The Golden Globes has always been considered the biggest party of awards season—a boozy, laid back cousin to the more serious Oscar and Emmy Awards. All that changed last night when this year’s ceremony was the first to take place in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which has overtaken Hollywood and caused a seismic shift in award show protocol.
Pastel-hued princess dresses and bad jokes were replaced by (mostly) soberly dressed actors talking about serious issues. Host Seth Meyers didn’t hold back and everyone seemed to know this one was going to be a night to remember. Here are the 13 most memorable moments from the evening, from the pre-show to the final award. And for more great Hollywood coverage, read up on the 15 Times Actors Turned Down Hugely Iconic Roles.
A starstruck Kelly Clarkson meets Meryl Streep on the red carpet.
The first one to show up on the red carpet for E’s pre-show, Kelly Clarkson had a full-on fan freak out when she spied Meryl Streep a few feet away. “Can I meet you?” cried the singer as she rushed up to the Oscar winner. “I’ve loved you since I was eight!”
We feel you, Kelly.
Debra Messing calls out E! management on pay inequity.
The Will & Grace star rendered Giuliana Rancic speechless when she told the E! host she “was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts” referencing Catt Sadler, who quit the network in late December over a pay disparity.
The not-so-basic black dresses.
This year’s Globes were not supposed to be about fashion, so it’s more than a little ironic that a sea of black was far from funereal—and made for the best fashion on the red carpet in years. Reese Witherspoon, Claire Foy, Alicia Vikander, Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, and Zoe Kravitz dazzled. We’re thinking it might be time to institute a dress code.
Seth Meyers’ pitch perfect opening monologue.
The Late Night host, who had the toughest job of the night, deadpanned that he felt like “the first dog shot into outer space” among the award show hosts this season. He went right after Harvey Weinstein (“the elephant in the room”), joking he’ll return to the awards circuit “in 20 years when he’s the first person ever booed during the in memoriam.”
His best joke: “There’s a new era underway, and I can tell because it’s been years since a white man has been this nervous in Hollywood. For the male nominees in the room tonight, this will be the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud.”
Nicole Kidman thanks her activist mother and calls for an end to domestic abuse.
The actress, who won the award for best actress in a limited series for her role in Big Little Lies, thanked her mother, Janelle Kidman.
“Because of her, I’m standing here. Thank you, Janelle Kidman, for what you fought for so hard,” she said. “And this character that I played,” she continued, referencing abused wife Celeste Wright, “represents something that is the center of our conversation right now—abuse. I do believe and I hope we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them. Let’s keep the conversation alive. Let’s do it.” She set the tone for the rest of the speeches that followed.
Sterling K. Brown makes history.
The This Is Us star became the first black actor to win the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV drama. “I’m having a moment,” he said backstage after the show. “I hope it lasts a long time.”
“We are the story”
Award-show darling Elizabeth Moss quotes Margaret Atwood in her acceptance speech for best actress in a TV drama.
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories,” Moss said, quoting the author. In her own words, the actress thanked Atwood, saying, “Margaret Atwood, this is for you, and all of the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world. We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the story in print and we are writing the story ourselves.”
What was she thinking?
During a tribute to Kirk Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones upstages her father-in-law while standing on stage alongside the 101-year old wheelchair-bound actor in barely there see-through dress. At least it was black. Tacky, tacky, tacky.
It’s tea time.
Presenter Mariah Carey is introduced as “A woman who needs her tea” in an apparent nod to her meme-worthy, “I was told there would be tea” remarks she made before performing on ABC’s New Year’s Eve broadcast. Mariah also had a moment earlier in the evening when she held hands with Sharon Stone on the red carpet.
Tonya Harding goes unnoticed for most of the broadcast sitting at a table with Margot Robbie (who plays the skater in I, Tonya), until the camera catches her tearing up when Allison Janney mentions her during her acceptance speech for playing Harding’s mother in the biopic. For more in the athlete-to-silver-screen pipeline, check out the 12 Famous Actors Who Used to Be Famous Athletes.
Guillermo del Toro refuses to be played off the stage.
The Shape of Water director isn’t going to be denied time to enjoy his first Golden Globe win, “It’s been 25 years, guys, give me a minute.” And they did.
The culture clash when Games of Thrones met The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
When Game of Thrones stars Kit Harrington (who looked none the worse for wear after being tossed from a New York City bar a few nights earlier) and Emilia Clarke presented Amy Sherman-Palladino (in a top hat) her Golden Globe for her hit Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the Brits didn’t seem to know what to make of her quirky victory-lap that began with “Oy, Spanx” and ended with, “Is there cheese backstage?” Hilariously awkward.
And the evening’s most memorable moment is ….
On a night filled with memorable moments, Oprah’s instantly iconic acceptance speech—which she delivered as the first black woman to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award—will be remembered for years.
A cross between a call to action and (what felt like) a political campaign speech, the Queen of the Night held the audience in the palm of her hand as she movingly recalled being a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor in her mother’s house watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar for Lilies of the Field and offered a history lesson about the late civil rights figure Recy Taylor.
In a rousing close she declared, “I want all the girls watching to know here and now that a new day is on the horizon… and when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are in this room here tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, making sure they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again!” Before she’d even stepped off the stage, #Oprah2020 was trending on Twitter.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana: A Novel.
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