Though she never mentioned President-elect Donald Trump by name, she did reference a moment when a “person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country” gave an impression of a disabled reporter.
She noted that the “performance” broke her heart.
Trump has said that his intention was never to mock New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital disorder.
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence,” Streep said. “And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
At the start of her speech, which elicited a standing ovation from the audience, Streep noted that the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards – the Hollywood Foreign Press Association – has three words in the title that “belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now.”
She also acknowledged the diversity in the room, and explained that “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners.”
“The beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in London — no, in Ireland I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a girl in small-town Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania,” she said.
“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.”
Streep also spoke about the need for the press moving forward to hold those in power “accountable.”
“That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution,” she said, asking the acting community to support the Committee to Protect Journalists. “We’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”
“As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art,'” she said.
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