Last night at the Golden Globes ceremony, Academy-Award winner Meryl Streep turned to an observant room full of Hollywood starlets and accepted her Lifetime Achievement Award.
She then presented a vintage Streep performance; a compelling, politically-fueled speech targeting President-Elect Donald Trump.
The 5-minute speech recognized the importance of foreigners in the film industry and Streep addressed specific members of the audience, and their country of birth.
“But who are we, and what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island; Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids in Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates?”
In 2015, Trump addressed a contradictory article in The Washington Post, written by disabled journalist Serge Kovaleski, addressing the aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
Streep’s question on foreign birth certificates was transition into the the crux of her delivery: Her reaction to Trump’s actions- without once mentioning his name.
“There was one performance this year that stunned me. It 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 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.”
Celebrities and politicians turned to Twitter to react towards Streep’s influential words. While the star was flooded with support , Trump personally addressed the controversy via Twitter in an attempt to clear the allegations by Streep, referring to her as “overrated,” and denying that his intentions were to mock anyone.
“Meryl Streep, one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”
But Streep did not end the speech on a bitter note.
Instead, she took a moment to recognize her close friend, the late Carrie Fisher, and to impart her own words of wisdom unto the entranced audience,
“As my friend, the dearly departed Princess Leia said to me, take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you friend.”