In a evening that took a more somber tone in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked Hollywood over the past few months, the chat show host, actress and entrepreneur told the audience she had been inspired by women who felt “powerful enough to stand up and tell their stories.”
She became the first black woman to receive the honorary Cecil B DeMille award, which is given for lifetime achievement in the film industry.
Many guests at the ceremony wore badges with the words “Time’s Up” on them, while stars swapped their usual brightly coloured gowns and jewels in favour of all-black outfits to show support for victims of sexual abuse.
A number gave impassioned speeches about equality at the ceremony.
Collecting the prize for best supporting actress in a limited series for Big Little Lies, Laura Dern said: “I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employ them.”
Reese Witherspoon, who starred alongside Kidman and Dern in the series, and also served as its producer, collected the prize for best TV movie or limited series, saying: “People out there that are feeling silenced by harassment, discrimination, abuse – time’s up. We see you, we hear you, and we will tell your stories.”
Elisabeth Moss, who won best actress in a TV drama for the adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, read a note from the author.
Oprah Winfrey drew the biggest applause of the night for her rousing speech about equality.
“When that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again,” she said, to a standing ovation.
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