Jane Fonda urges Hollywood to be 'leaders' with diversity and inclusion as she accepts her Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes

By Heather Cichowski

Jane Fonda is a legend in every sense of the word, and she was honoured at the 2021 Golden Globes with the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award in recognition of more than 60 years of incredible acting and activism work.

As Jane does, she used her platform to bring greater attention to causes dear to her heart, and highlighted how the importance of storytelling in film and television can help lead the way, as she called for greater diversity in filmmaking.

The 83-year-old graced the stage at the socially distanced Golden Globes in a white suit from her closet and dangling gold earrings. Her grey hair was styled in straight layers. She looked ecstatic as she held up her prize to the camera and thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, saying she was "so moved to receive this honour."

"You know, we are a community of storytellers, aren't we? And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential," began the talented actress.

"You see, stories have a way to – they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light. To have empathy. To recognize that for all our diversity, we are humans first, right?"

She went on to explain how experiencing diversity and interacting with people from all walks of life has affected her and changed and enriched her outlook, opinions and beliefs. The Grace and Frankie star emphasized that all stories must be told, and called for inclusive hiring in the industry.

"Let's all of us make an effort to expand that tent," she urged. "So that everyone rises and everyone's story has a chance to be seen and heard.

"After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way. So, let's be leaders, okay?" she finished.

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Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award is an incredible culmination for Jane. The actress won her first Golden Globe for her debut film, Tall Story, in 1960. She was honoured with the New Star of the Year award. (The category was later discontinued.)

Her career has gone from strength to strength, and the actress has racked up 15 Golden Globe nominations and seven wins prior to this evening, including the Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama Award in 1978 for Julia. Jane also won the 1979 Golden Globe for World Favourite Films for The China Syndrome. She received the same award in 1980.

(L-R) Fred Astaire, Jane Fonda and John Travolta at the 1979 Golden Globe Awards. Photo: © Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Previous Cecil B. DeMille Awards winners include Denzel Washington (2016), Meryl Streep (2017), Oprah Winfrey (2018), Jeff Bridges (2019) and Tom Hanks (2020).

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