Lots of Men Failed to Mention #TimesUp in Their Globes Acceptance Speeches

The men who scooped up statuettes at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards all had ample opportunity to speak out. They mostly didn't

Times Up Golden Globes: Aziz Ansari, Alexander Skarsgard and James Franco hold their Golden Globes awards in this collaged photo.

(Photo: Getty)

Every man nominated for an award at the 75th annual Golden Globes knew he had at least a small chance of winning. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association released the full list of nominees almost a month ago.

That’s a lot of time to prepare a minute-long acceptance speech that could acknowledge cast and crew while still thoughtfully addressing the Weinstein-shaped elephant in the room. Each nominee had at least seven days since the announcement of Time’s Up to make any edits to his speech to ensure he nodded to the initiative in a show of support. Practically every woman in Hollywood managed to find a black dress to show solidarity and also to say something powerful about the tectonic shift since Weinstein’s ouster.

Because words mean more than empty gestures. And if you’re going to wear a Time’s Up pin, you better back it up with more than just a selfie.

So, you can bet that every time a dude took the stage to accept an award last night, we listened closely. We wanted something, even just the smallest acknowledgement.

We got nothing.

The only man whose words are even worth mentioning is Sterling K. Brown, who spoke about the need for visibility in the industry and the power of diverse roles.

The rest of the speeches can be summed up with an eye roll.

It seemed like such an easy win. An awards show speech is an almost effortless way to step up and show support, especially if you’re not going to make the time to donate at least a small portion of your millions to the GoFundMe for the Time’s Up legal defense fund. (In case you were wondering, as of press time Seth Meyers is the single male celeb who has donated the most to the campaign, at $50,000, but it takes about 30 entries from powerful women and other agencies before you reach his name on the top donors list. On the other hand, Oprah donated $100,000, Meryl Streep, Shonda Rhimes and Reese Witherspoon contributed $500,000 each and Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams committed a joint $1 million toward the $16.5-million goal.)

Which brings us back to the Globes. We have the receipts. We reviewed the acceptance speeches from each of the men who won awards for acting or directing. We weren’t impressed.

Aziz Ansari 

Ansari became the first actor of Asian decent to win Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Television Series last night for Master of None. I expected more from his acceptance speech, which is dumb because Ansari was all but silent about Louis C.K. after a number of women came forward—a man he worked with back when C.K. did a guest-spot on Parks and Recreation.

Still, the second season of Master of None specifically explored sexual harassment with Chef Jeff (Bobby Cannavale), and it did so in a way that felt “weirdly prophetic” ahead of the Weinstein exposés. Here, we had Ansari’s Dev wrestling with the fallout of a close predatory friend. “Dev isn’t guilty, but he also isn’t entirely blameless,” argues Slate’s Marissa Martinelli. “Dev didn’t knowingly enable Jeff’s behavior, but as Jeff’s protégé, he benefitted from the same power that let Jeff take advantage of women who were less powerful than he was.”

Knowing all that, it would have been the perfect time for Ansari to acknowledge what so many of his female colleagues did last night. But he didn’t. He seemed genuinely shocked by his win, and admitted as much, but c’mon. You can say a lot before the music cuts you off, and he decided to say:

“I genuinely didn’t think I would win because all the websites said I was going to lose. Also, I’m glad we won this one because it would have really sucked, to lose two of these in a row, it would have been a really shitty moment for me. But this is nice.”

Nice for you, but not enough for the rest of us.

Sterling K. Brown

Randall Pearson has made us laugh and cry while breaking our hearts over and over again on This Is Us, and Brown deserved every bit of his win last night for Best Actor in a Television Drama. Brown became the first African-American male actor to win a Globe in that category, and while he didn’t specifically mention sexual harassment in the industry, he spoke about the need for visibility. He made an impact. In one of the best speeches of the night, he said:

“Throughout the majority of my career, I’ve benefited from colour-blind casting which means, You know what, hey, let’s throw a brother in this role, right? Really cool. Dan Fogleman, you wrote a role for a Black man. That could only be played by a Black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I’ve been seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me, or dismiss anybody who looks like me.”

Sterling nailed it. He may not consider himself a trailblazer, as he said backstage after accepting his award, but he is, and he’s doing amazing work on network TV.

Guillermo Del Toro

Del Toro wasn’t going to be played off stage before he had a chance to fully accept his award for Best Director in the all male-nominated category for The Shape of Water. “It’s taken 25 years, give me a minute,” he said, until the music trailed off. Then he shifted focus to his favourite muse: monsters.

“Since childhood, I’ve been faithful to monsters. I have been saved and absolved by them. Because monsters, I believe, are patron saints of our blissful perfection…

For 25 years I have handcrafted very strange little tales made of motion, colour, light and shadow. And in many of these instances, in three precise instances, these strange stories, these fables, have saved my life. Once with Devil’s Backbone, once with Pan’s Labyrinth, and now with Shape of Water, because as directors, these things are not just entries in a filmography. We have made a deal with a particularly inefficient devil that trades three years of our lives for one entry on IMDb. And these things are biography and they are alive.”

This isn’t the first time Del Toro has called the monsters of make-believe his patron saints. He loves them and feels a divine calling to share their stories, a labour he calls “evangelical.” Unfortunately he failed to call out any real-life monsters.

James Franco

I was completely disappointed to see Franco scoop up a Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy win for The Disaster Artist. He clearly coordinated with Tommy Wiseau to take the stage together, yet mocked him in a way that shows Franco isn’t laughing with him, but at him.

And his speech? He’s laughing at us too, right? He thanked his bros, and his actual bro, but that’s about it.

Within moments of Franco’s acceptance speech, Ally Sheedy was on Twitter asking why he was even “allowed in” to the ceremony and using #MeToo in a series of now-deleted tweets. We don’t know what went on between the two, but as The Cut points out, Franco did direct Sheedy in an off-broadway production of The Long Shrift in 2014. Regardless, Sheedy’s onto something. It was gross to see Franco on stage with Time’s Up on his lapel. He’s someone host Seth Meyers called out as skeezy in his opening monologue (“If you haven’t seen The Deuce, it’s about Times Square in the ’70s when New York was so seedy there were two James Francos”). He may think we’ve forgotten his past behaviour, but social media hasn’t.

Ewan McGregor

Where do we begin with this guy? In mid-October McGregor tweeted that he’d “heard rumours over the years” about Weinstein and emphatically declared, “Bye Bully!” but he’s another prime example of doing too little too late.

Last night, he took home Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for his work in Fargo. In practically the same breath, he managed to thank his estranged wife of 22 years Eve Mavrakis (they separated last May) before nodding to his newish girlfriend/Fargo co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Lovely.

Gary Oldman

He bagged his first-ever Globe with a win for Best Actor in a Motion Picture for Darkest Hour, and his Time’s Up lapel pin didn’t sit right with us, either. This from a man who called American politician Nancy Pelosi a sexist slur, defended Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks and sided with Alec Baldwin after Baldwin used a homophobic slur on an aggressive paparazzo. This is also a man who was accused of domestic violence in the early aughts by his now ex-wife who said he struck her multiple times with a telephone receiver in front of their children. No charges were filed, and Oldman denied the claims—still, it felt weird seeing him up there like that, saying how “humbled and surprised” he was by the win. Some might argue that Oldman did wink to the current climate as he wrapped up his speech, but like his peers he skimmed the surface:

“I am very proud of Darkest Hour. It illustrates that words and actions can change the world, and boy, oh boy, does it need some changing.”

Boy, oh boy, does it. He could start with himself.

Sam Rockwell

Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for the tone-deaf Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Ira Madison III has a brilliant take for Daily Beast on all the reasons why the awards-season hype behind this redemption story of a racist cop, played by Rockwell, is “unearned, manipulative and altogether offensive.” Which, consequently, are a few words we could use to describe Rockwell’s acceptance speech last night.

First, there was the tired toilet humour. “Forgive me, I’m a little excited, I may need this piece of paper and I may need some Imodium,” Rockwell said on stage. He thanked a bunch of people, including his director for “not being a dick,” and then wrapped it all up saying: “This movie is about compassion, and I think we need some of that these days.”

True, but it’s another vague and empty platitude. Much like the film itself.

Alexander Skarsgård

Spare me one last minute for Skarsgård, who picked up Best Supporting Actor in a TV series for Big Little Lies. He bumbled through this speech, before thanking his cast.

“Our extraordinary cast who are all here, especially Nicole, hi. Not that you’re more talented than the other girls, I say ‘especially Nicole,’ because most of my scenes were with Nicole, you guys are amazing.

Nicole, I love you. Thank you for making this the greatest experience of my career.”

First, can we stop calling grown women girls? It’s dismissive. Like Ansari, Skarsgård also had a chance to address how his role as Perry in the hit series handled domestic abuse and rape, but he ignored it.

Let this be a lesson ahead of the SAG Awards. We’re listening.

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