Why Elisabeth Moss’ stirring Golden Globes speech has divided the internet

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Kayleigh Dray
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Elisabeth Moss won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Drama thanks to her standout performance in The Handmaid’s Tale – and her powerful speech caught everybody off-guard.

Forget Offred: instead of announcing Elisabeth Moss’ character by her patriarchal title, Elisabeth Moss’ character in The Handmaid’s Tale was introduced by her given name, June Osbourne.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, that same energy seeped into Moss’ acceptance speech.

After thanking everybody she needed to, Moss pulled out a piece of paper because, according to her, she “can’t be trusted” – and, written on it, was a quote from Margaret Atwood’s powerful feminist dystopia.

Building this into her speech, Moss used it to dedicate her win to all those silence breakers who used their platforms to speak out against the long history of sexual assault and harassment in the entertainment industry.

“We were the people who were not in the papers,” she declared. “We lived in the blank, white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom.

“We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

Moss continued: “Margaret Atwood, this is for you and all the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world.

“We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories.

“We are the story in print, and we are writing the story ourselves.”

Watch the powerful speech for yourselves below:

Moss’ words were met by rapturous applause from her fellow Golden Globes attendees – and, naturally, many took to social media to praise Moss for her words.

“I have tears in my eyes,” one wrote, clearly moved.

Another added: “Absolutely brilliant – thank you so much, Elisabeth Moss.”

Others, though, were less than impressed by what they called her “hypocrisy”: referring to the fact that the actress practices Scientology, they insisted that she had no right to preach equality to the masses.

“What Elisabeth Moss said was amazing. I hope she starts within herself and examines the injustices of Scientology,” wrote one.

Rumours of a rigid culture of fear and suppression have long swirled around the Church of Scientology. The religion has been accused of homophobia thanks to the writings of its founder, L Ron Hubbard, and it has been claimed that Church leaders attempt to brainwash and control the lives of some worshippers.

The Church is also notorious for retaliating against people who speak out publicly against Scientology – whether they are former members of the Church or journalists who have investigated the religion. Hubbard, who died in 1986, introduced a formal policy called “attack the attacker”, resulting in multiple lawsuits against those who criticise Scientology in the press. Many critics of the religion also say that they have been subjected to threats and harassment in their private lives – and those who choose to leave it find themselves cut off from their friends and family.

Indeed, Leah Remini – once Moss’ childhood friend – recently claimed that Moss “believes that she can’t talk to me”.

“There’s a thing in Scientology called ‘acceptable truth.’ It means you only say what’s acceptable to the public,” she said, adding that she does not hold anything against her former best friend.

“[Moss] believes that I’m an antisocial personality because I’ve spoken out against Scientology. So she isn’t allowed to talk to me.

“And me knowing that, I wouldn’t put her in the awkward position.”

While Moss usually prefers to keep her personal life private, she felt prompted to defend Scientology last year when she was asked her how it compared it to the repressive state of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale.

“Question though, does it make you think twice about Scientology? Gilead [the fictional country in the TV show] and Scientology both believe that all outside sources (aka news) are wrong and evil…it’s just very interesting,” a fan wrote on Moss’ Instagram page.

“That’s actually not true at all about Scientology,” the actress responded.

“Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me,” she continued. “The most important things to me probably.”

Moss said that it was because of these beliefs that “Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level. Thanks for the interesting question!”

Images: Rex Features