“We are a community of storytellers, aren’t we?” Jane Fonda said on Sunday night, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association during the Golden Globes for lifetime achievement in film. “And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential.”
In her six decades in Hollywood, Fonda, 83, has helped tell dozens, if not hundreds, of stories. And she has been awarded many times along the way, winning two best actress Oscars (for “Klute,” in 1971, and “Coming Home,” in 1978) and eight Golden Globes, her first in 1960 for “Tall Story.” She is the 16th woman to receive the award, the association’s highest honor for film professional, which has been presented since 1952.
And in that time, Fonda has carved a distinct path not only as an actress, but also as a producer, documentarian and activist passionate about global peace, human rights and climate change (a cause for which she was arrested multiple times in 2019). On Sunday, she took time to address the diversity issues hanging over the awards show. “There’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry,” she said. “A story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.”
Here’s Fonda’s acceptance speech, in its entirety:
Oh my gosh, thank you. Thank you, all the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, I’m so moved to receive this honor, thank you. You know — hi, Amy — we are a community of storytellers, aren’t we? And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential. You see, stories have a way — they can change our hearts and our minds, they can help us see each other in a new light, to have empathy. To recognize that for all our diversity, we are humans first, right? You know, I’ve seen a lot of diversity in my long life, and at times I’ve 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.