Jane Fonda is applauding stars who are often overlooked in Hollywood.
The legendary actress and activist, 83, accepted the 2021 Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes Sunday and used her time in the spotlight to call attention to the glaring inclusion inequalities that still plague the industry.
“We are a community of storytellers… but there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry,” said Fonda, in her natural gray hair and a white suit. “A story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about… who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.”
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Fonda called on all of Hollywood – including the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 87-member group that hands out the Globes and recently came under fire for having no Black members – to make sure everyone has a “seat at the table.”
“Let all off us make an effort to expand that tent so everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard,” Fonda said. “Art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way, so let’s be leaders.”
Fonda said “stories can change our hearts and our minds” and “help us see each other in a new light.” She mentioned Michaela Coel’s acclaimed HBO series “I May Destroy You,” which was snubbed by the Globes and failed to win even a nomination.
“‘I May Destroy You’ has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way,” said Fonda. The actress added that Black-led films, including “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant,” while “Minari’ opened my eyes to the experience of immigrants dealing with life in a new land.”
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The DeMille Award is given annually to a “talented individual who has made a lasting impact on the film industry.”
Fonda said the award “means the world to me” on Instagram Sunday.
“For more than five decades, Jane’s breadth of work has been anchored in her unrelenting activism, using her platform to address some of the most important social issues of our time,” said HFPA President Ali Sar in a statement ahead of the award show. “Her undeniable talent has gained her the highest level of recognition, and while her professional life has taken many turns, her unwavering commitment to evoking change has remained.”
She has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won two for the thriller “Klute” and the compassionate anti-war drama “Coming Home.” She had other prominent films including “The China Syndrome,” “The Electric Horseman” with Robert Redford, and “9 to 5” with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. She stars with Tomlin in the Netflix series “Grace & Frankie.”
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff
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