Why Was Frances McDormand's Golden Globes Speech Bleeped? It Was A Masterpiece That Deserved To Be Heard
As a star-studded audience looked on from packed seats in the legendary Beverly Hilton on Sunday night, Frances McDormand took the stage to accept the 2018 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. The actress shared the category with Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Meryl Streep (The Post) and Michelle Williams (All The Money In The World).
"I'm gonna keep it short because we've been here a long time and we need some tequila," McDormand began, before thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press and the director and producer of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (executive producer: Rose Garnett). "Many of you know I keep my politics private," she continued. "But it was really great to be in this room tonight and to be a part of the tectonic shift in our industries power structure. Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work. Thank you."
Parts of her speech were bleeped out, though it's not entirely clear why. Some speculated that NBC was anticipating a curse word when she began to thank "Fox Searchlight," and may have been anticipating other swear words as she continued the speech.
The Golden Globes' official Twitter account tweeted a video of the speech that doesn't include any bleeps that the NBC broadcast implemented, however, even though McDormand does seem to use a play on the word "sh*t," and NBC appeared to attempt to bleep the word after the actress had already let it slip.
McDormand was a favorite to win in this category for her role in Three Billboards,with both New York Magazine’s Vulture and Vanity Fair saying that she’d have a solid chance to score the award, though Vanity Fair ultimately predicted Streep, on the heels of her ridiculous 39 previous nominations, would take it home. Competition was tough as time-tested actresses filled the category. Only Margot Robbie was a first-time nominee.
This was a fitting category of strong female roles during a year in which it seems absolutely essential to celebrate even more the work of women in Hollywood. The category showcased the true story of an Olympian-turned-poker mastermind, the tale of a mother willing to stop at nothing to get her son back, and the plight of a female newspaper boss rallying against a corrupt administration, to name a few. It's a timely set of narratives about fierce women, to say the least, and their nominations bring even more light to actresses who are working to address inequality in movie-making.
Chastain in particular has been vocal about the problem of sexual harassment in the film industry. “I was tweeting a lot at the time [of the Harvey Weinstein accusations] and actually got an email from a well-known actor that said, 'Calm down,'" Chastain recently told Graham Norton, according to People magazine. "I found that heartbreaking and can only think he didn’t understand the movement that was happening." Streep, while having been criticized by some for her response, or lack thereof, to the Harvey Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo movement, made it clear to the New York Times recently that she thinks it's time for a reckoning of some sort. "There shouldn't be the idea of a locker room [conversation]," Streep said in a recent interview with the Times. "The payload is unloaded on women, because that's the last group it's kind of OK to demean, degrade."
Though McDormand was the sole winner in this category, it's clear that this year, perhaps more than ever, it's important to celebrate the complex, unique and hard-hitting roles women have taken on, of which there were countless.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.