Regina King’s Golden Globes promise 

Kathleen Posted by Kathleen at January 7, 2019 10:07:22 January 7, 2019 10:07:22

We need to talk about Regina King. Specifically, we need to talk about what an epic display of Showing Your F-cking Work Regina King displayed at the Golden Globes. First, there’s her work in If Beale Street Could Talk. As Lainey told you a few days ago, Regina King is extraordinary in it. It’s a performance on par with Oscar-winning roles by the current greats – Meryl, Viola, Nicole – and it’s just the latest in Regina’s long line of exceptional performances. Regina King has BEEN one of those greats and it feels like right now is the time when she’s reveling in it and finally getting her due. 

“It just feels good being Regina King.” 

That’s the line Lainey referenced from Regina’s speech in Palm Springs where she made the point that she’s getting more and more used to feeling like she “deserve[s] to be in this space.” Regina is feelin’ herself and it’s beautiful. What’s even more beautiful is what Regina is choosing to do with this newfound confidence and comfort in her space. I wouldn’t blame her if she just coasted on it. I wouldn’t hold it against her if she just basked in the glow of attention and accolades and took a moment to be selfish. But Regina King isn’t doing that. She turned her acceptance speech for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role into a call to action.

“I am going to use my platform to say right now that in the next two years everything that I produce, I am making a vow – it's going to be tough – to make sure that everything that I produce is fifty percent women… I just challenge anyone out there who is in a position of power, not just in our industry, in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourselves and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

She’s holding herself accountable first while also challenging her peers in the industry to do the same. That’s showing your f-cking work. She’s specific about her goal. She’s got a timeline. Regina King has a legitimate plan to try to fix the problems that have plagued Hollywood – problems she’s had to face exponentially as a black woman. Because her plan was purposeful and specific, the challenge was too. If Regina can commit to hiring 50% women on her upcoming projects, which is RARE, so can every other celebrity sitting in that room. She just threw down the gauntlet in the smartest way. She didn’t yell at the orchestra to stop playing. She pushed through. She let the impact of her words do the yelling for her. It was actually fitting that we saw a man get up there and bulldoze his way towards respect while Regina earned it in real time. The orchestra stopped playing for her because they realized what she was saying mattered. She was careful and deliberate, not abrasive, because women who look like Regina King don’t get the luxury of being abrasive in moments like these. 

Can you imagine what would have been said about Regina if she was the one who yelled at the orchestra? I don’t think her words would have made as much of an impact. I think Regina knows that, which is why her work is so great. She’s FEELIN it. I hope she feels it all the way to February. 

The parts of Regina’s speech that are getting overlooked are her heartfelt thank yous to Barry Jenkins (the fact that he wasn’t nominated for Best Director is INFURIATING) and her son, Ian Alexander, Jr. The moments between Regina and Ian hit me the hardest. I started this post talking about Regina’s performance in Beale Street. She plays a mother desperate to protect her son. Watching this moment as she accepted the award for that performance was too much. The only reason I didn’t cry was because Duana and Lainey would have made fun of me. 

COME ON. I love them. 

Regina’s on-screen son, Stephan James, was there as a nominee for Homecoming and in support of If Beale Street Could Talk. He brought his mom and his brother, Shamier Anderson, as his dates. Again, I actively had to try not to cry looking at these pictures.

Photos:
George Pimentel/ Jon Kopaloff/ Daniele Venturelli/ Michael Kovac/ Joe Scarnici/ Getty Images

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