It is common for Cecil B. DeMille Prize winners to go back in time and discuss their numerous career highlights.
But actress Jane Fonda took a different path when she accepted the prestigious award for her life’s work at the Golden Globes on Sunday evening.
Fonda began elevating storytelling as an art form and praising the work of the actors and directors who are behind many nominated works this year. In conclusion, she called for better leadership in Hollywood to make sure all the stories are told.
“Stories – they can really change people. But there’s a story that we couldn’t see or hear in this industry – a story about what voices we respect and raise and which ones we turn off,” said Fonda.
Read her full speech Here:
“Thank you to all of the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I am so moved to receive this honor. Thank you.
You know we’re a storytelling community, don’t we? And in turbulent, troubled times like these, storytelling has always been essential.
You see, stories have a way to … they can change our hearts and minds. They can help us see ourselves in a new light. Have empathy. To realize that despite all the diversity, we are human first, right?
You know, I’ve seen a lot of variety in my long life and at times I’ve been challenged to understand some of the people I’ve met.
But when my heart is open and I look below the surface, I inevitably feel related.
That is why all the great paths of perception – Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Laotzi
– Everyone spoke to us in stories, poems and metaphors.
Because the non-linear, non-cerebral forms that are art speak on a different frequency.
They create a new energy that can shake us up and penetrate our defenses so that we can see and hear what we were afraid to see and hear.
This year in particular, “Nomadland” helped me to love the hikers among us. And “Minari” opened my eyes to the experience of immigrants dealing with the realities of life in a new country.
And Judas and the Black Messiah, Small Acts, US vs. Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey, One Night in Miami and others deepened my empathy for what it means to be black .
“Ramy” helped me feel what it was like to be a Muslim American.
“I can destroy you” taught me to look at sexual violence in a whole new way.
The documentary “All In” reminds us how fragile our democracy is and inspires us to fight to keep it alive.
And “A Life on Our Planet” shows us how fragile our little blue planet is and inspires us to save it and ourselves.
Stories: You Can Really Really Change People.
But there is a story that we were scared to see and hear about ourselves in this industry. A story about which voices we respect and raise – and which ones we turn off.
A story about who offered a seat at the table and who is being kept away from the rooms where decisions are made.
So let’s all – including all the groups that decide who gets hired, what does it, and who wins awards – all of us strive to expand this tent. So that everyone gets up and every story has the chance to be seen and heard.
I mean, to do this is simply to acknowledge what is true. Keeping up with the emerging diversity that comes from all those who have marched and fought in the past and those who have taken the baton today.
After all, art has always not only been in tune with history, but has paved the way.
So let’s be guides, OK?
Thank you, thank you very much. “