So, Rape Was A Big Topic At The Golden Globes

Bill Cosby jokes and meaningful speeches were made…


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Rape has recently become a big talking point in the media; there are those public figures, including so many entertainers, who have been accused of historic abuses and, thankfully, in so many cases, finally brought to justice. And then there are depictions of rape on-screen (or in books) that have, sometimes controversially triggered people into talking about rape further.

Out of both comes the knowledge that discussion around these terrible situations can help survivors around the world feel more comfortable telling their stories, or even privately coming to terms with them. And that's why it's sort of excellent that rape was a topic at the Golden Globes. First, the subject of jokes, then, a very sincere part of a very sincere thank you speech.

While on the red carpet, just before hosting the Golden Globes for the very last time, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joked: 'We're going to have a party, and what are they going to do, fire us?'

And they really went to town, potentially offending the powers-that-be as they made rape jokes – most importantly, at the expense of alleged serial rapist and sexual abuser, Bill Cosby.

If you can't watch the video right now, the comedy duo are talking about* Into The Woods* and how each character isn't getting what they bargained for. Amy Poehler said: 'And Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.'

Sorry to explain the joke, but the joke is that Cosby's alleged method of abuse was to drug, then sexually assault women.

People have already wondered whether Tina and Amy should have made the jokes and we're going to go out on a limb and say yes. Here's why:

  1. The jokes were at an unapologetic Cosby's expense, mostly taking the piss out of the fact that he's as ridiculous as his voice for thinking he can get away with over a dozen allegations made against him.

  2. If anyone can make rape jokes, it's the people who are most at risk of being raped, the people who live in fear of it every day, even in that internalised way that means you look back over your shoulder when walking along on a dark street on the way home – these people are mostly women.

And during the joke, the camera cut to Lena Dunham, who does one of those really quick claps of appreciation before guffawing. Far from suggesting 'well, Lena Dunham's a rape victim and she laughed, so it must be fine', it was a nice little touch for whoever was producing the Golden Globes to nod to Lena. As well as famous abusers and abuse storylines, an important - and empowering - strand of discussion of rape in media is women like her who have no duty to come forward and talk about their rape talking about their rape, and showing that they won't be victims or defined by the abuse they've suffered.

The serious mention of rape came from Joanne Froggatt, who won Best Supporting Actress for a TV series for her role as Anna Bates in* Downton Abbey*.

Incidentally, one of the people to present her with an award was Jamie Dornan, who plays a rapist in The Fall and has also faced a lot of criticism for his upcoming role in as Christian Grey in BDSM thriller/romcom 50 Shades Of Grey.

Anyway, this is Joanne's acceptance speech:

If you can't watch right now, this is what she said: 'I received a small number of letters from survivors of rape.'

'One woman summed up the thoughts of many by saying she wasn't sure why she'd written but she just felt in some way she wanted to be heard.'

'I'd like to say, I heard you, and I hope saying this so publicly in some way means you feel the world hears you.'

Which is pretty important, if you ask us, and, perhaps, a sign of how grisly issues in dramas can really have an effect on people IRL.

You might also be interested in:

All The Golden Globe Films Told In Emojis

The Golden Globes 2015: If Dresses Could Talk

The Golden Globes 2015: The Winners In Full

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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