8 Times Golden Globes Winners Made It About More Than Themselves
By Stacy Lambe
While the Golden Globes are normally a drunken good time as film and TV’s finest gather together to be honored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, this year’s ceremony was a surprisingly sober affair. And no, it wasn't just because Keira Knightly was pregnant.
Considering the subject matter included in many of this year’s nominees -- LGBT rights (The Normal Heart, Transparent, The Imitation Game), sexual assault (Downton Abbey), racial equality (Selma) -- it's not surprising those who did win took the time to celebrate the causes of their work.
And unlike last year when Jared Leto won a Globe for Dallas Buyers Club and bungled his first big opportunity to champion AIDS, Sunday's winners, including George Clooney, Transparent creator Jill Soloway, Matt Bomer, and others spoke from the heart.
Check out the speeches from a selection of this year’s winners, who made “the moment” about something larger than themselves:
Gina Rodriguez (Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy): Racial Equality on TV
While accepting the award for her surprise win, the Jane the Virgin star delivered a tearful speech about TV’s racial equality for African American and Latino characters.
“This award is so much more than myself. It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes. My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad, today is a great day. I can and I did.”
Joanna Froggatt (Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie): Sexual Assault
Last season on Downton Abbey, Froggatt’s character, Anna, was raped. The storyline was a central plotline of the show and one that impacted many viewers. “After this storyline aired, I received a small number of letters from survivors of rape, and one woman summed up the thoughts of many by saying she wasn’t sure why she had written, but she just felt, in some way, she wanted to be heard,” she said. “And I’d just like to say I heard you, and I hope saying this so publicly means, in some way, you feel the world hears you.”
Matt Bomer (Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie): AIDS/HIV Awareness
“Larry Kramer, thank you for your anger and your passion and writing this story that changed so many lives,” Bomer said in honor of the playwright who originally wrote The Normal Heart, about the height of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. The openly gay actor finished his speech by remembering those who came before us: “And to the generation that we lost and the people we continue to lose due to this disease, I just want to say we love you, we remember you.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie): Female Equality on TV
Gyllenhaal, who won for The Honorable Woman, took the time to honor the other women in the room. “What I see actually are women who are sometimes powerful and sometimes not, sometimes sexy, sometimes not, sometimes honorable, sometimes not. What I think is new is the wealth of roles for actual woman in television and in film.”
Jill Soloway (Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical): Transgender Suicide
Soloway, creator of the critically acclaimed Amazon series, dedicated the show’s win to Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who committed suicide in December. “This award is dedicated to the memory of Leelah Alcorn and to many trans people who died too young,” Soloway said before also thanking her own trans mother. “And it’s dedicated to you, my transparent, my Moppa. You are watching at home right now, and I just want to thank you for coming out because, in doing so, you made a break for freedom. You told your truth. You taught me how to tell my truth and make this show, and maybe we are going to be able to teach the world something about authenticity and truth and love. To love.”
Jeffrey Tambor (Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical): Transgender Awareness
Tambor’s speech for his win as Mora in Transparent echoed Soloway’s sentiment. “I would like to dedicate my performance and this award to the transgender community,” he said. “Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be a part of the change.”
Common (Best Original Song): The deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Racism in America
When the rapper accepted the award for “Glory,” a song co-produced and performed by him with singer John Legend, Common celebrated the larger message of Selma, which took on more resonanceafter the recent tragedies in Ferguson and across America. “As I got to know the people of the Civil Rights movement, I realize I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity.”
George Clooney (Cecil B. DeMille Award):Charlie Hebdo Massacre
DDuring what easily could have been a self-congratulatory moment, Clooney ended the celebration on a somber, yet impassioned note. He paid tribute to those killed in the massacre of Charlie Hebdo and praised the million-plus Parisians who took to the streets in response. “They were Christians and Jews and Muslims. They were leaders of countries all over the world, and they didn’t march in protest. They marched in support of the idea that we will not walk in fear. We won’t do it.” Clooney then ended his speech with the saying that has become a popular statement of solidarity: “Je suis Charlie.”