All the Men Who Got Played Off at the Golden Globes


At the wokest Golden Globes in history, there were all kinds of signs that a (hopefully lasting) change is underway in terms of gender inequality. There was the overt, often impassioned refrain of “#TIMESUP”; the savaging of accused rapists and predators like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in Seth Meyers’s opening monologue; the daring of Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, and Geena Davis to slip in seemingly unscripted messaging during their presenting (Portman’s called out the Best Director category for containing all men—particularly flagrant given that Lady Bird, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, went on to win Best Picture – Musical or Comedy). And, of course, there was the uniformity of black fashion as an expression of solidarity with Me Too.

But the Globes themselves, in a low-key sort of way, effectively put men in their place—or tried to. During the acceptance speeches, seven men were played off by the orchestra—that musical a-hem signaling it was time to wrap up—versus only one woman (Allison Janney, as her speech for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture, neared the two-minute mark).

Some women were too polite to violate their given time limits—in her Best Picture speech, Greta Gerwig gently freaked out as she got down to the final allotted seconds. A few women, though, were able to speak for over two minutes with no musical hurrying. Nicole Kidman, had the night’s earliest speech—it was also the longest at two minutes and 20 seconds (not counting Oprah Winfrey’s almost 9 minutes onstage accepting the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, which could have stretched on to the audience’s delight for several times that long). Frances McDormand, accepting the trophy for Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, went on for two minutes and 11 seconds without interruption. Her counterpart of sorts, Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama winner Gary Oldman, who accepted before her, started to be played off about a minute and 15 seconds into his speech. He acknowledged the music, ignored it, and spoke for another minute.

Guillermo del Toro, the night’s Best Director – Motion Picture, straight-up defied the music. “Lower the music guys, come on,” he said. “It’s taken 25 years, give me a minute. Give me a minute.” He’s already been given more than a minute at that point, and took a little less than another to wrap up. It goes to show: not all resistance is created equal.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin