Movies & TV

Streep takes on Trump while accepting achievement award

Meryl Streep accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.: Meryl Streep earned a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes Sunday and in accepting turned the spotlight away from herself and took shots at President-elect Donald Trump, without mentioning his name. Streep said a performance from the past year that stunned her came from the campaign trail, noting the incident where “the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country” imitated a disabled reporter from the New York Times, an incident replayed frequently in campaign advertising.

“It kind of broke my heart when I saw it,” she said. “I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”

Streep said that “when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Trump responded in a series of early morning tweets, calling Streep “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood” and “a Hillary flunky who lost big.”

He also defended himself from claims that he was mocking the Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski.

Streep’s comments on Trump also drew a backlash among conservatives on social media, including Senator John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, a Fox News host who has been critical of Trump.

“This Meryl Streep speech is why Trump won,” McCain tweeted, “and if people in Hollywood don’t start recognizing why and how – you will help him get re-elected.”

Streep used the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awards to highlight the diverse background of several of her colleagues and defend journalists. She noted that “Hollywood” is a reviled place, but she said that it’s really a community filled with people from other places united in the mission to show different people and make audiences feel what they feel.

“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,” she suggested, “are not the arts.”

Streep put in a plug for vigorous journalism, urging that contributions be made to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

While Streep won the annual Cecil B. DeMille Award and can boast of 48 Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, her career is still current. She was nominated this year for her portrayal of amateur opera singer in “Florence Foster Jenkins.”

She mentioned Carrie Fisher, who died just after Christmas, and how the actress and writer urged others to “take your broken heart and make it into art.”

She was introduced by fellow actress Viola Davis, who said her husband urged her every day when she worked with her to tell Streep how much she meant to her. She was too bashful then, but not on stage Sunday. “You make me proud to be an artist,” Davis said. “You make me feel that what I have in me – my body, my face, my age – is enough.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 10, 2017, on page 12.

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