Golden Globes 2017

It was a night of political messages, passionate speeches - and of course, some whining by Trump, reports Roe McDermott

With the inauguration of Donald Trump looming this month, politics and the future of America is on everyone's minds - and that includes the glamorous stars who took to the red carpet at the Golden Globes last night. In one of the most politically-minded awards in history, not only did the awards themselves demonstrate a renewed commitment to and celebration of diversity, but many of the winners used their speeches to renounce the bigotry and hatred embodied by the incoming President.

Meryl Streep epitomised this sentiment when she took to the stage to accept her Cecil B. De Mille Lifetime achievement award. Criticising Trump's cruel mockery of a reporter with disabilities, the multi-Oscar winning actress said "the instinct to humiliate, when it's modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone's life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing."

"Disrespect invites disrespect," the actress continued. "Violence invites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."

Streep also called on the press to remain vigilant, to prevent normalising bigoted behaviour and to hold the powerful to account.

In a sadly predictable move, Trump lashed out at Streep, dismissing her as a "Hillary lover" and saying he was "not surprised" that he had come under attack from "liberal movie people."

Viola Davis, who walked away with the gong for Best Supporting Actress in Fences, used her post-award interview in the press room to reflect on what Trump indicates about America.

"I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation," said Davis, "but I think that we've fallen short a lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system. So what does that say about us?"

Tracee Ellis Ross won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for her brilliant performance in Blackish, becoming the first Black woman to win the award since Debbie Allen won for Fame in 1983. Blackish regularly addresses social issues such as race and police brutality, and recognition of Ellis Ross' performance was long overdue.

Elated, she too used her speech to send a message to audiences, particularly women of colour.

"This is for all the women," said Ellis Ross, "women of colour, and colourful people whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid an important. But I want you to know that I see you. We see you."

Suitable for a night where celebrating the work of actors of colour was a prevalent theme, the beautiful coming-of-age story Moonlight won Best Film (Drama.) The film was received international acclaim for its sensitive storytelling and diverse cast, though it's actors failed to secure a gong on the night. The main comedy acting awards were scooped by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for their whimsical jazz comedy La La Land, which was the main winner of the night, winning Best Film (Comedy/Musical), as well as Best Screenplay and Best Director for Damien Chazelle. Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress (Drama) for her performance in Elle, despite not even being shortlisted for the Oscars.

The one upset of the night came when Casey Affleck won Best Actor (Drama) for his performance in the emotive drama Manchester By the Sea. There had been calls to boycott the film due to allegations that Affleck had sexually harassed female actresses and film crew on past productions. Writers like Roxane Gay and Soraya N.McDonald were quick to protest the decision on Twitter, with McDonald tweeting the full list of allegations made against the actor.

 

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