Meryl Streep ranks among the actors/actresses whom I most admire. Last night, she received the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony. I did not see the Golden Globes, but the attention Ms. Streep got for her acceptance speech was all over the internet, and so I had to go check it out. In case you missed it, here is a link to both the video clip and full transcript.
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Sunday night’s award was the icing on the cake, and well-deserved in my opinion. The three movies for which she won Oscars were:
- The Iron Lady (2011), in which she did an excellent portrayal of the late Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) from 1979-1990.
- Sophie’s Choice (1982), in which she played a Polish, Catholic survivor of the German Nazi concentration camps.
- Kramer vs Kramer (1979), a moving performance as Joanna Kramer, a mother caught up in a custody battle, ending with a heartbreaking decision.
I am not a huge movie-watcher, but I have seen these three and in each, Ms. Streep’s powerful performance moved me to tears, laughter, and everything in between. She is among the best of her time.
In her speech Sunday night, Ms. Streep spoke out, without mentioning any names, against the intolerance that has become the norm of the incoming president:
“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.”
This is an elegant woman with her heart in the right place. We all know of whom she speaks, she did not need to clarify. First thing Monday morning, even though he claims not to have seen it, the object of her remarks, not surprisingly, took to Twitter in an attempt to strike back:
“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 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!”
Later Monday morning, in a telephone interview with the New York Times, he further elaborated:
“I was never mocking anyone. I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story. 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. And remember, Meryl Streep introduced Hillary Clinton at her convention, and a lot of these people supported Hillary.”
I’m not sure what his point was in that last bit … perhaps he still feels so threatened by Hillary Clinton that he must find ways to bring her into every conversation. Weak men are ofttimes afraid of strong women.
Despite Trump’s claims, Meryl Streep is definitely not an “over-rated actress”. I guarantee that if she had said only nice things about him, he would have raved about what a wonderful actress she is. That is the nature of a 5-year-old mind.
Meryl Streep was not alone in making comments about Trump. Hugh Laurie, Viola Davis, and Jimmy Fallon joined in the act also, though Trump did not seem to have anything to say about them. However, Trump’s lapdog and America’s #3 Bimbo (though I think she will soon be moving into the #1 slot) Kellyanne Conway hit the interview circuit with CNN, ABC, Fox, and Capital Download:
“I’m glad Meryl Streep has such a passion for the disabled because I didn’t hear her weigh in or I didn’t even hear her use her platform last night, Ainsley, to give the shoutout to the mentally challenged boy who last week was tortured live on Facebook for half an hour, by four young African-American adults who were screaming racial and anti-Trump expletives and forcing him to put his head in toilet water.”
Chris Cuomo responded quite aptly, “Because one of them was done by a bunch of miscreants. The other one was done by the president-elect of the United States.” To which Conway, now obviously flustered, replied, “No, no, no. I — no — but we should — oh, come on. You’re really going to equate the two? He has debunked that whole — that whole —“ She is nearly as illiterate as her boss, isn’t she?
Sean Hannity got in on the act also, saying that Ms. Streep “did not let facts get in her way,” and that it was “highly unlikely” that Trump was mocking the disabled reporter last year.
Ms. Streep hit the nail on the head with this …
“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.”
Mr. Trump had two options in deciding how to respond to Ms. Streep’s speech: He could either bite the bullet and keep his mouth shut and his fingers still, or he could lash out. He chose to lash out. Last February, giving a speech in Charleston, South Carolina, Trump said, “I think I’ll be very presidential at the appropriate time.” With only 10 days left until his inauguration, we have yet to see a single moment in which he acted ‘presidential’. Never before in the history of this already-great nation have we seen such un-presidential behaviour. Frankly, I think Meryl Streep would have made a much better president.