If Oprah Winfrey ever decides to run for president — as fans have implored her to do for years — her acceptance of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at Sunday’s (Jan. 7) Golden Globes could double as her first stump speech. It certainly had Hollywood on its feet.
The media mogul began her speech by recalling Sidney Poitier — an eventual Cecil B. DeMille winner himself — receiving the best actor Oscar in 1964 for Lilies of the Field and hoping she might inspire today’s children the way he inspired her then. “There are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to receive this award,” she said, setting the tone for a speech that aimed to kick-start a new day for women in Hollywood.
“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” she said. “And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up. … 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, bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”
Winfrey told the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman who was gang-raped by six white men in 1944. Taylor died only 10 days ago, on Dec. 28, at age 97, and Winfrey hoped she was encouraged to see a time when assault victims were not only heard but believed. “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.”
She ended the triumphant speech by promising the younger generation that “a new day is on the horizon.” Watch a clip below: