Seth Meyers kicked off the 75th Golden Globe Awards with barbs about the sexual misconduct scandals roiling Hollywood.
“Good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen,” Meyers said at the start of his monologue, referring to the dozens of powerful men felled by allegations of harassment and assault.
“It’s 2018,” Meyers added. “Marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t.”
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In a nod to the high stakes surrounding his hosting stint, Meyers joked: “There’s a new era underway, and I can tell because it’s been years since a white man was this nervous in Hollywood.”
Meyers, the host of NBC’s “Late Night,” pulled no punches when it came to the accused, mocking former “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey and once-powerful mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Twenty years from now, Meyers said, Weinstein will be the “first person ever booed during the In Memorium” segment.
#MeToo promised to shape the event, the first major awards show since the Harvey Weinstein scandal rocked the entertainment industry and opened the national floodgates.
The red carpet was a sea of black gowns, a symbolic statement of solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct. Several actresses wore pins that read “Time’s Up” — the name of a new coalition to fight sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and other industries.
And some stars strolled down the carpet with leading activists at their sides.
Michelle Williams, nominated for her performance in the thriller “All the Money in the World,” was accompanied by Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo social media movement.
“I’m so much more interested in what you have to say than what I have to say,” Williams told the Associated Press, referring to Burke.
The fight for gender equality was quickly emerging as one of the dominant themes of the night. Debra Messing, the co-star of NBC’s “Will and Grace,” called out the E! network for pay disparities — while she was being interviewed by an E! personality.
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” Messing told Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet.
Catt Sadler, a former E! News co-host, walked away from her job after learning that her male co-host was being paid almost double her salary.
As for the awards themselves, top prognosticators say the race is wide-open.
“It is anyone’s game,” Tom O’Neill, editor of the awards prediction website Gold Derby, said in a phone interview this week.
O’Neil said he would put his money on best picture honors going to “The Post,” the topical Pentagon Papers drama directed by Steven Spielberg, and “Lady Bird,” the sweet comedy-of-age comedy from Greta Gerwig.
Other top contenders in the movie categories include “The Shape of Water,” a stylized fantasy about the romance between a mute woman and a mutant fish-man, and “Get Out,” the smash-hit satirical horror movie.