The creator of The Handmaid's Tale ended his speech on a somber note after the dystopian series, about women forced into pregnancies under a totalitarian Christian state, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series — Drama on Jan. 7. Accepting the award, he concluded by saying, "To all the people in this room, and this country, and this world who do everything they can to stop The Handmaid's Tale from becoming real, keep doing that."
Earlier in the evening, series lead Elisabeth Moss won the award for Best Actress in a Television Drama Series. Like many actors that evening, Moss was wearing black in solidarity with the newly formed Time's Up coalition to fight sexual harassment and assault; she, too, invoked the fitting subject matter of the show. At the end of her speech, she quoted Margaret Atwood, author of the novel on which the series is based:
"We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories."
After reading the passage, Moss said, "Margaret Atwood, this is for you, and all of the women who came before you and after you who were brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice and to fight for equality and freedom in this world. We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print. We no longer live in the gaps between the stories. We are the story in print, and we are writing the story ourselves."
When the Hulu show premiered in April under a loudly anti–reproductive rights administration, it seemed timely. Women's rights activists had already started dressing up as Handmaid's Tale characters as part of their protests. Now, in the midst of a national reckoning with sexual harassment and assault, the show — which depicts the loss of women's bodily autonomy, including rape and forced pregnancy — is more pertinent than ever.
Members of the cast and crew have said they did not expect the TV adaptation of Atwood's 1985 novel to be quite so relevant. The director of the first three episodes, Reed Morano, told BuzzFeed News that with the surprise election victory of Donald Trump, "everything that was already a powerful statement was way, way, way amplified."
Trump campaigned on an anti–abortion rights platform, and chose as his vice president Mike Pence. During the campaign, he promised: "We’ll see Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs."