trump (though she never specifically said his name) for appearing to mock a disabled New York Times reporter back in 2015. Other notable winners of the award include Audrey Hepburn, Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Bing Crosby, and Jodie Foster.
Winfrey is the first black woman to receive the award, making the moment a historical one for the ceremony. It's a very deserved accomplishment for Winfrey, who not only hosted her award-winning talk show for more than 20 years, but has appeared in a number of films and TV shows, as well as produced many notable films and shows, like Selma and Queen Sugar.
Her A Wrinkle in Time costar Reese Witherspoon presented her with the award, sharing an incredible speech that reminded us all why Winfrey remains one of our favorite people of all time.
You can find the full transcript of Winfrey's speech below, which is particularly required reading for mothers and daughters everywhere. But hey, you don't need to just take my word for it:
In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother's house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for Best Actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history. The winner is Sidney Poitier. Up to the stage came the most elegant man I'd ever seen. I remember his tie was white and of course his skin was black and I'd never seen a black man being celebrated like that. And I've tried many many many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats, as my mom came through the door, bone tired from cleaning other people's houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney's performance in Lily of the Fields: "Amen, amen. Amen, amen."
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me, and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who take a chance on me for AM Chicago. Quincey Jones who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, "Yes she is Sophia, The Color Purple." Gayle who's been the definition of what a friend is and Stedman who's been my rock. Just a few to name.
I'd like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, because we all know the press is under siege these days but we also know that it is their insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and injustice. To tyrants and victims and secrets and lies. 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 speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have and I'm especially proud and inspired by all of the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.
Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories we tell and this year we became the story. But it's not just the story affecting the entertainment industry. It's one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed, bills to pay, and dreams to pursue.
They, the women, who's names we'll never know they are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they're in academia, engineering, and medicine and science. They're part of the world of tech ... and there's someone else. Recy Taylor. A name I know and I think you should know to.
In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and a mother. She was just walking home from a church service she'd attended in Alabama when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road, coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone. But her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn't an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long women haven't been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.
Unsurprisingly, Winfrey received a standing ovation for her speech, and showed everyone not only why she deserved this year's award, but why it was long overdue.
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