LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8 (UPI) — Rather than focus on her own work while accepting an award to honor the whole of her acting career, Meryl Streep tearfully spoke about another “performance” that held her attention for much of the last year-and-a-half given by President-elect Donald Trump at a campaign rally.
While accepting the Cecile B. Demille Award at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night in Los Angeles, Streep lashed Trump for mocking a disabled man during a campaign rally and called for the protection of Hollywood, foreigners and journalists because of the important roles all three play in the country.
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” Streep said in the speech, “and if you kick us all out, you’ll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts.”
Viola Davis, who had already won a Golden Globe for “Fences,” introduced Streep and presented her with the award, which recognizes actors for their career-spanning contributions.
Davis talked about becoming friends with Streep, explaining her singular, immediately apparent talent of observation and how, as a contemporary and as a fan, she takes in a lot of information in order to show it right back to people.
“She is an observer and a thief,” Davis said. “She reveals what she has stolen on that sacred place which is the screen. She makes the most heroic characters vulnerable, the most known familiar, the most despised relatable. Dame Streep. Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone.”
Streep took the stage after a video montage of many of her most famous roles, apologizing through tears for a raspy voice that turned out not to be so raspy.
After thanking the packed room, including the Hollywood Foreign Press, Streep went around the room, describing the unrelated, wildly different origins and stories of where and how actors grew up before becoming famous.
The most powerful performance Streep said she saw in 2015, which she said has held her attention, came during one of Trump’s political rallies when he appeared to mock a disabled reporter.
“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 in real life,” Streep said. “That instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life, because it gives permission for others to do the same.”
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose,” Streep added.