Let the speech-a-thon begin: How giving political acceptance speeches at award shows in Hollywood became a trend
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Let the speech-a-thon begin: How giving political acceptance speeches at award shows in Hollywood became a trend

Going to award shows in Hollywood is not just about winning awards anymore, it’s about using the platform for a making a statement—be it about highlighting wage gap between men and women, the rampant problem of sexual misconduct or may be to declare your intentions for running for presidency.

hollywood Updated: Jan 16, 2018 10:55 IST
Abhinav Verma
Abhinav Verma
Hindustan Times
Golden Globe Awards,Critics Choice Awards,Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot isn’t the only one whose speech lit up social media.(REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Once upon a time in Hollywood, going to awards shows was all about who wore the best dress, and who accompanied whom. If you were to put a label on these award shows then in a nutshell, you could classify them as an elite fashion soiree. However, for the past six months, times-are-a-changing. For celebrities, if they are going to an award show, it’s not enough to look good. Now, they are expected to make a statement through their speech with an intention to bring attention to various social causes. However, the question is, how did this trend emerge in the last few months? Well, two incidents in the US seems to have fired the trend - first is Donald Trump’s presidency and second is the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The most recent instance of a Hollywood speech trending on the internet is that of Israeli actor Gal Gadot, who made a powerful speech regarding gender quality at the Critics Choices Awards, on January 11. She was awarded the #SeeHer trophy for her effort in highlighting the importance of accurately portraying women in the entertainment industry. As the award season hits a climax with the Oscars in March, we are expecting more such speeches to be given, here’s looking back at most powerful speeches given at award shows in recent times.

Gal Gadot

Speaking at the recent Critics Choices Awards, the actor said:

“As artists, and as filmmakers, I believe it’s not only our job to entertain, but our duty to inspire and educate for love and respect. In the past weeks and months, we’ve been witnessing a movement in our industry and society, and I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what’s right: Standing for those who can’t stand or speak for themselves. My promise and commitment to all of you is that I will never be silenced, and we will continue to band together to make strides, uniting for equality.”

Oprah Winfrey

The legendary talk show host was recently awarded Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globes. She spoke about the #Metoo campaign against Weinstein, while stressing on the need to work towards a better tomorrow. Here’s an excerpt from her speech.

“ I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, 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.”

Nicole Kidman

The Australian actor won the Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the show Big Little Lies. She used her acceptance speech to bring attention to girl power. Here what she said.

“This is ours to share. Wow, the power of women. It’s so great to see a strong group of powerful women who genuinely respect each other. You go, Big Little Lies.”

Meryl Streep

If there is one person who can be credited for starting the trend then it’s Meryl Streep. Last year, when Streep won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes, she called out Trump for apparently mocking a disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski during a 2015 campaign rally. Here’s an excerpt from her speech, which started it all.

“This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing,” she said. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

First Published: Jan 16, 2018 10:55 IST