While giving her acceptance speech for an award at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep gave a bold speech urging Americans to embrace diversity and resist Trump.
Streep, who was given the Cecil B. DeMille award Sunday night, pointed out various stars throughout the room, and brought up their heritage and native countries, showing that people from all backgrounds and walks of life can still come together to make art. Streep made the point that diversity made Hollywood what it is today, and that efforts to purge America of its diverse culture should be admonished.
“Who are we, and what is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from a bunch of places… Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or right kids from Ohio, Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates?” Streep asked rhetorically, an obvious slight to Donald Trump’s widely maligned “birther” comments questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace.
“Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian,” Streep added. “And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania,” she continued.
“So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
Streep’s words were celebrated on Twitter by a multitude of pop culture observers. CNN anchor Don Lemon simply exclaimed “Wow,” while writer Matt Bellassai vowed to fight to protect Streep in a new Revolutionary War, if necessary. BuzzFeed’s Tracy Clayton encouraged everyone to protect Meryl Streep “at all costs.”
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) January 9, 2017
protect meryl streep at all costs
— Tracy Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) January 9, 2017
donald trump is gonna come for meryl streep and my gay ass is gonna have to die in the revolutionary war
— Matt Bellassai (@MattBellassai) January 9, 2017
However, Streep was just getting warmed up after her comments celebrating multiculturalism. After making the audience laugh with her remarks celebrating diversity, Streep, without once mentioning Donald Trump’s name, blasted him in a way that will be remembered for years. She began her comments about the President-elect by framing it as a performance that changed everything.
“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, and 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 its modeled by someone on 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. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
— deray mckesson (@deray) January 9, 2017
While some of Donald Trump’s supporters threw shade at Streep for her speech, demeaning it as just another privileged celebrity upset about the results of the election, others pointed out that those voters themselves voted for a privileged celebrity, and that their anger was telling, since Streep never mentioned Trump by name.
Trump supporters saying #MerylStreep should stay out of politics cause she's a rich celebrity. Didn't they vote for a rich celebrity??
— James Night (@RealJamesNight) January 9, 2017
#MerylStreep is being criticized by Trump supporters for speaking out as a rich celebrity. Did they forget Trump is a rich celebrity?
— Michelle Pressé (@michellepresse) January 9, 2017
Notice how #MerylStreep didn't say Trumps name yet his supporters are freaking out bc what she said fully describes him..
— Natalie Vogel (@Lb09Natalie) January 9, 2017
We need a principled press to call out what needs to be called out. We need to protect journalists & to safeguard the truth #MerylStreep
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) January 9, 2017