Oprah for president: the Golden Globes pick their golden girl

The Meming of Life: Will the talk show host run against the reality show star in 2020 following her inspiring speech? In this Gorilla TV world, the idea is not so far-fetched

Oprah Winfrey  makes her speech at  the Golden Globes on Sunday. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Reuters

Oprah Winfrey makes her speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday. Photograph: Paul Drinkwater/Reuters

 

This week, the internet swarmed around events at the Golden Globes, traditionally the fish course of awards shows. Simultaneously a warm-up for the Oscars, and its consolation prize, the Globes occupy the same space in the popular consciousness as the Queens Club tournament before Wimbledon, or an episode of Airwolf that precedes that evening’s Knight Rider; a product just similar enough to the one you actually might want to watch, that you’re willing to forgive it for being a big, shiny waste of everyone’s time.

This year, however, the Golden Globes took on a whole different level of meaning, brought about by the recent movement toward calling out sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, galvanised by the hashtags #MeToo and #TimeIsUp. Prior to the event, it was made known that female attendees would wear black in support of this movement, and use it as a springboard to mark their solidarity with the cause. 

Traditionally, the most shared nuggets from the event would be the usual fare; speeches, reactions and the ubiquitous red-carpet interrogations, all of which were this year given an urgent bite by this iteration’s new focus. Laura Dern and Emma Watson both gave activists a platform with their attendance, and Debra Messing interrogated her E! interviewer on that network’s policy of paying its male stars more than their female counterparts.

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Inarguably, the most captivating moment of the evening, shared hundreds of thousands of times in its nine-minute entirety, was Oprah Winfrey’s powerful acceptance speech for the Cecil DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. Her remarks pulled in a mammoth standing ovation from the live audience, and proved compelling enough that the internet was quickly ablaze with talk about a putative 2020 US presidential run. Although much of it was in jest, by the following morning the chat show demigod was already being asked serious questions about a potential bid.           

Seth MacFarlane was by no means the first to tweet caution toward the swelling ranks of her political supporters. “Oprah is beyond doubt a magnificent orator,” he wrote. “But the idea of a reality show star running against a talk show host is troublingly dystopian. We don’t want to create a world where dedicated public service careers become undesirable and impractical in the face of raw celebrity.”

While right-wing Twitter boiled itself into a froth at the idea, failing to note that the only people taking the story particularly seriously was themselves, the most cogent argument against the idea came from committed Oprah fan – and internet maven – @DesusNice.

“Y’all want Oprah to be president without realising that also means you want Oprah calling in drone strikes.”

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