Well, yes. She stepped out to make a statement about her personal life clearly beyond what she has publicly acknowledged before. But the media are still figuring out just how to frame what Foster said while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement during Sunday night's Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton. In other news of the Globes, let's dispense with this: Ben Affleck won best director despite not even being nominated for an Oscar. His "Argo" won best dramatic movie. "Homeland" won its TV category again, as did Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. Winners
Back to Foster. For sure she acknowledged "the deepest loves of my life, my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life, my confessor [and] consiglieri, most beloved BFF for 20 years, Syd Bernard." This came during a speech in which she asked for personal privacy for her and other Hollywood celebrities, and that she set up with a teasing reference that "I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud... I am, uh, single." Everyone laughed, then she added that she wanted to say something she was "a little nervous about."
The speech was so disorganized that, afterward, the media didn't agree on how to summarize what Foster intended.
The Wrap headlined its story, "Jodie Foster Comes Out, Defends Privacy." The story went on to report:
Although Foster's sexuality has been an open secret for years, she addressed it as publicly Sunday as she ever has. .. She said that she came out to the people she is close to "about a thousand years ago."
The 50-year-old actress said she opted not to speak out publicly because she had spent 47 years in the spotlight and valued her privacy.
"Now, apparently, I'm told that every celebrity is expected to honor the details of their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show," she joked. Foster said she hadn't come out earlier because she had been a public figure since she began acting as a toddler and didn't want to share her personal life with the world.
Foster said she hadn't come out earlier because she had been a public figure since she began acting as a toddler and didn't want to share her personal life with the world.
The Los Angeles Times didn't play it as a coming-out announcement, burying a couple of paragraphs deep in the story:
Affleck followed Jodie Foster, who took to the stage to give a ... retirement speech? A coming-out speech? It was hard to tell. She was receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement when she ramped up to confess that she was single ... and seemed to sidestep directly addressing any questions about her sexual orientation.
Her acceptance speech at the 70th annual awards was also a rant in favor of privacy that brought many people to its feet. Foster noted that she has lived virtually her entire life in the public eye yet wanted to keep some things private. “I have given everything up there from the time I was 3 years old,” she said. “That is reality enough.” (Memo to Foster: Nothing will destroy an attempt at privacy like telling the world you want to keep your life private.)
She did thank her ex-partner and co-parent, Cydney Bernard, and suggested that she was embarking on Act 2 of her career. In some ways in sounded like a retirement speech. She seemed to say that from now on, she will only take projects that tap into her creativity.
Nikki Finke at Deadline.com said matter-of-factly in her live blog that "Foster finally comes out of the closet publicly — sort of — after all these years. (This is what Jodie’s retired publicist Pat Kingsley fought from happening for all those years, too.)"
She talks about valuing privacy after a 47-year Hollywood film career starting when she was 3 years old. Her best lines of the night (which she delivered with obvious nervousness)? “I’m just going to put it out there. Loud and proud. I am single. Yes I am…
[Expecting] what would be a big coming out speech tonight? I already did my coming out a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age. Those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers… But now apparently I’m told that every celebrity is expected to honor the detailsof their private life with a press conference, a fragrance, and a primetime reality show.”
Finke snarks that the sound went out during Foster's speech not because of any censorship by the Globes or NBC, but because of "incompetence" by Dick Clark Productions, which put on the show.
Vulture, New York magazine's culture section, just flat out declares that "Jodie Foster gave an instantly legendary speech."
Although it was rambling and possibly a little batty, it was different to most legendary awards season speeches in one important way--it was sincere and meaningful. Over ten minutes, Foster talked about how Hollywood has changed, how to survive as a star from childhood, the importance of privacy -- and, oh yeah, she came out and seemed to retire from acting.
Note that Foster later clarified backstage that she did not intend to retire from all work in Hollywood. Vulture was nice enough to post the entire transcript of Foster's speech — and this video if you want to judge for yourself.
Some other headlines:
Jodie Foster Wows Golden Globes With Speech ABC News
Jodie Foster (kind of) addresses her sexuality at the Golden Globes Entertainment Weekly
Jodie Foster puts it out there, 'loud and proud' CNN
Jodie Foster reveals she's gay, suggests she's retiring Boston Herald
Meanwhile: Finke's annual dismissal of the Golden Globes and the odd organization that puts them on has an especially entertaining edge this year.
I refuse to treat these nominations with any seriousness. And if you don’t want that, then for crissakes stop reading me. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks lavishly lobby the HFPA and almost always score nominations. Actors win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. By splitting dramas and comedies/musicals, and including movie and television categories on the same night, more star wattage gooses NBC’s Nielsens. And even though the entire entertainment industry ridicules the awards, it props them up because they’re a useful marketing tool for the studios and networks. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave multiple nominations to Oscar frontrunners like Argo, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook as well as major impetus to the late-breaking hopes of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. The Weinstein Company led with 15 nominations because Harvey really knows how to schmooze these moochers.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn’t as advertised. It’s actually a small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige media outlets across the world. Oscar-winning documentary director Vikram Jayanti, in his 2004 film The Golden Globes: Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret called the group a bunch of “freeloaders” who know more about hors d’oeuvres than auteurs and select winners based on “who kisses butt best”. The HFPA was even accused in a lawsuit filed by its former publicist of accepting “payola” — like taking lavish gifts from studios in exchange for nominations — and other questionable practices. The companies who put on the Golden Globes: NBC and Dick Clark Productions, now owned by Guggenheim Partners, could clean up the HFPA but choose not to. The HFPA surely won’t because it pockets an estimated $30 million in broadcast fees for the awards show. The only reason I can think of to tune in to the Golden Globes is for the unexpected. Jack Nicholson has mooned the audience, Jim Carrey has talked out of his butt, Christine Lahti was locked in the bathroom, and other unscripted weirdness occurs at this intimate dinner. If not, then why bother?
Finke explained that she covered the Golden Globes with a live blog for "informational purposes" only.