Award Season Review: How Celebrities Influence Popular Opinion

by Hannah Hameed

As we near the end of the Awards Season, we look back on the unexpected wins, the heart wrenching losses, and the celebrity speeches that linger for the remainder of the year. Most importantly, we look forward to the favorite finale of all finales: The Oscars.

This year marked the 75th anniversary of The Golden Globe Awards, and though many had high expectation, first time host Seth Meyers of NBC’s Late Night made the night with his hilarious yet borderline controversial jokes–a tradition of many award shows. Meyer’s opening monologue poked fun at Trump’s struggle with North Korea, mansplaining with Amy Poehler, and the recent sexual assault allegations in Hollywood, kicking off the traditionally more relaxed award show of the year.

As Meryl Streep beat her own record with 31 nominations in her lifetime and The Shape of Water secured 7, this year’s nominees all seemed to have something in common: they took a stand. Whether it was The Post’s display of the importance of honest journalism, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’s stunning battle between mother and police, or Get Out’s application to prevailing racial tensions, these nominations allow Americans to question the films’ connection to current affairs and what they stand to tell us about how we live. Many will remember Oprah’s Cecil B Demille Acceptance speech as her first presidential speech of 2018. Or they’ll just remember that it was an unforgettable speech from the amazing Oprah. Either way, it praised all those who endure countless abuse to pursue their dreams and allow their children to pursue theirs, letting women of all backgrounds know that the time is up: they can finally be free.

Unlike The Golden Globe Awards, the 2018 Grammy Awards left many confused and disappointed. However, there were some great performances. Kesha performed her chart topping “Praying,” followed by a latino pride speech by Camila Cabello that truly brought us to our knees. Logic, Alessia Cara, and  Khalid teamed up with suicide attempt and loss survivors for their heart wrenching “1-800-273-8255.” Janelle Monae rounded out the group with a lasting speech about the power of women in the #Metoo movement.

Despite these moving performances, the Grammy Award winners failed to reflect the contributions of these artists. Not only did Bruno Mars walk away with 6 Grammy Awards, but he beat out “1-800-273-8255” for song of the year and won best R&B song, best R&B performance, and best R&B album despite his lack of rhythm or blues. Ed Sheeran pushed out both Kesha and Lady Gaga on his Pop performance and album, and Alessia Cara was awarded best new artist, ignoring her head-turning “Know-it-All” album of 2015.   

Despite the everlasting inequalities in both film and music, these musicians and actors who use the power platform they earn for good change the social traditions and gender stereotypes of this world. As the Harvey Weinstein allegations spurred a national movement, women everywhere now have a voice. If women in powerful roles had continued to accept these unfair and injustice situations, and allowed powerful men to brush their actions under the rug, the accepted gender inequalities would continue into future generations, patiently waiting for someone to stand up against them. However, we choose now. Time Is Up. Change is coming.

As we look forward to the crowd favorite Oscars, Americans everywhere build up their annually high expectations, but this time, know they will be fulfilled. We prepare for a night of laugher, glorious wins, and most importantly, how these celebrities will choose to use their voice for change.