Nicole Kidman, left, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley at the HBO Golden Globe After Party. Most actors wore black in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. Picture: REUTERS
Nicole Kidman, left, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley at the HBO Golden Globe After Party. Most actors wore black in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. Picture: REUTERS

Los Angeles — Hollywood’s leading women took the fight against sexual harassment to national TV, using the annual Golden Globe Awards to voice solidarity with peers who have battled the film and TV industry’s casting couch mentality.

The ceremony by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, carried on NBC and hosted by late night personality Seth Meyers, is a prelude to the Academy Awards and a celebration of both movies and TV.

But the revelations, starting last year, of widespread harassment by big-time movie moguls, national news figures and other men in positions of power, made this year’s show a stage for women to speak out.

That made for a dual effort to balance the aims of the 75th Golden Globes — to honour top works like best TV drama winner The Handmaid’s Tale — and give voice to those who wanted to use the programme to agitate for social justice.

Last year’s show attracted a US audience of 20-million viewers.

21st Century Fox walked away with seven awards, the most of any studio, after getting three Golden Globes for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, including best picture for the drama about a woman prodding local police to investigate her daughter’s murder.

The company also won three awards for the fantasy tale The Shape of Water and one for the TV series Fargo.

Deal mania

The wins underscore the value of the company to Walt Disney, which is buying much of Fox for $52.4bn. With the exception of animation, Disney seldom competes for the industry’s top dramatic accolades.

Time Warner’s HBO was second with four awards, all from its hit series Big Little Lies, about four women living in a wealthy Northern California coastal enclave.

Independent distributor A24 captured three Golden Globes — two for the coming-of-age film Lady Bird, which was crowned best film comedy and won an acting award for its star, Saoirse Ronan. The third went to James Franco for his role in The Disaster Artist.

Lady Bird was directed by Greta Gerwig, who was not among the nominees for best director. Neither was any other woman, as Natalie Portman pointed out before she presented the award to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.

Among the online services, Hulu got its first Golden Globes for The Handmaid’s Tale, while won two for the comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Netflix grabbed one Golden Globe, with Aziz Ansari winning best actor for Master of None.

Nicole Kidman, star of the HBO show Big Little Lies, won for her lead role in the limited series. She called out her mom for advocating for women’s rights. "I’m here because of her," Kidman said. "I do believe and I hope that we can elicit change."

Most actors — including Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren and Elisabeth Moss, the Globe winner for her role in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale — dressed in black in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement, which provides a legal defence fund for victims of sexual harassment, and is backed by actresses and other Hollywood figures.

NBC’s Meyers made light of the harassment controversy from the outset, welcoming the "ladies and remaining gentlemen" and suggesting the show would mark "the first time in three months you won’t be terrified to hear your name read out".

As the white-male host of the event, he said he felt like "the first dog shot into space".

Some actors brought activists as guests to help spotlight their causes. Meryl Streep, nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in The Post, brought Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Oprah Winfrey received the Cecile B DeMille award for lifetime achievement and used the moment to inspire young women who may be watching.

"I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon," Winfrey said. "And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too’ again."

List of winners

Best motion picture — drama: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best actress — motion picture drama: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

Best actor — motion picture drama: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best motion picture — musical or comedy: Lady Bird

Best actress — motion picture, musical or comedy: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Best limited series or motion picture made for television: Big Little Lies

Best director — motion picture: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Cecile B. DeMille award: Oprah Winfrey

Best actor — TV series, musical or comedy: Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Best TV series, musical or comedy: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best actor — Limited series or motion picture made for TV: Ewan McGregor, Fargo

Best motion picture — foreign language: In the Fade

Best screenplay — motion picture: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missour

Best supporting actress — motion picture: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Best motion picture — animated: Coco

Best supporting actress — series/limited series/TV movie: Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Best actor — motion picture, musical or comedy: James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Best original song — motion picture: This Is Me, The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek

Best original score — motion picture: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Best supporting actor — series/limited series/TV movie: Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies

Best TV series, drama: The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Actor — TV series, drama: Sterling K Brown, This Is Us

Best actress — TV series, drama: Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Best actress — TV series, musical or comedy: Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best supporting actor — motion picture: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missour

Best Actress — limited series or motion picture made for TV: Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies