Golden Globes 2018: The highs and lows

HIGH: E! gets called out
In addition to wearing black for solidarity against sexism, a few bold stars — namely, Debra Messing, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Eva Longoria — called out the E! network  for the pay inequality that led to the departure of E! News host Catt Sadler. (Sadler left in December after discovering that her male co-anchor was earning double her salary.)  “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” Messing told E!’s Giuliana Rancic. And we were shocked — and pleased — to hear that truth spoken on the red carpet.

LOW: Seth Meyers’s Weinstein fail
Once you invoke the name “Harvey Weinstein,” there’s no easy way to get a laugh. But Golden Globes host Seth Meyers made things so much for worse for himself by resorting to a leaden punch line in his monologue about how the disgraced producer will be booed in 20 years when he’s allowed back to the Globes … for the “In Memoriam” segment. Oof.

HIGH: Laura Dern, Reese Witherspoon, and Nicole Kidman speak truths
Toxic masculinity and domestic abuse were big themes of HBO’s miniseries Big Little Lies, for which Kidman and Dern received Golden Globes, and for which Witherspoon shared the award for producing. All three addressed these issues with moving acceptance speeches, drawing parallels between their Big Little Lies characters and the Time’s Up movement. “May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star,” said Dern (watch below).

LOW: Alexander Skarsgård misses the memo
Their co-star and fellow winner Alexander Skarsgård, on the other hand, missed an opportunity to call out the relevance of his abusive husband character — and referred to his Big Little Lies co-stars as “girls.”

HIGH: Sterling K. Brown’s heartfelt acceptance speech
Sterling K. Brown beat out a host of A-list competitors to snag the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for his turn in This Is Us, and then delivered one of the show’s most moving moments when, at the end of his acceptance speech, he singled out showrunner Dan Fogelman for providing him with an opportunity given to few other African-American actors. With heartfelt emotion, Brown praised Fogelman for writing a role “for a black man. That could only be played by a black man. So what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I’m being seen for who I am, and being appreciated for who I am. And it makes it that much more difficult to dismiss me or dismiss anyone who looks like me. So thank you, Dan.”

Sterling K. Brown accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series — Drama for This Is Us. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

HIGH: James Franco mic-blocks Tommy Wiseau
The Room may be an all-time disaster, but The Disaster Artist — the film about the making of that 2003 camp classic — is now a winner at the Golden Globes. The film’s mastermind, James Franco, won Best Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy for his lead turn as filmmaker Tommy Wiseau. After taking the stage with his co-star and brother Dave, James then graciously called Wiseau up to join them. Not surprisingly, given his hunger for fame, Wiseau was eager to comply, but when he tried to then steal the mic from Franco, the actor had to literally hold him off — with his arm and a “whoa whoa whoa” — from stealing the spotlight.

Tommy Wiseau gets this close to making a Golden Globes speech.

HIGH: Hugh Jackman’s priceless reaction
Oh hai, Hugh Jackman. The actor’s passion project, The Greatest Showman, is a movie musical practically engineered to win Golden Globes, and while the chart-topping song “This Is Me” scored a statue, its ringmaster watched in shock as The Disaster Artist‘s James Franco accepted the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy instead. Look for Jackman to get his revenge with a musical version of The Room. 

Hugh Jackman reacts after losing a Globe to James Franco.

HIGH: Kirk Douglas’s standing ovation
Douglas turned 101 on Dec. 9, and to honor his legendary career, the actor — who won a Golden Globe for his performance as Vincent Van Gogh in 1956’s Lust for Life, and received the show’s Cecil B. DeMille award in 1968 — was asked to present an award for Best Screenplay this year. As befitting a Hollywood icon, Douglas’s onstage appearance (beside daughter-in-law Catherine Zeta-Jones) was enthusiastically received by the A-list crowd, who gave him a rapturous standing ovation. It was a deserved, and poignant, show of respect for a peerless star.

Kirk Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

LOW: Male winners’ silent night
Most of the men at the Golden Globes wore Time’s Up buttons in solidarity with women fighting abuse, harassment and discrimination in Hollywood. And yet, not a single male award winner thought to mention Hollywood’s sexism in his acceptance speech. Since almost every female award winner mentioned the issue, the omission was glaring — a reminder that men in Hollywood have a whole lot of work to do before things can change.

HIGH: Natalie Portman’s sick burn
Speaking for those in the room (and everyone at home) wondering why Greta Gerwig and Patti Jenkins weren’t among the best director contenders, presenter Natalie Portman pointedly announced: “And here are the all-male nominees,” before declaring The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro the winner. Portman’s co-presenter, Ron Howard, couldn’t help but laugh at her burn, but the nominees were visibly squirming in their seats.

Natalie Portman and Ron Howard present the Best Director — Motion Picture category.

LOW: What the bleep?
Frances McDormand does some ace swearing in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, so it’s understandable that the NBC censors might have been concerned about her accepting her best actress award in character. But in their nervousness, they wound up bleeping the wrong words, covering up “Fox Searchlight” and “tectonic” and letting her get away with a stray “shite.” It ruined the flow of what was otherwise a stirring speech. That’s f***ing lame, if you ask us.

Frances McDormand accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama. (Photo: Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

HIGH: Oprah Winfrey brings down the house
Expectations were high for Oprah’s Cecil B. DeMille Award speech, and the Queen of All Media did not disappoint. The first black woman ever to win the award, she used her platform to honor and encourage all the women fighting discrimination and sexual abuse, bringing the room to its feet with her vision of a future “when nobody ever has to say ‘Me, too’ again.” (Watch below.)

Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: