Oprah Winfrey Receives Cecil B. de Mille Award at the 2018 Golden Globes

♪♪ [ Cheers and applause ] [ Cheers and applause
continues ] -I’m so happy it was you.
Thank you. [ Cheers and applause
continues ] Ah. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you all. [ Cheers and applause
continues ] Thank you. Okay, okay. Thank you, Reese. 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 had 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 have 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 “Lilies of the Field,” “Amen, amen. Amen, amen.” [ Applause ] 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. [ Cheers and applause ] It is an honor — 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’ve inspired me, who’ve challenged me,
who’ve sustained me and made my journey
to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson, who took
a chance on me for “AM Chicago.” Quincy Jones,
who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, “Yes, she is Sofia
in ‘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 that the
press is under siege these days. But we also know that it is
the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us
from turning a blind eye to corruption
and to injustice… [ Cheers and applause ] …to tyrants and victims,
and secrets and lies. I want to say that 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 that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool
we all have. And I’m especially proud
and inspired by all 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
that we tell, and this year,
we became the story. But it’s not just a 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 and bills
to pay and dreams to pursue. [ Applause ] They’re the women
whose 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, in engineering, in medicine,
in science. They’re part of the world of
tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes
in the Olympics, and they’re our soldiers
in the military, and there’s someone else. Recy Taylor. A name I know and I think
you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor
was a young wife and a mother. She was just walking home
from a church service she’d attended
in Abbeville, 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. And for too long, women have
not been heard or believed if they dare to speak their
truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. [ Cheers and applause ] Their time is up! [ Cheers and applause
continues ] Their time is up. And I just hope — I just hope that Recy Taylor
died knowing that her truth, like the truth
of so many other women who were tormented
in those years, and even now tormented,
goes marching on. It was somewhere
in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later,
when she made the decision to stay seated
on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman
who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man —
every man who chooses to listen. In my career, what I’ve
always tried my best to do, whether on television
or through film, is to say something about
how men and women really behave, to say how we experience shame,
how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat,
persevere, and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed
people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things
life can throw at you, but the one quality
all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope
for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls
watching here and now to know that a new day
is on the horizon! [ Cheers and applause ] 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. Thank you. [ Cheers and applause ] [ Cheers and applause
continues ]

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