Elisabeth Moss picked up the Best Actress in a Drama award at the 75th Golden Globe Awards for her role in The Handmaid’s Tale and gave a stirring speech reflecting the sexual harassment crisis and the themes of the feminist series.
However, some viewers felt her words seemed slightly hypocritical given her status as a Scientologist and the religion’s controversial history of alleged abuse within its organisation.
Moss, who played Offred/June Osbourne in the Hulu series based on the Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, dedicated her win to the author and quoted her during her speech.
“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,” the actress said.
“Margaret Atwood, this is for you and all 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.”
Following her speech, some people were quick to praise the actress but most seemed to criticise her words.
“Elisabeth Moss has done a very good of making the world forget she’s a Scientologist,” tweeted New York Times features writer Jacob Bernstein while Buzzfeed writer Hattie Soykan posted,”Elisabeth Moss winning a golden globe at an award show supporting abused women while scientology mistreats women and forces them to have abortions because kids are a distraction….”
Scientology has become one of the most controversial religions in the world because of its alleged culture of abuse and fear that seems to allow the rich and famous to flourish and the poor and unknown to suffer.
Moss is among a number of celebrity followers of the religion, including Tom Cruise, Giovanni Ribisi and John Travolta, but former members of spoken out against its practices.
Actress Leah Remini is one who has earned critical acclaim for her series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath which investigates the “shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences”.
Remini claims that she and Moss were childhood friends but because of the Church’s policy that forces members to cut off all contact with those who leave, they no longer speak.
There’s also a rule that members aren’t allowed to talk to “Suppressive Persons” but that didn’t stop Moss working with Nicole Kidman – who was labelled an SP after her divorce from Tom Cruise – in season two of Top of the Lake.
Looks like when you’re one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood, Scientology allows you a little more leeway than their less high-profile members.