Note: the full transcript of Oprah’s speech is at the bottom of the article, so scroll down past all my fabulous rhetoric if you’re looking for that.
Oprah Winfrey’s stirring speech at Sunday’s Golden Globe awards seemed almost a “new chapter” speech a year+ after former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s moving concession speech that followed her loss to idiotic Pres. Donald Trump. Certainly Oprah’s announcement that women are entering a new era is not hyperbole. The year of #MeToo has changed everything for American women.
In her concession speech, Hillary specifically addressed “all the little girls who are watching this.” Near the end of her own speech, Oprah said this:
“So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!”
Did Oprah draw inspiration from Hillary’s message, or was the similarity at the end of the two speeches just a coincidence? One thing we know for sure: Oprah Winfrey is rarely random, and she NEVER needs to “copy” anyone. Everything she does is deliberate and she has no history of failure.
Continue reading below the video.
Will she run for president? Her inspiring words left many people on the left hopeful that she was hinting at a 2020 run. That wasn’t really my takeaway from the speech, but I’m hopeful…or rather, maybe I don’t want to get my hopes up?
It could well be that American women and little girls will achieve the ultimate victory: not only a woman president, but a woman president who is a woman of color. The broken hearts of the #ImWithHer movement — and indeed liberals/progressives who weren’t Hillary supporters — have reason to rejoice today. We hope.
Yes, OK damnit, forget what I said a couple of paragraphs up. I’m going to dare hope. We could all use a little hope right now.
Stedman fed our hopes!
Her longtime partner Stedman Graham didn’t even bother denying a potential run for his lady.
“It’s up to the people,” he said backstage after the speech.
“She would absolutely do it.”
Some influential people are totally on board.
The only thing @Oprah’s speech was missing: “… and I announce my candidacy”! WOW! #Oprah #GoldenGlobes #Oprah2020 pic.twitter.com/fv5XUFQyWZ
— JoJo Wright (@JoJoWright) January 8, 2018
Whether she runs or not, @oprah has already given the best campaign speech of the 2020 cycle. #GoldenGlobes
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) January 8, 2018
If Dems run anyone but @Oprah in 2020, they will lose. Run, @Oprah, run.
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) January 8, 2018
She’s running. A new day is on the way.
— Leslie Odom, Jr. (@leslieodomjr) January 8, 2018
The only thing that would have made that better would have been "Yes, we can. And I am. 2020." #Oprah #etalkGlobes #GoldenGlobes
— Elaine L. (@LaineyGossip) January 8, 2018
— Marc (@MarcSnetiker) January 8, 2018
The one that will never happen.
Michelle Obama famously does not want to EVER hold public office. (but OMG wouldn’t it be glorious???)
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) January 8, 2018
When Oprah is speaking at the Golden Globes and your goals shift to VP… pic.twitter.com/3ghEVMmCwF
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 8, 2018
Reminder: Oprah REALLY IS all that Donald Trump claims to be
If you didn't watch @Oprah elevating the art of communication and inspiration at the @GoldenGlobes, get your children – get your daughters – and do yourselves a favour. Show them how leaders SHOULD speak.
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) January 8, 2018
We’ll take you up on this, Ben!
If you need me for the next two years I’ll be drafting tweets in support of Oprah’s 2020 presidential campaign
— Ben Platt (@BenSPLATT) January 8, 2018
Oprah dead center …
thats hard for mere mortals #GoldenGlobes
— ROSIE (@Rosie) January 8, 2018
If she doesn’t run?
We’ll settle for this if we can’t have another Prez O.
I don’t want Oprah to run for president. I just want to implant a tiny clone of her into everyone’s brains so they make the best choices and live their best lives IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK SCIENCE
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) January 8, 2018
Hillary’s concession speech
Little girls…our future
Watch here a beautiful musical cover of Hillary’s speech, performed by….little girls. 🙂
Transcript, via CNN
In 1964, I was a little girl sitting on the linoleum floor of my mother’s house in Milwaukee watching Anne Bancroft present the Oscar for best actor at the 36th Academy Awards. She opened the envelope and said five words that literally made history: “The winner is Sidney Poitier.” Up to the stage came the most elegant man I had ever seen. I remember his tie was white, and of course his skin was black, and I had never seen a black man being celebrated like that. I tried many, many times to explain what a moment like that means to a little girl, a kid watching from the cheap seats as my mom came through the door bone tired from cleaning other people’s houses. But all I can do is quote and say that the explanation in Sidney’s performance in “Lilies of the Field”:
In 1982, Sidney received the Cecil B. DeMille award right here at the Golden Globes and it is not lost on me that at this moment, there are some little girls watching as I become the first black woman to be given this same award. It is an honor — it is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them and also with the incredible men and women who have inspired me, who challenged me, who sustained me and made my journey to this stage possible. Dennis Swanson who took a chance on me for “A.M. Chicago.” Quincy Jones who saw me on that show and said to Steven Spielberg, “Yes, she is Sophia in ‘The Color Purple.'” Gayle who has been the definition of what a friend is, and Stedman who has been my rock — just a few to name.
I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because we all know the press is under siege these days. We also know it’s the insatiable dedication to uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and to injustice. To — to tyrants and victims, and secrets and lies. I want to say that I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times, which brings me to this: what I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. And I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the stories that we tell, and this year we became the story.
But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight 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. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.
And there’s someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.
Their time is up. And I just hope — I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man — every man who chooses to listen.
In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. 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.
Featured image illustration via New York Daily News