Oprah Winfrey was given the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes tonight (January 7).
The actor, producer and talkshow host is the latest recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille award and the first black woman to be given the honour.
In her moving speech, Winfrey recalled watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar for Lilies In The Field in 1963, saying it was the first time she saw a black man being recognised and celebrated on TV. “It’s not lost on me that at this moment, there are little girls watching as I become the first black woman to receive this award,” she said.
The star also told the story of Recy Taylor, who was raped by a group of white men in Alabama in 1944, and subsequently threatened with death if she reported the crime. “Recy Taylor died 10 days ago,” Winfrey said. “She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.”
Winfrey concluded her speech with a message of unity. “I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said. “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.