Jane Fonda Calls Out Golden Globes’ Diversity Problems in Powerful Acceptance Speech

Laura Bradley
·2 min read

Was there any doubt as Jane Fonda prepared to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year’s Golden Globes that one of Hollywood’s fiercest activists would use her platform, once more, to voice her beliefs?

On Sunday night, she did not disappoint—urging Hollywood to do better on diversity moments after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association responded to the outcry that emerged over the weekend over the fact that it does not have a single Black member within its ranks.

“I’m so moved to receive this honor, thank you,” Fonda said. “We are a community of storytellers, aren’t we? And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential. You see, stories... change our hearts and our minds. They help us see each other in a new light. Have empathy. To recognize that for all our diversity, we are humans first.”

Fonda cited films including Nomadland, Minari, and Judas and the Black Messiah, along with I May Destroy You, which was infamously snubbed of any nominations.

“Stories, they really can change people,” Fonda continued. “But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry—a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out. A story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where the decisions are made.”

The Golden Globes took a moment early on during Sunday’s ceremony to address the #TimesUpGlobes campaign after performers including Globes presenter Sterling K. Brown called out the absence of Black Hollywood Foreign Press Association members. At the Globes, Hollywood Foreign Press Association leadership acknowledged the need for Black journalists among its roster, and HFPA President Ali Sar said the organization will work toward “creating an environment where a diverse membership is the norm, not the exception.”

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As she accepted her award, Fonda urged everyone in the room—including specifically those in charge of hiring performers and green-lighting and awarding projects—to “make an effort to expand that tent. So that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”

“Doing this simply means acknowledging what’s true,” Fonda said. “Being in step with the emerging diversity that’s happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past, and those who’ve picked up the baton today. After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way. So let’s be leaders.”

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