The 75th annual Golden Globe Awards kicked off with a red carpet and opening monologue that focused almost entirely on the growing topic of gender inequality in show business highlighted by the fall of several men in power and the growing “#MeToo” movement.
Host Seth Meyers took the stage and began by greeting the crowd as “Ladies and remaining gentlemen.”
“It’s 2018 marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s going to be a good year,” he joked.
The Globes had long been the stomping grounds of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose downfall precipitated allegations against James Toback, Kevin Spacey and many others. Weinstein presided over two decades of Globes winners and was well-known for his manipulation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 89-member group that puts on the Globes.
“Harvey Weinstein isn’t here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors he’s crazy and difficult to work with,” Meyers said. “Don’t worry because he’ll be back in 20 year when he becomes the first person ever booed during the In Memoriam.”
Meyers took a swipe at Kevin Spacey, who was accused by several actors of sexual assault.
“Despite everything that happened this year, the show goes on,” Meyers said. “For example, I was happy to hear they were going to do another season of ‘House of Cards.’ Is Christopher Plummer available for that too? I hope he can do a Southern accent because Kevin Spacey sure couldn’t.”
The joke, a reference to Plummer replacing Spacey in the film “All the Money in the World,” was met with awkward gasps from the audience and Meyers quickly quipped, “Oh, is that too mean to Kevin Spacey?”
As much as activism regarding gender inequality were the main focus, politics were not off limits for the late night host. He took a moment to comment on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, saying that it likely angers president Donald Trump.
“We’re all here at the courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he said. ”A string of three words that could not have been better designed to infuriate our president. The only name that would make him angrier would be the ‘Hillary Mexico Salad Associated.’”
The star ended his speech on a serious note saying, “People in this room worked really hard to get here but it’s clearer now than ever before, the women had to work harder. So thank you for all that you do. I look forward to seeing you lead us into whatever some next.”
Before the show started, many female stars arrived on the red carpet with activist guests — Michelle Williams with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Meryl Streep and domestic workers advocate Ai-jen Poo, Laura Dern and farmworker advocate Monica Ramirez — as part of the larger effort to keep the Globes spotlight trained on the sexual harassment and assault scandals that have roiled Hollywood and other industries.
From there, the show moved on with Gal Gadot and Dwayne Johnson awarding Nicole Kidman with the first win of the night for best performance by an actress in a limited series or a motion picture made for television for her role on “Big Little Lies.”
Hollywood’s awards season is seen as wide open, but the early returns Sunday were good for one of the leading nominees: the revenge black comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Sam Rockwell won for best supporting actor.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.