Jane Fonda was honoured with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at this year's Golden Globes for her decades-long career in entertainment. During her speech, the 83-year-old icon took the opportunity to speak out about the importance of equal representation after it was recently revealed that none of the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are Black.
"For all our diversity, we are human first."
"You know, I have seen a lot of diversity in my long life, and at times I have been challenged to understand some of the people I've met, but inevitably, if my heart is open and I look beneath the surface, I feel kinship," she said. "But there's a story we've been really afraid to see and hear about ourselves and this industry. The story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out." Fonda then urged viewers to "expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone's story has a chance to be seen and heard . . . Let's be leaders."
Judy Garland was the first-ever female recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1962. She was also the youngest winner at age 39. Other past honourees include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Jodie Foster, Meryl Streep, Alfred Hitchcock, and Sidney Poitier.
Prior to the ceremony, the HFPA addressed the controversy with a statement that read: "We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible." It also released a statement during the show, adding, "Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognise that we have our own work to do."