Meryl Streep's Stunning Take-down Of Powerful Man Who Used His Elevated Platform To Bully Disabled Reporter
January 09, 2017
(LOS ANGELES, CA.) -- Talking TV heads all across America have made it abundantly clear that this nation is in the throes of a great division; one likely not seen since the Civil War.
Actress Meryl Streep at the Golden Globe Awards telecast Jan. 8, 2017.
The election of Donald Trump as the country' 45th president has defined and articulated just how wide that division is.
Last night at the the televised Golden Globe awards, actress Meryl Streep took a giant step into the middle of that seething, boiling cauldron of Americans angry about all sorts of things - the direction of the country, the US Congress, the election of Donald Trump as president, the widening inequality in income and wealth in the US, a now totally controlled Republican Congress, a presidential cabinet even more comprised of the wealthy and 1% than before, the transformation of a democracy to a plutocracy - you name it.
And whether she wanted it or not, Streep must now wear the mantle - until a better one comes along - of poster girl for the anti-Trump, anti-bully movement in America.
Millions of people around the world will praise Streep for what she said last night. Millions of others will cast aspersions upon her for those comments.
At the podium to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her lifetime achievement of work at the Golden Globes telecast, Streep shocked perhaps more than a few people by taking the occasion not to talk mostly about her career or even movies in general, but moving gradually into some very strong comments that seemed directed at the actions and character of Donald Trump, who will become president on January 20.
Streep began by talking about who the people are that make up Hollywood.
She said that Hollywood is really nothing more than, "Just a bunch of people from other places," and then rattled off the birthplaces of some of the well known women in the room such as Viola Davis, who was born in a share cropper's cabin in South Carolina and Sarah Paulson, raised by a single mother, Sarah Jessica Parker, one of seven or eight kids from Ohio and Natalie Portman, born in Jerusalem. Streep paused and then asked, "Where are their birth certificates?"
Although never naming him, the reference seemed clear: President-Elect Donald Trump, a man who for years was a prominent figure in and public voice of what has since been called the "birther-nut" movement -- a UFO cult-like obsession about President Obama's birth certificate despite overwhelming evidence Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii, where there is a birth certificate with his name on it.
Then in terms of performances, she said there was one this year that stunned her and that:
"Sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good, there was nothing good about it but it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter; someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It...it kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it's modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.
So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists. Because we're going to need them going forward. And they'll need us to safeguard the truth.
One more thing. Once when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, isn't it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor. Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.
As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you."
Response to Streep's remarks
Bernice A. King, the social activist daughter of the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. voiced her support for Streep’s message on Sunday night over Twitter saying, “Thanks for reminding us that we should live on what my father called the ‘higher plane of dignity and discipline."
President elect Trump spoke to the New York Times shortly after the awards show and said he did not watch the event but did call Streep a "Hillary lover" in response to her remarks.
Trump added that he wasn't surprised that "liberal movie people" attacked him. He also said he "was never mocking anyone," as Streep suggested he did, even without naming him as the actor in that small real life play.
Today however, Mr. Trump - true to form in wearing the guise of an immature, very thin skinned 74-year successful billionaire - launched an angry teenage-style Twitter attack on Streep, calling her "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood," and a "Hillary flunky who lost big."
He tweeted, "For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that)."
It should be noted there are no tests for maturity levels or emotional stability that candidates for president must take and pass.