The Golden Globes took place on Sunday marking the beginning of the end for Hollywood’s 2019 awards season. (The season will officially culminate on Feb. 9th with the 92nd Academy Awards.) But it wasn’t the accolades that stood out so much as the impassioned speeches given by the winners and its host, Ricky Gervais.
Gervais tipped off the awards show with a speech reminding everyone present that if they don’t appreciate his humor, he really doesn’t care since this would be his last time hosting the awards. Gervais then went on to make several distasteful jokes touching on everything from the death of Jeffrey Epstein to Dame Judi Dench’s personal habits and even making a brief reference to pedophilia. However, Gervais also used this opportunity on the stage to call out Hollywood’s elite, telling them that they “know nothing about the real world” and begging them not to use the platform as an excuse to make a political speech.
Despite these efforts, several winners used their acceptance speeches as occasions to voice their political opinions. Michelle Williams and Patricia Arquette (winners of Best Actress in a Limited Series and Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series, respectively) begged viewers to vote in the upcoming Presidential election. Williams credited her professional achievements to “a woman’s right to choose” while Arquette called attention to some recent Twitter posts about Iran.
Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix (winners of Best Actor in a Limited Series and Best Actor in a Drama, respectively) preached the importance of taking action to tackle environmental issues. Crowe, who was unable to attend due to wildfires in Australia threatening his home, sent a statement about preserving the environment. “We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way we all have a future,” he wrote.
While Cassie Da Costa of The Daily Beast argued that these small strokes of celebrity activism do little to actually cause change in Hollywood or the world beyond, the evening was not devoid of history-making moments. Tom Hanks, who most recently starred as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Hanks talked about his scandal-free career stating that he’d “rather be appreciated than loathed, but that’s just me.” He also tearfully acknowledged his wife, actress Rita Wilson, and his five children, saying, “I can’t tell you how much your love means to me.”
For some, the pinnacle moment was when actress Awkwafina received the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, becoming the first actress of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe in a lead actress film category. Once backstage, the actress commented on the significance of her win. “I just heard that fact and it was pretty mind blowing,” she began. “There’s also this other feeling that you want there to be more, and I hope this is just the beginning.”
Check here for the full list of Golden Globe winners.
Certain branches of the United States military have banned the social media app TikTok amid scrutiny concerns. After investigations revealed that the data collected by the app is accessible to the Chinese government, the Pentagon informed the military of potential espionage risks. Although the Chinese-based company tried to assuage these fears by releasing a “transparency report” showing how governments around the world have used the information obtained by the app, the U.S. Army and Navy continues to dissuade personnel from using the app and has also ceased using the app as a recruitment tool.
Google, Amazon and Apple have also come under scrutiny regarding the privacy of their users. Despite claims that voice recognition software will only start recording after using the “wake” words such as “Alexa” or “Hey Google,” recent experiments by USA Today have shown that once you opt in to using the software, Google is always listening. These companies claim that the recordings are used to improve the user experience, but they also make it very difficult to delete the content once they have it. USA Today provides instructions on how to remove voice recordings and opt out of future recordings, but we’ll leave you to decide how or if you want your data recorded.
Finally, Christian satire site The Babylon Bee was criticized by CNN after a joke article titled “Democrats Call for Flags to Be Flown at Half-Mast to Grieve Death of Soleimani” was taken seriously by many right-leaning social media users. According to Relevant Magazine, the fake news debunking site Snopes fact-checked the piece and wrote that the article racked up more than 750,000 shares on social media. Snopes also said, “While those familiar with the Bee’s content may have recognized this article as a piece of satire, some social media users mistook this piece of fiction as if it were a genuine news item.”