It was the first major Hollywood awards ceremony since the film industry was hit by sexual harassment scandals, with stars wearing black to honour victims.
Oprah Winfrey summed up the mood, saying "a new day is on the horizon" as she collected an honorary award.
The big film winner of the night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home four awards.
It won the best film drama award, with its star Frances McDormand also picking up a trophy for best actress.
The Oscar-winning actress stars as a grieving mother who challenges police over the fact her daughter's killer has not been found.
Big Little Lies won the most awards in the television categories, including honours for its stars Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard. It was also named best limited TV series.
The main focus on the night was on the current atmosphere in Hollywood and campaigns like Me Too and Time's Up, which are focused on bringing about change for women not only in the entertainment industry but also around the world.
Many winners and presenters at the Beverly Hills ceremony addressed the ongoing scandal - with host Seth Meyers setting the tone with his opening monologue.
"Welcome ladies and remaining gentlemen," he told the gathered stars of film and TV, before saying: "It's 2018 and marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn't.
"For the male nominees in the room tonight, this is the first time in three months it won't be terrifying to hear your name read out loud."
((Except for the headline, this story, originally published by BBC Entertainment has not been edited by SLM staff))