An hour and a half into the eat-your-broccoli atmosphere of this year’s Golden Globes, the show finally hit an authentic note when Regina King took to the stage to accept the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for If Beale Street Could Talk. Unlike Lady Gaga–folded up in layers of periwinkle, with hair to match–who shed movie star tears and delivered a forced-feeling speech when she won the night’s Best Song award for Shallow (from A Star is Born), King came off as refreshingly unscripted. She seemed genuinely moved about her win, thanking writer-director Barry Jenkins for a film that her son described as the “first time he really saw himself.”
But her real moment came as the music grew louder and, rather than move off stage as she was being instructed to do, she addressed the gender imbalance in Hollywood, saying that all of her future productions would be 50% female. “I challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, in any industry, to challenge yourself to do the same,” King urged.
The call to action was reminiscent of Frances McDormand’s demands for inclusion riders–contracts that ensure that half of a production cast and crew is made up of women and people of color–at last year’s Oscar ceremony, and felt similarly timely and urgent given the focus on the Times Up movement.
The same could not be said for the rest of the evening up until that point. Co-hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh were relentlessly tame, and stunts like giving everyone in the audience a flu shot felt as uncomfortable for viewers as for guests.