The reviews for Jodie Foster’s Golden Globes acceptance speech are in, and they’re mixed. After winning the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award for 47 years in the business, Foster gave a speech that continues to confuse the media and Twitterverse. The recurring complaint: What on earth did it all mean? Foster’s messaging had everyone baffled.
This was a complicated speech. She touched on many issues, but the headliner for the media was that this was her official “coming out” announcement. The key words “I hope that you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight” ensured it was exactly that. But Foster was of the view that this was not big news; she gave the impression that her orientation was widely understood already. Cue more messaging – plenty more, and that ‘s where the confusion began.
She touched on the importance of privacy, her love of movies, the need to be heard and seen in life, and then what sounded like the real bombshell – the announcement about retiring from the film industry, at least in front of the camera. Yet backstage, she assured the media she would continue to act and direct. Then what was she talking about?
THE PR VERDICT: “C” (Distinctly OK) for Jodie Foster. We give this grade reluctantly; her speech deserves a higher rating, but the subsequent press reaction indicates otherwise.
THE PR TAKEAWAY: One message, fine; two, guaranteed confusion. And two announcements – she’s out, and she’s out of the business, or is she? – is just overwhelming. This was not a rambling speech, but it was a complicated one. For a six-minute awards monologue, it was probably too ambitious for a public that wants everything in a six-second headline. This might have been better placed in a longer, more considered format and venue, such as a talk show. (Jodie, meet Oprah.) Critics and the public continue to scratch their heads, but Jodie Foster, perhaps best known for being an independent spirit, probably wouldn’t have it any other way.