Jane Fonda Highlights I May Destroy You and Calls for More Diversity During Golden Globes Speech
The actress joins the ranks of other Cecil B. DeMille award honorees, including Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bridges
Jane Fonda has reached another milestone in her illustrious career.
On Sunday evening, the 83-year-old actress received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards.
Taking to the stage after an illuminating introduction from Golden Gloves co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler that featured video messages from celebrities such as Kerry Washington, Brie Larson and Laverne Cox, Fonda began her speech, "I'm so moved to receive this honor."
For more on the Golden Globes, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day!
The actress, who was one of the few in-person attendees at the awards ceremony, then put down her Golden Globe to speak about the importance of diversity in storytelling, highlighting some of the movies and TV shows that have recently moved her.
"In turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling have always been essential. You see, stories have a way that can change our hearts and our minds and help us see each other in a new light — to have empathy and to recognize that for all of our diversity that we are all humans first," she began.
"Just this year, Nomadland helped me feel loved for the wanderers among us and Minari opened my eyes to the experience of immigrants dealing with the realities of life in a new land," Fonda continued, going on to give shoutouts to works like Small Axe, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and One Night in Miami that have "deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant."
Fonda also referenced I May Destroy You, which was glaringly omitted from the Globes nominations list this year, saying that the critically acclaimed HBO series "taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way."
"Stories, they really can change people," she continued. "But there's a story that we've been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry: a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out. A story about who's offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made."
Fonda then urged those in the industry to focus on diverse voices and "make an effort to expand that tent, so that everyone rises and everyone's story has a chance to be seen and heard."
"I mean, doing this simply means acknowledging what's true, being in step with the emerging diversity that's happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who've picked up the baton today," she said. "After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way."
"So let's be leaders," she added. "Thank you so much."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Earlier this year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced it would be presenting Fonda with the milestone award.
"For more than five decades, Jane's breadth of work has been anchored in her unrelenting activism, using her platform to address some of the most important social issues of our time," HFPA President Ali Sar said. "Her undeniable talent has gained her the highest level of recognition, and while her professional life has taken many turns, her unwavering commitment to evoking change has remained. We are honored to celebrate her achievements at the 2021 Golden Globe Awards."
Fonda joins the ranks of other Cecil B. DeMille award honorees, including Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Bridges. The Cecil B. DeMille Award is the highest honor given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
RELATED VIDEO: #SeeHer Story: Jane Fonda
Fonda's career spans 57 credits in films such as Barbarella, Book Club, Barefoot in the Park, 9 to 5 and in TV shows like Grace and Frankie.
Fonda has won two Oscars, with Best Actress wins in 1971's Klute and 1978's Coming Home, and is a seven-time Golden Globe winner. She received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2014.
She has also written several books, most recently What Can I Do?: My Path from Climate Despair to Action, which details her personal journey with taking action on climate change and finding solutions for communities.
The actress, who has been an activist since she aligned herself with the Black Panther Party in the late '60s, was arrested five times during Fire Drill Fridays, a reoccurring climate protest in Washington, D.C., that occurred in the fall of 2019.
The 78th Annual Golden Globes Awards are airing live on NBC from 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET.