The Handmaid’s Tale Wins Big Again During the Most Political Golden Globes Telecast Ever

Hulu and Amazon had major victories, while Netflix was shut out early

Elisabeth Moss and Handmaid's Tale showrunner Bruce Miller replicated their Emmy wins at the Golden Globes. Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

The Golden Globes are usually billed as Hollywood’s wildest awards telecast. However, the show’s typically freewheeling atmosphere took a backseat this year to the most political telecast ever, as Hollywood’s biggest names assembled and spoke out against the tsunami of disturbing sexual harassment allegations that have come to light in the past three months and upended the industry.

Most of the Globes attendees wore black or sported pins in support of Time’s Up, an initiative created by hundreds of prominent women in Hollywood—including Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Judd and Eva Longoria—to fight sexual harassment and gender disparity in leadership roles across the country that enabled the alleged behavior of men like Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K. and Matt Lauer.

In this environment, it seemed appropriate that The Handmaid’s Tale continued its awards show dominance, winning Globes for best drama series and best actress in a drama series.

Host Seth Meyers kicked off the telecast by addressing the newly charged atmosphere head-on.

“For the men in the audience, this is the first time in three months it won’t be terrifying to hear your name read out loud,” Meyers said during a barbed monologue that took shots at Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen. “This is the year of Big Little Lies and Get Out, and also the television series Big Little Lies and the movie Get Out.”

The night’s political theme continued with the TV winners, as The Handmaid’s Tale was awarded its two Globes, including the acting award for Elizabeth Moss, proving once again that she’s the best thing that ever happened to Hulu.

Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel in which the government has been overthrown by a fundamentalist regime and the few women still able to conceive are enslaved, The Handmaid’s Tale was one of last year’s most-acclaimed shows.

In September, it won the Emmy for outstanding drama, making Hulu the first streaming service to claim victory in that category.

During her speech, Moss gave props to Atwood and other women who speak up against intolerance, noting, “We no longer live in the gaps between the stories.”

Showrunner Bruce Miller dedicated the series victory to those in the U.S. and around the world “who do everything they can to stop The Handmaid’s Tale from becoming real.”

Fellow streaming service Amazon, which was shut out of all major awards at September’s Emmys, rebounded by continuing its Golden Globes victory streak with a win for Rachel Brosnahan for best actress in a comedy or musical for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which also won for best musical or comedy series.

Amazon is always a favorite with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which votes for the Golden Globes and has previously awarded several shows from the streaming outlet, including Transparent, Goliath and Mozart in the Jungle.

Meanwhile, Netflix was kept offstage for the first two hours of the show—until Aziz Ansari was named best actor in a comedy or musical for Master of None—though its Twitter account was unusually gracious to its biggest competitors like HBO and Hulu.

During a rousing speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Oprah Winfrey said, “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool that we all have” and she has been “inspired” by the stories of the women who came forward last year as part of the #MeToo movement, speaking out against sexual harassment.  She later added, “I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon.”

Sterling K. Brown, named best actor in a drama series for This Is Us, thanked creator Dan Fogelman for writing a part specifically for an African-American actor, as opposed to “color-blind” casting in which the character’s race isn’t essential, adding, “I’m being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am.”

Even some of the ads were unusually somber and political for the Golden Globes, including The New York Times’ powerful spot from Droga5 about reporting sexual harassment.

The complete list of this year’s Golden Globes winners can be found here.

Last year’s Golden Globes telecast, which was hosted by Jimmy Fallon, was the second-most-watched in 10 years, with 20 million total viewers and a 5.6 rating in the 18-49 demo.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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