Jane Fonda accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award onstage at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton and broadcast on February 28, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. -- (Photo by Rich Polk/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Golden Globes 2021: Jane Fonda addresses Golden Globes controversy in powerful acceptance speech

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I May Destroy You has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way,” said Jane Fonda, paying tribute to the TV series that was ignored in the Golden Globes nominations list. 

Jane Fonda was awarded the prestigious Cecil B DeMille Award at the 2021 Golden Globes.

Rather than talk about her own achievements, though, the actor made a point of praising the work of the actors and directors behind many nominated works this year – and those who, controversially, were not.

“You know, we are a community of storytellers, aren’t we?” she said. “And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential.

“You see, stories have a way to… they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light. To have empathy. To recognise that, for all our diversity, we are humans first, right?” 

Fonda went on to reference some of the great stories that had been recognised in the Golden Globes nominees list, including Judas And The Black Messiah, Da 5 Bloods, Minari, Small Axe, US vs. Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ramy, One Night In Miami, and others that “have deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant.”

“[And] I May Destroy You has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way,” she added.

Of course, Michaela Coel’s universally acclaimed drama failed to secure a single nomination, much to people’s outrage on social media.

And One Night in Miami, Judas And The Black Messiah, Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, too, were all ignored in the Best Picture category, too.

Watch Jane Fonda’s Golden Globes acceptance speech in full below:

Fonda ended by calling for better leadership in Hollywood to make sure everyone’s stories are told.

“There’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry. A story about which voices we respect and elevate – and which we tune out,” she said. 

“A story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.

“So let’s all of us – including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards – let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent. So that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.”

“I mean, doing this simply means acknowledging what’s true,” stressed Fonda. “Being in step with the emerging diversity that’s happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who’ve picked up the baton today.

“After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way. So, let’s be leaders, OK?” 

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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