Watch or Read Meryl Streep's Speech Skewering Donald Trump

You are here

Veteran actress Meryl Streep, who was an outspoken Hillary Clinton supporter during her bid for President, used her platform at last night’s Golden Globes to illuminate the hatred and bullying that has been spewing from President-elect Donald Trump — although she does not name him.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” said the 67-year-old onstage while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. “It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good, it was -- there’s 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 and 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 my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life,” she said.

At his South Carolina rally Nov. 21 in 2015, Trump mocked and imitated New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who was born with joint contractures known as arthrogryposis, a curving of one or more joints that impairs movement.

“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,” Streep continued.

“Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. OK, 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.”

 

 

Trump won the election on Nov. 8 and will be sworn is as the 45th President of the United States on Jan. 20.

Streep urged “the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press” — the Golden Globes is conducted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — “and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, ’cause we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. "We defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal, it states on the web site.

Characteristically Trump took to Twitter to respond to Streep. The first reads: "Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a....."

He then followed it with: "Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him......."

Read a transcript of Streep's speech below or watch the clip posted by Golden Globes:

"Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in the room really belong to the most vilified segments of 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, R.I. 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 Lon -- 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 and is here 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 hooks in my heart, not because it was good, it was -- there’s 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 and 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 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. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose. OK, 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, ’cause 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 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 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, Foreign Press."

 

Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.