Regina King Won the Golden Globes, Making a Pledge to Hire 50% Women in Her Future Productions
Remember that time at the Golden Globes last year, when Natalie Portman went off-script to point out the lack of female directors nominated at the awards show?
It seems as though the Hollywood Foreign Press Association didn’t really take her criticism to heart — the Golden Globes 2019 once again nominated zero women for the Best Director category. In its 76 years, only five women have been nominated. Barbra Streisand is the only woman to have ever won the award, for Yentl in 1984.
But in the sea of generally white, male faces being commended for their talent, there were a few stand-out moments at the awards ceremony last night that gave us hope for the future. Regina King’s feminist pledge was one of them.
Accepting the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for If Beale Street Could Talk, King began talking about the importance of using platforms that actors have when they win these kinds of awards. But when music started playing in the background to signal to King that she should wrap up her speech, our feminist saint’s voice rang out even louder, “Times up. Times two.”
Yup. You can’t just play Regina King off the stage while she’s talking about the need for systemic change in Hollywood.
“In the next two years, everything that I produce, I am making a vow — and it’s going to be tough — to make sure that everything I produce is 50% women,” she said. “And I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power — not just in our industry, in all industries — I challenge you to challenge yourselves to stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”
King’s promise to work towards greater gender inclusivity comes at a key juncture in entertainment and pop culture. Despite appearances, the number of women in Hollywood with speaking roles in major films has not increased in the last 10 years. The number of women of color and LGBTQ+ characters are even lower, according to a recent report from the University of California. And sociologists have found that representation in the media we consume directly affects how we interact with people, whose stories we value, and who gets marginalized in the process. King’s pledge is then crucial, not just to address a gender imbalance in the workplace, but to actively change who gets control over the stories we see, on the small and big screen.
The silver lining of the Golden Globes 2019, then, which awarded Bohemian Rhapsody Best Motion Picture – Drama, and Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (and you know how I feel about this trash film), were the women who were represented there. From the 71-year-old Glenn Close taking home Best Actress and her heartfelt speech about her mother and the sacrifices women are always expected to make; to Olivia Colman lovingly thanking “my bitches,” referring to Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, her co-stars in The Favourite; the women onstage made watching the Golden Globes a far more enjoyable experience. Sandra Oh making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win the award for Best Actress in a TV Drama (in 39 years) and to host the Golden Globes, was made even better by her shout-out to her parents in the audience.
Also this was the year of women holding hands on the red carpet and it is too pure to behold.
Can’t wait for Golden Globes 2021, when King’s army of women win all the awards.