Meryl Streep won Cecil B. DeMille Award at Golden Globes 2017 awards for her notable work over the years. She was nominated for 30 Globes over the years and was among the nominees this year too. However, she turned her Golden Globe acceptance speech into a scathing attack on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, saying she had been heartbroken by his imitation of a disabled reporter during his campaign.
The three-time Oscar winner was referring to a 2015 incident at a South Carolina rally when Trump flailed his arms and slurred in his speech in an apparent mocking of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a physical disability. Trump later denied that he was imitating the reporter.
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Dismissing Meryl Streep as “a Hillary lover”, the President-elect said he was not surprised to come under attack from “liberal movie people.” “People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing,” he said in the interview, adding, “And remember, Meryl Streep introduced Hillary Clinton at her convention, and a lot of these people supported Hillary.” He again denied mocking the reporter.
Presenting the award, Viola Davis said about the prolific actress has won eight Golden Globes, “Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone… You make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me — my body, my face, my age — is enough.”
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While Streep did not name Trump directly, she used almost the entire speech to criticize his behavior and policies, while calling for Hollywood to stand strong against any attacks and to support a free press.
Watch | Viola Davis gives the introduction for this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient, Meryl Streep at Golden Globes
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017
Also Watch | Meryl Streep at Golden Globes as she gets prestigious Cecil B. Demille Award.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017
Meryl Streep got cheers as she said, “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you’ll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts.”
After stressing the importance for the press to stand up to Trump — “We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage … We’re going to need them going forward and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth,” she stressed of journalists — Streep concluded her speech by quoting Carrie Fisher: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
Meryl Streep was also nominated for best performance by an actress in a motion picture musical or comedy for “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
The text of Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes after accepting the Cecille B. DeMille Award, according to a transcript provided by Hollywood Foreign Press Association:
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. This town, thank you. I love you all, but you’ll have to forgive me. I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend, and I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year. So I have to read. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press, just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.
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 from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in _ no _ in Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here for playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
They gave me three seconds to say this. So an actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like, and there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work. But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hook in my heart not because it was good. It was _ 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, and 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 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 insights violence. When the powerful use definition to bully others, we all lose. Ok. Go on with that thing. OK. This brings me to the press. We need the principal 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 freedom 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 are 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, you know, 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, friend.