This post was originally published at Public Seminar on January 10, 2018.
I turned off #GoldenGlobes2018 about 45 minutes into the show. I was impressed by what I was hearing from the awards stand. But I was also offended by Seth Meyers’ repeated jabs at Kevin Spacey, the only gay man other than the elderly George Takei to have been accused of systemic sexual harassment during Hollywood’s #MeToo tsunami. Go ahead: Call me a feminazi, tell me I am humorless, politically correct — I don’t care. Only a room of straight people, or people nervously pretending to be straight, would have thought such jokes were not homophobic.
Or a group of people, from an industry that promotes fictional violence against women, who are now rebranding themselves as cutting edge feminists. Not that I don’t appreciate the effort — but when was the last time you saw Hollywood solve a social problem?
This, it did not surprise me to wake up and find that the other work of the evening had been to draft Oprah, who had won the lifetime achievement award that night, as the 2020 presidential candidate who can heal our wounded and divided nation. You can read the speech she gave here.
Oprah is, of course, no less qualified than a great many people who have run for the highest office (especially the individual currently occupying it), and she is a great deal more qualified than some. She is in many ways an inspirational figure, a modern version of Russell Conwell, the early twentieth century speechifier, Baptist minister and founder of Temple University, who promised his audiences that there were “acres of diamonds” before them, just waiting to be gathered.
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