Kidman brings home gold at Globes as women turn red carpet black

If the 75th annual Golden Globes hoped to make their mark in the history books, they got their wish. And then some.

With shallow fashion talk swept aside on a black-splattered red carpet, Hollywood’s rule book was thrown in the bin and the serious issue of workplace harassment overtook the tradition of inane “awards season” chatter.

‘s Nicole Kidman won for her work on critically acclaimed HBO drama Big Little Lies.

Accepting her fourth Golden Globe, Kidman paid tribute to her mother, Janelle Kidman, as a powerful influence in her and her sister’s lives.

“My achievements are her achievements, Antonia Kidman and I say thank you Janelle Kidman,” she said.

Kidman also spoke of the “power of women” – specifically her female co-stars and co-creatives on HBO’s critically acclaimed Big Little Lies – though the point had particular relevance on a night where social and professional inequality was the red-button topic.

“I do believe and hope we can elicit change with the stories we tell and the way we tell them,” Kidman said.

But ‘s four other nominees came away empty-handed: Katherine Langford lost to Elisabeth Moss for her work in The Handmaid’s Tale, Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman) lost to James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) lost to Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Geoffrey Rush (Genius) lost to Ewan McGregor (Fargo).

In a moment where art reflected life, many of the night’s big winners were female narrative stories: The Handmaid’s Tale, The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, Big Little Lies and I, Tonya.

On television, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale dominated the awards, winning best drama television series and best actress for Elisabeth Moss; it was denied the trifecta by This Is Us actor Sterling K. Brown.

The win was significant politically: the arrival and Emmy-Globe winning streak of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale effectively out-manoeuvred the award-winning darling of rival Netflix, The Crown.

Netflix’s Master of None also came off second best to Amazon’s The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

The legendary talk show queen (and actress) Oprah Winfrey was the recipient of the night’s lifetime achievement award, the Cecil B. De Mille Award, which acknowledges an “outstanding contribution to the world of entertainment”. Past recipients include Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Denzel Washington, George Clooney and Steven Spielberg.

Winfrey pointed out that as a little girl watching the Oscar telecast, in 1964, when she saw Sidney Poitier??? accept his awards – the first black man to win an Oscar – her life was changed; Winfrey said she hoped little girls seeing her accepting the DeMille award would be similarly affected.

“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” Winfrey said. “And I am especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories.”

Winfrey said inequality and sexual harassment transcended culture, geography, race, politics and workplace.

“I want to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed,and bills to pay and dreams to pursue,” she said.

“They are the women whose names we will never know, they are domestic workers and farm workers, they are working in factories, and restaurants, academia, engineering, medicine and science.

“A new day is on the horizon,” Winfrey said. “And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women … 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.”

Though the organisers struggled to keep focus on the principal task of handing out awards to actors, films and television programs, and hoping to serve as some kind of Oscars divining rod, the air was ripe with revolution.

Host Seth Meyers played a safe line in his opening monologue, gently digging into the sensitivity surround the sexual harassment scandals without ever tilting the tone to off, with a “good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen” straight off the bat.

He took potshots at Weinstein, Trump and Kevin Spacey, and even took the time to acknowledge that as the first caboose in the awards season train, all eyes were on him, sending “a special hello to hosts of other upcoming awards shows who are watching me tonight like the first dog they shot into outer space.”

In one of the most pointed and compelling exchanges of the night, Will & Grace star Debra Messing took the issue of gender pay parity straight to a company accused of failing it.

Speaking to reporter Giuliana Rancic live on air on the E! channel on the red carpet, Messing said: “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” a reference to presenter Catt Sadler who quit because her male co-host was earning almost twice her salary.

“We stand with her,” Messing told Rancic, who was caught off guard by the statement.

“And that’s something that can change tomorrow,” Messing added. “We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men. Time is up. We want diversity. We want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay.”

The #TimesUp movement, which is backed by hundreds of high-profile female actors, directors, producers and executives, has launched a legal defence fund intended to offer legal support to those in all industries unable to afford it.

As the red carpet was turned black by women refusing to wear colourful dresses in the service of a fashion designer-and-awards show commercial food chain, Big Little Lies star Reese Witherspoon said there was no way this year’s Golden Globes could, in the wake of the Weinstein and other scandals, ever have been “business as usual”.

“We wanted to stand up and do something for all people,” Witherspoon said, paying tribute to the brave women who spoke up about Weinstein and others “and men as well, with Terry Crewes and Anthony Rapp; it’s their bravery that allows us to be here to day and to establish the legal defence fund”.

Another #TimesUp organiser, actor Eva Longoria, said it was “not a moment, it’s a movement and [the Golden Globes] is one small part of that. This isn’t a female issue, it’s a power issue.”

Actor Sarah Jessica Parker said the reaction on the Golden Globes red carpet showed “that not only is the conversation timely but the basic idea – the ideas of equality, parity and safe work environment – are really not controversial, we just have to get the work done.

“The more I talk about it, the more I see how much people are wanting that,” Parker said. “It makes people feel safer, and it’s imperative and incumbent on those of us who have the time … to be great advocates.”

The president of the event’s organising body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Indian journalist Meher Tatna, also announced two $US1 million grants, for the non-profit and non-partisan International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The 75th annual Golden Globe Awards will be replayed on Monday, January 8 on FOX8 at 7.30pm.

Full list of winners:

Best motion picture, drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best motion picture, musical or comedy: Lady Bird

Best animated motion picture: Coco

Best foreign language motion picture: In the Fade (Germany)

Best director, film: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Best actor in a motion picture, drama: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best actress in a motion picture, drama: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: James Franco (The Disaster Artist)

Best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)

Best supporting actor in a motion picture: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best supporting actress in a motion picture: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best television series, drama: The Handmaid’s Tale

Best actor in a television series, drama: Sterling K Brown (This is Us)

Best actress in a television series, drama: Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Best television series, musical or comedy: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Best actor in a television series, musical or comedy: Aziz Ansari (Master of None)

Best actress in a television series, musical or comedy: Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel)

Best limited series or television film: Big Little Lies

Best actor in a limited series or television film: Ewan McGregor (Fargo)

Best actress in a limited series or television film: Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies)

Best supporting actor in a TV series, limited series or TV film: Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies)

Best supporting actress in a TV series, limited series or TV film: Laura Dern (Big Little Lies)

Best film screenplay: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best original score, film: The Shape of Water

Best original song, film: This Is Me (The Greatest Showman)

Cecil B. De Mille Award recipient: Oprah Winfrey

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