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The Biggest Moments of the 2018 Golden Globes

#MeToo took center stage, Oprah electrified, and Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dominated.


Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards—hosted by Seth Meyers—saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri emerge as a surprising Oscar frontrunner after winning four trophies, including Best Picture (Drama), at a charged ceremony dominated by discussion of Hollywood’s power imbalances and the #MeToo movement. Films like Lady Bird and The Shape of Water also won big, and shows like Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel did well in the TV categories. But the ceremony’s most memorable moment came in an honorary award for Oprah Winfrey, who spoke out on the industry’s issues with misogyny, sexual abuse, and the ongoing lack of diversity in Hollywood's corridors of power. Read more updates below, or check out our full wrap-up of the evening.


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'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' Wins Big

Paul Drinkwater / NBC / AP

The night closed with big back-to-back wins for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh’s quirky and rather demented small-town dramedy whose triumph seemed far from assured when the night began.

Frances McDormand took Best Actress in a Motion Picture: Drama over formidable competition: Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Meryl Streep (The Post), and Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World). Her speech was as tart as the character she played, featuring offers of tequila to her co-nominees, an admission that she wasn’t sure what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was, and this line: “Her every ragged inhalation and fierce exhalation is evidence of my gratitude.” She also wrapped up the larger theme of the ceremony: “It was really great to be in this room tonight and to be part of the tectonic shift in our industry’s power structure. Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work.”

Presenter Barbra Streisand then took to the stage and noted the outrageous fact that no woman had won for Best Director at the Globes since she’d taken the trophy home in 1984 for Yentl. Nevertheless, she seemed thrilled to announce Three Billboards as the winner of Best Motion Picture: Drama over Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post, and The Shape of Water. The speech from producer Graham Broadbent was more subdued than McDormand’s. “It had a beautiful heart, it had beautiful people,” he said of Three Billboards. McDonagh didn’t speak, having already had an opportunity to do so when he won Best Screenplay earlier in the night.

Barbra Streisand: (Still) the Only Woman to Have Won a Globe for Directing

Actresses Shirley MacLaine and Barbra Streisand pose with their awards at the 41st annual Golden Globes presentation in Beverly Hills, California, on January 29, 1984. MacLaine won Best Actress for her performance in Terms of Endearment; Streisand won Best Director and Best Musical or Comedy for her film Yentl. (Lennox McLendon / AP)

“'The only woman to receive a Globe for directing!” was how Barbra Streisand, presenting the evening’s award for Best Motion Picture: Drama, was cheerily introduced to the ceremony’s crowd.

Streisand received the Best Director award in 1984, for Yentl.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been handing out awards for 75 years.

'Lady Bird' Takes Two Big Trophies, and Saoirse Ronan Thanks Her Mom via Cellphone

Paul Drinkwater / NBC / Reuters

There were three big hitters in the Golden Globes’ comedy film categories—Get Out, Lady Bird, and I, Tonya—and Lady Bird ended up walking away with the top prize, winning Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical, along with Best Actress in a Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical for its star Saoirse Ronan. Though it’s a small-scale coming-of-age tale about a girl in high school, Lady Bird has been enough of a critical and commercial success to stay in the Oscar race, and these Globe wins will only help.

Ronan gave a very brief, hurried speech (the ceremony still seems like it’s running very late, and Seth Meyers has barely been heard from in the last hour). She shouted out her mother, watching the victory via FaceTime (someone in the crowd was holding up a camera), and otherwise had very little time to thank anyone but “all of the women who I love so much in my own life, who support me every single day.”

Lady Bird’s writer and director Greta Gerwig accepted the Best Picture award on the verge of tears, excitedly praising the film’s actors and crew in a similarly rushed speech. “Thank you to my cast, my beautiful cast, the goddesses Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf,” she said. “I want to say thank you to my mom and dad and the people of Sacramento, who gave me roots and wings.”

Oprah Electrifies the Golden Globes

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Oprah Winfrey is many things—actor, author, entrepreneur, humanitarian. But, as she showed during an electrifying speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, she has an unparalleled ability to inspire. The woman whose presence had rendered award winners starstruck throughout the night kicked off her speech with an anecdote about watching Sidney Poitier make history when he became the first black man to win the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1964. He was, Winfrey said, “the most elegant man I had ever seen.” And what his win meant to her, she explained, “as a little girl … watching from the cheap seats, as my mom came through the door, bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses,” was what she hoped her presence at the Golden Globes could mean to other little girls watching, “as I become the first black woman to be given this … award.”

Wearing black, like virtually every other women in the theater, Winfrey also alluded to the #MeToo movement, and to its descendant, #TimesUp. She spoke of “tyrants and victims and secrets and lies.” She praised the press for uncovering stories of abuse, and declared that she values it “more than ever before, as we try to navigate these complicated times.” And she told the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman from Alabama who was gang-raped in 1944 by six white men, and who never saw her accusers brought to justice. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey said. “But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”

Gary Oldman's Winston Churchill Takes His Prize

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

When the Thelma & Louise duo of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon reunited to present the award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama, they razzed the nominees, joking that these famous guys might donate half of their salaries to their lesser-paid female costars. But the winner was about as traditional as could be: Gary Oldman, triumphing for playing Winston Churchill in the biopic Darkest Hour. The category included Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Tom Hanks (The Post), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), and Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.).

Oldman’s speech was largely a list of thank-yous, with the most notable recipient being his tearful wife Gisele Schmidt, who endured more than a year of Oldman’s method acting: “She would say to friends, ‘I go to bed with Winston Churchill but I wake up with Gary Oldman, which is, I suppose, better than the other way around.’” In the past, Oldman’s conservative-leaning beliefs have been noted for standing apart from the Hollywood mainstream, but he kept his topical comments tonight anodyne. Darkest Hour, he said, “illustrates that words and actions can change the world—and boy, oh boy, does it need some changing.”

Guillermo del Toro Dedicates His Golden Globe to His Monsters

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

The Golden Globe for Best Director went to Guillermo del Toro, the Mexican filmmaker behind The Shape of Water, the most-nominated movie of the night. The presenter Natalie Portman ruefully noted that all five nominees in the award were men—sadly typical for the male-dominated field of film direction. When del Toro took the stage, he reflected on his personal journey through moviemaking, quickly silencing the orchestra trying to play him off by saying, “Lower the music, guys, it’s taken 25 years! Give me a minute!”

Del Toro spoke of his love for movie monsters, a regular feature in his films (which include Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Crimson Peak). “Since childhood I’ve been faithful to monsters, I’ve been saved and absolved by them,” he said, calling them “patron saints of our blissful imperfection” that “allow and embody the possibility of failing.” The Shape of Water, a tale of a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with an amphibious being trapped in a government lab, has been praised for its allegorical import by critics and is positioned as a potential frontrunner at the upcoming Oscars.

“We have made a deal with a particularly inefficient devil that trades three years of our lives for one entry on IMDB,” Del Toro said, drawing a laugh from his fellow nominee Steven Spielberg, before dedicating the Globe to the many women involved in making his movie (including stars Hawkins and Octavia Spencer). “I thank you, my monsters thank you, and somewhere Lon Chaney is smiling upon all of us.”

Aziz Ansari, Thankful and Censored

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

What did he say? Accepting the award for Best Actor in a Television Series: Musical or Comedy, Master of None creator and star Aziz Ansari riffed about his surprise: “I genuinely didn’t think I would win because all the websites said I was gonna lose.” Then he added some joke that, for one reason or another, was silenced by NBC’s telecast. (Update, after reviewing footage online: “Also, I’m glad we won this one, because it would have really sucked to lose two of these in a row. It would have been a really shitty moment for me. But this is nice!”)

Though Ansari has made politically pointed acceptance speeches before, this time he simply thanked his collaborators and parents—as well as the nation of Italy, “for all the amazing food we ate in Season 2.”

Allison Janney Thanks Tonya Harding (and a Parrot) for Her 'I, Tonya' Win

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Allison Janney has many awards to her name, including seven Emmys, but she has never won a Golden Globe—despite five previous nominations for her work in the TV shows The West Wing and Mom. That changed tonight as she won Best Supporting Actress (in a film) for I, Tonya, in which she plays LaVona Fay Golden, the mother of the controversial ice-skating legend Tonya Harding. Her colorful, sometimes monstrous, portrayal has won plaudits and made her an early favorite for the Oscar, a status that seems cemented with this win.

“We wouldn’t be here without great scripts,” Janney said, thanking the I, Tonya writer Steven Rogers for his screenplay. “Thank you for this very distinctive unique mother of a character. I thank you for that. Margot, I thank you for your unbelievable, brave, fearless portrayal of Tonya,” she said, shouting out her castmate Margot Robbie, also nominated tonight.

“Tonya Harding is here tonight. I’d just like to thank Tonya for sharing her story,” she added, turning to Harding, who drew a round of applause. Janney praised the film for “telling a story about class in America … about the disenfranchised,” since Harding was often seen as an outcast in the skating world because of her working-class upbringing. “Of course, I owe this all to a bird named Little Man,” Janney added, referencing the parrot that sits on her character’s shoulder for much of the movie.

James Franco Wins for 'The Disaster Artist,' and Tommy Wiseau Looks on Awkwardly

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

James Franco won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his performance in The Disaster Artist as Tommy Wiseau, the real-life director, writer, and star of the so-bad-it’s-good cult film The Room. Unsurprisingly, Wiseau took the stage with Franco but was quickly brushed away from taking the mic by the Globe winner. “Nineteen years ago, [Tommy Wiseau] was stuck in traffic from the Golden Globes. He said to his best friend Greg, ‘Golden Globes, so what, I’m not invited?’” Franco said, reading his speech from his phone. “‘I show them … I make my own movie!’”

Franco paid tribute to Wiseau while the real-life actor stood uncomfortably next to him, though that may have had to do with how badly late the ceremony is running already (presenters have been eschewing their pre-written introductions and winners have been urged to wrap it up almost right away). Franco also brought his brother and co-star Dave Franco onstage with him. “When I went to NYU, I always said I wanted my own Coen brother, someone to collaborate with. I realized this year I have my own Franco brother,” the winner said.

James Franco’s win was slightly surprising given that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association often favors musicals in this category—a stunned-looking Hugh Jackman, nominated for The Greatest Showman, looked on as Wiseau took the stage. But it will bolster Franco’s case for an Oscar nomination, which would be another surprising twist in the long saga of Wiseau’s masterfully bad The Room.

'The Handmaid's Tale' Wins Best Drama Series

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Four months after The Handmaid’s Tale scooped the Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the Hulu show picked up its second big award—the Golden Globe for Best Television Series: Drama. The series, based on the 1985 book by Margaret Atwood, was tipped to do well this evening, and its showrunner, Bruce Miller, claimed the trophy just a few minutes after Elisabeth Moss accepted her Best Actress in a Television Show: Drama award for the role of Offred.

The series benefited from uncanny timing, debuting just a few months into the Trump/Pence administration and in the wake of the historic Women’s March last January, during which some women carried signs saying “Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again.” The novel was the most-read book on Amazon in 2017. Accepting the award, Miller said, “To all the people in this room and this country and this world who do everything they can to stop The Handmaid’s Tale from becoming real, keep doing that.”

And the Award for the Most Tone-Deaf Ad of the Golden Globes Goes To ...

L'Oréal / YouTube

“Everyone loves a comeback.”

Thus reads the tagline of a fairly baffling ad that just aired during the Globes telecast. The spot stars Winona Ryder—who is, in part because of Stranger Things, having something of a comeback herself at the moment—and is selling L'Oréal’s brand of … hair conditioner. It goes like this: Ryder, in a warmly lit dressing room, clad in a black gown, frets and sinks into a plush couch. She twirls a lock of her hair. She runs her lines, as music swells. She is alone. She is nervous. But her hair is looking luscious. “We’re ready for you,” a producer tells her—at which point she leaves the dressing room, coming out to have her moment. The music swells some more.

“Everyone loves a comeback,” the ad’s text reads. “Damaged hair deserves one too.”

So, yes: In the middle of an awards show that, via its wear-black campaign—and via the Time’s Up movement—was attempting to focus on much more than appearances, L'Oréal aired an ad that equated the triumph of a career comeback with the triumph over split ends. According to a press release about the new ad campaign, "Comeback” is part of “an integrated campaign that celebrates the fact that hair can make a comeback from damage.” The campaign stars not only Ryder, but also the actress Aja Naomi King and the singer-songwriter Camila Cabello—“all of whom,” the release notes, “have their own unique hair comeback stories.” And, as we know: Everyone loves a comeback.

'You Wrote a Role for a Black Man': Sterling K. Brown's Insight About Race and Hollywood

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

It wasn’t long ago that the hot-button issue of awards season was racial representation, but in 2018, the ever fickle mainstream commentariat’s attention is on gender, thanks to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Sterling K. Brown, though, spoke for the necessity of simultaneously holding multiple ideas in mind as he became the first black man to win for Best Actor in a Television Series: Drama.

Accepting the trophy for his work on This Is Us, he praised the series creator Dan Fogelman for going beyond mere diversity—“Hey, let’s throw a brother in this role”—when it comes to race.

“You wrote a role for a black man," Brown said. “Like, that could only be played by a black man. And so, what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I am 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.”

A Win for the 'Complicated Woman' of 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel'

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

Amazon’s sprightly The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, about a housewife climbing the ranks of the New York City comedy scene in the late 1950s, debuted in full only on November 29—but it’s already, now, a Golden Globe–winning series.

Accepting the award for Best Actress in a Television Series: Musical or Comedy, star Rachel Brosnahan expressed gratitude for getting to anchor a series about, as Brosnahan put it, “a bold, and beautiful, and complicated woman.” In neither the first nor the last time of the night, the performer connected her role to the political moment: “There are so many women’s stories out there that still need and deserve to be told.” In also neither the first nor last time of the night, she gave a star-struck shoutout to Oprah.

'It’s Nice to Be in a Movie That People See': Sam Rockwell Wins for 'Three Billboards'

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

The first film award of the night was a mild surprise: Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the violent, racist cop Jason Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. “I may need some Imodium,” Rockwell said in shock. A consummate character actor who’s beloved in the industry, Rockwell was also helped among voters by the size of his role and the dramatic turnaround Dixon takes in the film’s plot, eventually forming an uneasy alliance with the main character Mildred (Frances McDormand).

“Martin, Frances, we did a good thing here. I’ve been in a lot of indies, and it’s nice to be in a movie that people see,” Rockwell said, addressing his co-star and his director Martin McDonagh. “Frances McDormand, you’re a badass, you’re a force of nature. It was really fun to be your sparring partner, and thanks for making me a better actor. This movie’s about compassion, and I think we need some of that these days. Thanks a lot!”

Most of the critics’ prizes thus far had gone to Willem Dafoe for his performance as a kindly hotel manager in The Florida Project, but this win will make the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor more of an open one, especially if enthusiasm for Three Billboards persists.

The New York Times Is in Attendance at the Globes

The New York Times / YouTube

Last year, during the 2017 Oscars telecast, The New York Times ran an ad—the first one the paper ever aired during the ceremony—that attempted to convert anxieties about the political moment into subscriptions to the paper. "The Truth Is Hard" spot, featuring a cacophony of angry voices spouting opinions in the guise of facts, emphasized the threats against, and the ongoing value of, the kind of information the Times provides. "The truth is hard / the truth is hard to find / the truth is hard to know / the truth is more important now than ever,” the ad declared.

During the Golden Globes of 2018, the Times released a similar ad—this one pegged to the pioneering reporting Times reporters did about sexual harassment and assault.

It’s a victory lap, of sorts—a reminder of the crucial role the paper played in continuing the #MeToo movement. Like its predecessor, the ad is both spare and subtle: not an overt request for the buying of the product the Times sells, but rather a spot aimed at brand-building. An argument that there are not only commercial, but also moral, dimensions to the media one supports—and consumes.

Goodbye, 'Miss Golden Globe'

Simone Garcia Johnson arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)

In 1962, the Golden Globes created two new awards, each given to a promising young starlet: one who worked in television, one who worked in film. Miss Golden Globe was born. In 1971, however, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association changed the pageant-esque tradition: The group began naming the daughter—and, very rarely, the son—of a celebrity to the title, to emphasize the familial elements of Hollywood life and “Hollywood’s next generation.” (Melanie Griffith was Miss Golden Globe in 1975; her daughter, Dakota Johnson, filled the role in 2006.)

For decades, Miss Golden Globe has helped to distribute awards to winners—and, when the time comes, to usher them off-stage. The role, with its Miss America undertones, has long been a particularly regressive element of the Globes telecast. This year, however, one of the changes coming to the Globes has been the ending of the Miss Golden Globes title—a role that has been renamed the “Golden Globe Ambassador.” It’s a semantic and cosmetic change, certainly: The job itself is essentially the same. But the role will be, going forward, gender-neutral; it will now, the HFPA says, “better reflect the role and express the inclusiveness that has always been central to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's mandate.”

The first filler of the renamed role is Simone Garcia Johnson‚ the 16-year-old daughter of Dwayne Johnson and his ex-wife, the producer Dany Garcia. “I’m so happy about the change, because it’s more inclusive and it promotes equality,” Garcia Johnson told The New York Times. “I’m really passionate about those things.”

The Highly Symbolic First Golden Globe of the Night Goes to Nicole Kidman

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

Accepting the trophy for Best Actress in a TV Movie or Limited Series, Nicole Kidman pointed to the clearly obvious significance of her winning the first Golden Globe of the night. “The character that I play represents something that’s at the center of our conversation right now,” she said. “Abuse.”

Kidman was up against her Big Little Lies co-star Reese Witherspoon, as well as Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange for Feud: Bette and Joan, and Jessica Biel for The Sinner. She spent much of her speech saluting her collaborators on the breakout HBO series about a group of California moms, paying special attention to the other women in the cast and crew. “Wow,” Kidman said. “The power of women.”

Seth Meyers Didn't Hold Back in His Opening Monologue

Paul Drinkwater / NBC / Reuters

“Good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen,” Seth Meyers said to open the 75th Golden Globes, beginning a monologue that was even more charged by current events than usual.

Meyers ran headlong at the various sexual assault and harassment scandals that have plagued Hollywood in recent months, mostly earning laughs (and a few gasps) as he did his best to poke fun at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Woody Allen, among others. “It’s been a few years since a white man was this nervous in Hollywood,” Meyers quipped.

The host mockingly compared himself to “the first dog shot into outer space” as a comedian tasked with reckoning with the film industry’s toxic reputation, but he acquitted himself well in a short, punchy monologue. One joke about booing Harvey Weinstein’s future “in memoriam” segment drew shocked responses, which he shrugged off, as did another about Kevin Spacey’s replacement on House of Cards. “Oh, is that too mean? To Kevin Spacey?” Meyers scoffed.

His best material mostly saw him pivoting to the audience, doing a variation on his Late Night segment “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” by having celebrities like Billy Eichner, Jessica Chastain, Issa Rae, and Hong Chau finish his punchlines for him. Amy Poehler, Meyers’s erstwhile companion on the Weekend Update set of Saturday Night Live, wrapped up the monologue with a hilariously awkward exchange in which she refused his setup and delivered her own non sequitur punchline, complete with swig of wine.
Meyers ended things on a more somber note, praising the people in the background on Hollywood film sets. “Most of the jobs on film sets are jobs for people who work long, hard hours. They are American dream jobs,” he said. “It’s clearer now than before that the women had to work harder.”

'A Collaboration Between These Two Worlds'

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

Tarana Burke, the activist and the founder of the #MeToo movement, summed up one of the themes of the evening: solidarity. “This moment is so powerful because we’re seeing a collision of these two worlds,” Burke told Ryan Seacrest, standing next to Michelle Williams on the Globes’ red carpet. Burke paused. “Collision’s probably not the best word," she said—“a collaboration between these two worlds that people don’t usually see put together and would most likely have us pitted against each other. So it’s really powerful to be on the red carpet tonight.”

Collision; collaboration: Either word works. Time’s Up, the movement, after all, has been both a work of collaboration and an unexpected collision: of people, of industries. It is evidence of an effort that finds Hollywood doing that most unexpected—and collaborative—of things: looking beyond itself.

Michelle Williams Doesn't Want to Talk About Her Work Tonight

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

“Well, I know that the message is the most important, but I do want to say congratulations to you for your work,” Ryan Seacrest said to Michelle Williams, as she and the activist Tarana Burke conducted their red-carpet interview with the E! host. “It is a night of celebration,” Seacrest continued. “You always do great work, you’re so graceful when you do work, and you’re graceful here, as always. So."

Williams, however, did not want to talk about her grace—or, for that matter, her work. She wanted to talk about the broader work the evening is meant to represent.

“Thank you,” Williams replied to Seacrest, “I appreciate it, but really the most exciting thing is I thought that I would have to raise my daughter to learn how to protect herself in a dangerous world. And I think because of the work that Tarana has done, and the work that I’m learning how to do, we actually have the opportunity to hand our children a different world.”

Not 'What Are You Wearing?' but 'Why Are You Wearing It?'

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

The fashion at events like the Globes will always say something about the politics and the culture of the events’ respective moments; this evening, however, the clothing is particularly vocal. The red carpet leading to the Beverly Hilton is currently a sea of people clad in black: flowing black gowns. Sparkling black jumpsuits. Black tuxedos with black shirts underneath.

The sartorial mandate has extended to the celebrities who are conducting the interviews on that red carpet. “As you know, Ryan,” the E! host Giuliana Rancic told Ryan Seacrest, “this is usually the moment in the show when we ask each other, ‘Who are you wearing?’ But as you know, the question tonight isn’t ‘Who are you wearing?’ but ‘Why are you wearing black?’ Like I am.”

Rancic, clad in a column gown covered in black sequins, explained that she selected the dress to express her own solidarity with #MeToo and, more recently, with #TimesUp. “This is an effort,” she told Seacrest, “to end something we can all agree is wrong: sexual harassment, intimidation, and abuse in the workplace.” And that effort, she continued, will in turn affect the kinds of interviews she will be conducting on tonight’s red carpet. “So I want all of you at home to know: Of course there will still be all the fun and exciting moments that you have come to expect from the E! red carpet.”

“But,” Rancic continued, “we also want to embrace this movement and allow these celebrities who are coming tonight and who have a big voice to speak on behalf of millions who don’t.”

Debra Messing Uses Her E! Red-Carpet Interview to Call Out Pay Inequality at … E!

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Time’s Up came close to home for E! on the red carpet this evening.

During one of the earliest red-carpet interviews of the evening, Giuliana Rancic asked Debra Messing—clad in a black gown with pants included—about her outfit. Messing offered, essentially, the talking points of the Time’s Up movement: “I am wearing black to thank and honor all of the brave whistleblowers who came forward and shared their stories of harassment and assault and discrimination,” she told Rancic. “Wearing black to stand in solidarity with my sisters all over the globe. And I’m here to celebrate the roll-out of this incredible initiative, Time’s Up. And we want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay.”

But then, Messing continued: “And, you know, I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-costs the same as their male co-hosts. I mean, I miss Catt Sadler, and so we stand with her. And that’s something that can change tomorrow, you know—we want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men.”

Messing was referring to the departure of the E! host from the network in December after learning that her colleague Jason Kennedy had been paid nearly double her salary for the past several years.

It was at once meta and intimate. And Rancic ran with it. “Absolutely,” she replied to Messing. “And I think that’s really what this movement is all about, is we have an amazing platform here. You know, there are a lot of big, great voices here tonight who can speak on behalf of people around not just the country, around the world, who don’t have those voices.” People including, at this moment, Rancic’s former E! colleague.

The Activists Attending the Ceremony

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

The Golden Globes, this year, are shaping up to be an exceptionally political awards show, on the red carpet as well as during the ceremony—“political” not just in the show’s interest in national politics, but also “political,” more meaningfully, in that many of the night’s participants have recently been raising their voices to advocate for structural changes. To highlight both the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, several actresses, accordingly, have invited activists to be their plus-ones for the evening—and also, ostensibly, to add expert voices to the discussions that will be taking place on the red carpet.

Among the activists attending the 2018 Globes:

Tarana Burke (a guest of Michelle Williams), who currently serves as the senior director at Girls for Gender Equity. Burke is the founder of the #MeToo movement and the co-founder of Just Be, Inc.

Rosa Clemente (a guest of Susan Sarandon), a community organizer, political commentator, and independent journalist who has focused on political prisoners, voter engagement, and Puerto Rican independence. Clemente ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket in 2008.

Saru Jayaraman (a guest of Amy Poehler), the president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United & ROC Action, and the director of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

Billie Jean King (a guest of Emma Stone), the tennis champion who founded the Women’s Tennis Association.

Marai Larasi (a guest of Emma Watson), the executive director of Imkaan (U.K.), a leading black-feminist network organization with members in England, Wales, and Scotland, and the co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, one of the U.K.’s leading coalitions working to eradicate violence against women and girls.

Calina Lawrence (a guest of Shailene Woodley), a member of the Suquamish Tribe and an advocate for the preservation of Suquamish traditions. Lawrence is also a singer and an activist for, among other causes, Native American treaty and water rights.

Ai-jen Poo (a guest of Meryl Streep), the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the co-director of Caring Across Generations. She has been organizing immigrant women workers for more than two decades.

Mónica Ramírez (a guest of Laura Dern), the co-founder and president of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas and a promoter of Latinas Represent, the only national, nonpartisan initiative aimed at increasing Latina representation and participation in public leadership positions.

'A Thick Black Line Dividing Then From Now'

Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP

One of the questions leading up to this evening has been: How many attendees would actually join the movement to wear black?

Very many, it turns out: While there have been pops of color on the red carpet—a stripe of orange here, a white tuxedo shirt there—for the most part, the color on the red carpet has been reserved for the nominal ground covering itself. Meryl Streep, in her interview with Ryan Seacrest—an interview she conducted with the activist Ai-jen Poo—summed up the optics of tonight’s red carpet like so: “We feel sort of emboldened in this particular moment to stand together in a thick black line dividing then from now."

A reference to The Thin Red Line? Perhaps. But, either way, a good reminder: The change in clothes is attempting to represent—and to bring about—a change in history.

What to Expect at the 2018 Golden Globes

The Oscar season kicks off for real Sunday with the 75th Golden Globe Awards ceremony, broadcast live on NBC at 8 p.m. EST. The comedian and star of NBC’s Late Night Seth Meyers is hosting—his first time at the Globes. Though he previously hosted the 2014 Emmys, Meyers has a trickier task ahead. Gently mocking the film and television industries is the bread and butter of any awards-show emcee, of course. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement and sexual-assault scandals involving Hollywood fixtures like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, the atmosphere at the Beverly Hilton will be far more charged than usual.

Some attendees are reportedly planning to wear all black on the red carpet to protest sexual harassment in Hollywood, and Meyers’s opening routine will likely aim to tackle the news head-on. The night should be a valuable preview for the upcoming Oscars host, Jimmy Kimmel, as to what material works and what falls flat. The Globes themselves, of course, also serve as a major precursor to the Academy Awards, helping to anticipate the potential favorites for their upcoming nominations (which will be announced on January 23). The Oscar race is as wide-open as it’s ever been, with several films still in contention for Best Picture; the Globes may help narrow that field.

The film nominations favored movies such as The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Dunkirk, Get Out, The Post, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Best Picture (Drama) seems like a showdown between The Shape of Water and The Post, while Lady Bird and Get Out are the frontrunners in the comedy category. The TV categories are even harder to predict and have less bearing on the Emmy race (since the Globes are given out in the middle of the television season), but star-driven hits like Big Little Lies, Feud: Bette and Joan, along with more topical works like The Handmaid’s Tale should feature prominently. (A more in-depth breakdown of the nominations is available here.)