On Sunday evening, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association held its annual film awards, the Golden Globes. Interestingly, while last year's ceremony was dominated by discussion of the incoming president, this year's Golden Globes hardly acknowledged Trump. Instead, the awards show focused on combatting some of Hollywood's own demons: namely, the issue of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, something on which the #MeToo movement has shed particular light.
Indeed, much of host Seth Meyers' monologue focused on the issue of sexual misconduct. The host opened the show with the greeting, "Good evening, ladies … and remaining gentlemen," making reference to the fact that, over the past few months, many men in the entertainment industry have been relieved of their professional roles following revelations of sexual misconduct.
Meyers also continued to focus on the issue throughout his monologue, saying, "... it’s 2018: marijuana is finally allowed, and sexual harassment finally isn’t ... It’s gonna be a good year.” At one point, Meyers also joked that, “For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud." Again, he was referring to the repeated allegations of sexual misconduct that have been revealed over the past few months.
Meyers' words align with how he depicted his plans for the theme of the Golden Globes show during an interview with People magazine earlier this month. Meyers told the publication:
With the monologue, as far as talking about anything in the news right now, it seems like this year more than ever Hollywood has its own internal politics that obviously deserve to be talked about ... Going into it our focus is far more on the worlds that make these films and less on anything that’s happening in Washington.
In addition to Meyers, other entertainers also helped raise awareness about the issue of sexual misconduct at the ceremony. For example, many women chose to wear black outfits to honor those who have reported and/or experienced sexual misconduct. Moreover, lots of actresses brought prominent women activists as their accompaniment to the awards.
While the evening certainly focused heavily on addressing Hollywood's own issues with sexual misconduct, Trump was still occasionally the subject of a few jokes. As the The Hill reported, at one point Meyers joked that Trump might have disdain for the evening's sponsor: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. As the host put it, “A string of three words that could not have been better designed to infuriate our president: Hollywood Foreign Press. The only name that would make [Trump] angrier would be the ‘Hillary Mexico Salad Association.’”
The Hill also noted that Meyers made reference to the notion that his (and President Obama's) jokes at the 2011 White House Correspondents' Dinner supposedly inspired Trump to run for president. He jokingly used that line of thinking to "encourage" Oprah Winfrey to run for president, saying “So if that’s true [about Meyers' words encouraging Trump to run], I just want to say, Oprah, you will never be president. You do not have what it takes!”
As the Washington Post noted, Meyers' monologue and the tone of the evening certainly seemed to suggest that Hollywood's priorities have shifted — and that the industry has prioritized dealing with its own shortcomings ahead of engaging in political critiques. Moreover, the evening seemed to stress that, for those in Hollywood and beyond, things are finally changing when it comes to ensuring that women are respected and empowered, and that men accused of sexual misconduct are held accountable.
As Winfrey, the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award, said in a moving speech at the ceremony, " ... 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."