The Golden Globes Moments That Had Us Cheering

Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

A sea of black gowns, pantsuits, and suits. Activists on the red carpet. Women speaking truth to power. Actors and entertainers of color achieving long overdue recognition. Oprah. Oprah. Oprah. Oprah. The 2018 Golden Globes were unlike any other awards show in recent memory and set a tone for what is shaping up to be an epic year for change, for feminism, for power shifting up from the grassroots and down from the echelons of entrenched supremacy. Hollywood isn’t the only or even the most important place for activism to catch fire (hello, Capitol Hill!), but it sure sparks excitement to see it ignite on that glossy stage. We’re here for all of it. #TimesUp

Here are a few of the moments that had us cheering.

Choice Words:

Oprah Winfrey became the first African American woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. In her ~EPIC~ acceptance speech she highlighted the power of telling your story: “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.” We couldn’t agree more (our manifesto from November 2016 asserted our belief that “collective storytelling amplifies the voices of those who have been marginalized and that stories give meaning to action and meaningful action leads to long-term, sustainable change,”) and we love Oprah even more for sharing this essential truth with the world.

Amy’s GIF

While presenting the award for Best Director, Natalie Portman, in a call out for the ages, announced the category by saying, “And here are the all male nominees.” Yup, there weren’t any women nominated in the category, even Greta Gerwig, director of Lady Bird, the film that won Best Picture AND Best Actress in its category. Portman wasn’t about to let that go unnoticed, especially after Oprah’s speech. Boop.


Debra Messing, nominated along with the cast of “Will & Grace” for best television series for a comedy, called out E! for it’s unequal payment of Catt Sadler, while being interviewed for the E! Network. While talking to Giuliana Rancic, Messing said, “We want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay. I was so shocked to hear E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host… I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her. And that can change tomorrow.” Eva Longoria joined Debra Messing in calling out E! on air, saying, “We support gender equity and equal pay and we hope that E! follows that lead with Catt as well…We stand with you, Catt.” (CNN)

Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American man to win Best Actor in a TV Drama. In his acceptance speech he thanked creator Dan Fogelman for writing a specifically black male character: “Throughout the majority of my career, I’ve benefited from colorblind casting, which means, ‘Hey, let’s throw a brother in there.’ That’s always really cool. But Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man that can only be played by a black man. So what I appreciate so much about this is that I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am, and it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anybody who looks like me.” (ABC News)


Before presenting the award for Best Motion Picture, Barbra Streisand reminded the crowd: “I’m the only woman to get the Best Director award. That was 1984. That was 34 years ago. Folks, time’s up! We need more women directors and more women to be nominated for Best Director. These are so many films out there that are so good directed by women.” Streisand won for her work directing Yentl. 34 years. The last time a woman won Best Director, I was one year old. Nope. But also YEP, Babs! (Harper’s Bazaar)


Meryl Streep and Ai-jen Poo; Michelle Williams and Tarana Burke; Emma Stone and Billie Jean King; Amy Poehler and Saru Jayaraman; Marai Larasi and Emma Watson

Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (and Pantsuit Nation Podcast guest!) attended the show as a guest of Meryl Streep. Poo said, “Domestic workers, as some of the most at-risk and invisible workers in the nation, want to send a clear message: from the casting room to the kitchen, all women deserve dignity and safety where they work.” Streep added, “I think that people are aware now of a power imbalance. It’s something that leads to abuse. It’s led to abuse in our own industry and led to abuse across the domestic workers field of work. It’s in the military. It’s in Congress. It’s everywhere. And we want to fix that! And we feel sort of emboldened in this particular moment to stand together in a thick black line.” (Washington Post, Mashable)

Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, appeared on the red carpet with Michelle Williams. Reflecting on the Golden Globes on Monday, Tarana said, “When I started doing this work in 2006 there weren’t very many black women who spoke openly about sexual violence. Gabrielle Union and Oprah were two of the main people… It was such a full circle moment for me to hear her actually say those words. Because I have used her example as what the trajectory of healing can look like for girls who look like us so many times. It moved me so deeply.” (MSNBC)

Billie Jean King, the tennis legend portrayed by Emma Stone in the movie Battle of the Sexes, accompanied Stone and said in a red carpet interview: “I think it’s one step at a time. Every generation has to fight for equality and it’s now Emma’s turn with her generation. And it’s great to be here tonight wearing black. We really have to — it’s gotta stop, it’s gotta stop now. And we have to help each other and it’s everybody, all genders together.” (People)

Saru Jayaraman walked the red carpet with Amy Poehler. Jayaraman is a lawyer, and the president of Restaurant Opportunities Center United. On tackling sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, she said, “It’s a majority female workforce having to live on customer tips to feed their families. You can get rid of that by providing these workers with an actual wage.” Poehler, speaking to, said, “Saru is my date tonight, but really, she’s my partner in a much bigger movement. Not a lot of people go to the Golden Globes, but everyone has either worked in or eaten in a restaurant, and she’s working specifically on legislation to help reduce the amount of harassment.” (

Marai Larasi, the executive director of Imkaan, a U.K.-based women’s organization, accompanied Emma Watson on the red carpet. Larasi said, “There’s something about women in Hollywood speaking out. There is a wall of silence around violence against women and girls and every time somebody speaks out, it just creates a bit of a crack in that wall.” She said women in Hollywood “have an opportunity to amplify the issues and shine a light on things.” (E! Online)

Making politics personal (and fashionable):

Lena Waithe, Sterling K. Brown with Ryan Michelle Bathe, Rita Moreno

Lena Waithe, creator of Showtime’s “The Chi” and the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, wore a killer black pantsuit as part of the #WhyWeWearBLACK campaign: “It may be a small way of showing solidarity, but to me this is extremely important. If someone looks back and wants to know where I stood, they’ll see that picture of me on the red carpet wearing nothing but black.” (InStyle Magazine)

Ryan Michelle Bathe, actress and wife of Sterling K. Brown, also wore a fierce black tuxedo in solidarity. Solidarity can be formal, too.

Rita Moreno arrived in style on the back of a scooter driven by Norman Lear. One of twelve EGOT winners (she’s been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar AND Tony), Moreno absolutely crushed the game in this leather pantsuit. Slay on, Rita.

Viola Davis, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kyra Sedgwick

Viola Davis, who has been nominated for five Golden Globes and who won last year for her performance in Fences, wore her natural hair in an afro that, in my humble opinion, looked like a crown AND a halo. It was glorious.

Tracee Ellis Ross, known slayer of pantsuits, wore a sculptural black turban to the awards. Ellis Ross, a founding member of the #TimesUp movement, said, “I wear black today as a ‘we,’ not as an ‘I.’ As a celebration of our collective power as women, as an embodiment of sisterhood, solidarity, and the work being done to create structural change. We wear black for equity, parity and inclusion across all industries.”(People)

Kyra Sedgwick wore a beautiful black pantsuit by Christian Siriano. After dressing Leslie Jones for the premiere of Ghostbusters, Siriano wrote, “It shouldn’t be exceptional to work with brilliant people just because they’re not sample size. Congrats aren’t in order, a change is.” YES.(Vogue)

These are just a few of the people, pantsuits, and moments that stood out last night. What were your favorites? Tell us in the comments!

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