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Oprah Winfrey's stirring Golden Globes speech prompts talk of White House run

Monday - 08/01/2018 20:56
After Winfrey gave a powerful speech about sexual harassment, racial injustice and press freedom, celebrities on Twitter urged her to run for office

Oprah Winfrey brought the Golden Globes audience to their feet with a powerful speech as she accepted the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday night, prompting speculation about a run for the White House.

The notion of the talk show host and entrepreneur running for president against Donald Trump in 2020 was raised by the awards’ host, Seth Meyers, in his opening monologue.

“In 2011, I told some jokes about our current president at the White House correspondents dinner, jokes about how he was unqualified to be president,” Meyers said. “And some have said that night convinced him to run. And if that’s true, I would just like to say, ‘Oprah you will never be president.’”

After Winfrey’s speech her partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times: “It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it.”

Celebrities used Twitter to urge Winfrey to run. The comedian Sarah Silverman tweeted “Oprah/Michelle 2020” while the actor Leslie Odom Jr wrote: “She’s running. A new day is on the way.”

After an introduction by Reese Witherspoon, the actor and philanthropist took to the stage to address racial injustice and sexual abuse on an evening in which women wore black to show support for the #MeToo movement.

Winfrey began by discussing Sidney Poitier, who won the 1964 Academy Award for best actor and, in doing so, became the first black man to win an Oscar. Eighteen years later, he received the Cecil B DeMille award at the 1982 Golden Globes.

Winfrey said: “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.”

Oprah Winfrey’s speech in full.

She continued: “I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. We 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.”

Addressing victims of sexual abuse, Oprah noted that the recent revelations about Hollywood’s endemic sexual misconduct go well beyond the entertainment industry, noting that the issue “transcends transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace”.

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