Memorable Golden Globes moments: Oprah's power, history-making wins and Seth lets loose

Women led the way at an unusually political Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday night, as Hollywood's highest-profile post-Harvey Weinstein awards show so far turned the spotlight largely toward female-focused stories and actors declaring, "Time's up."

'We realize how much louder and stronger our voices can be when we come together,' says Natalie Portman

The 75th annual Golden Globes put the spotlight on female-focused stories, including multiple award winner Big Little Lies. The main female cast members pose backstage: (from left) Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Women led the way at an unusually political Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday night, as Hollywood's highest-profile post-Harvey Weinstein awards show so far turned the spotlight largely toward female-focused stories and actors declaring, "Time's up."

In a fast-paced evening celebrating the past year in U.S. film and television, here are some moments and trends that stood out.

The power of Oprah 

Oprah Winfrey delivered a barnburner of a speech in accepting the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award. (Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

A host of winning actors delivered strong statements addressing the #MeToo movement and decrying the culture of misconduct in Hollywood and beyond, from Big Little Lie's Laura Dern and Reese WitherspoonThe Handmaid's Tale's Elisabeth Moss and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri's Frances McDormand.

But leave it to Oprah Winfrey — broadcasting mogul and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's first black female Cecil B. DeMille Award-winner — to crystalize this cultural moment into a moving and emotional speech that garnered multiple standing ovations from the audience and accolades across social media. 

With her signature brand of personal tale-meets-inspirational oratory, Winfrey drew together threads about the American civil rights movement, the current backlash against sexual misconduct as well as the importance of the press in an amped-up speech that reached beyond those in the room to those watching at home. 

A different kind of red carpet couple

A host of top actors helped flip the often inane red-carpet gauntlet on its head by turning up accompanied by notable activists working on social justice issues, from Me Too founder Tarana Burke alongside Michelle Williams, to pro tennis player Billie Jean King with Emma Stone. 

From left: actors Natalie Portman, America Ferrera, and Emma Stone, and former tennis player Billie Jean King arrive at the Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Others — like Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd, Sarah Paulson and Amanda Peet, and America Ferrera and Natalie Portman — chose to attend with a female friend as their "date" for the night.

"We're used to being the only women in the workplace. We're used to being one-at-a-time players and we realize how much louder and stronger our voices can be when we come together," Portman noted on the red carpet.

Seth Meyers's opener

Newbie Globes host Seth Meyers gamely went after the "elephant not in the room" by diving right into jokes about disgraced producer Weinstein and the myriad sexual misconduct scandals roiling the entertainment business.

While the room had mixed reactions to some jokes, many on social media cheered on the late-night host for not pulling his punches: Kevin Spacey, HBO and Woody Allen were just a few he called out in his monologue.

Lady Bird wins

Greta Gerwig accepted the trophy for the film Lady Bird in the best musical or comedy category. The film was her directorial debut and the year's most widely acclaimed film.

The male producers of Lady Bird stepped aside to allow writer-director Greta Gerwig, centre, to accept the film's trophy for best comedy or musical film. (Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

The poignancy of that win wasn't lost on many, including presenters Portman  — who bluntly pointed out the all-male list of film director nominees when announcing that category — and Hollywood icon Barbra Streisand, who balked at the part of her introduction that described her as the Globes' only female film director winner (for 1984's Yentl) thus far. 

History in the making

In an evening dominated by women, two men shared the spotlight with milestone Golden Globe wins. Aziz Ansari became the first Asian-American winner of best lead actor in a TV comedy, while Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American winner of best lead actor in a TV drama. 

"You wrote a role for a black man. That could only be played by a black man," Brown said in his acceptance speech, addressing This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman.

"What I appreciate so much about this thing is that I've been seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me."