He made it through the night. But whatever restraint President-Elect Donald Trump had expired early this morning when he tweeted his angry and inevitable response to Meryl Streep’s speech at Golden Globes: “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.”
Streep had appeared on stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her contributions to the entertainment industry, and seized the opportunity to speak out against President-Elect Donald Trump. Vilifying him as a bully who humiliates, disrespects, and even incites violence, she made particular reference to a speech that Trump delivered in 2015, in which he seemed to make fun of a disabled reporter for the New York Times.
Streep, who did indeed support Hillary Clinton and has long stood up for progressive causes in Hollywood, delivered her searing critique without ever once mentioning Trump by name:
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.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled 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. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
The internet exploded after Streep’s speech, with celebrities taking to Twitter to share their reactions of the must-watch moment. Meanwhile, in a short interview with the New York Times, the president-elect claimed he had not seen the speech but still insisted that he had never mocked the Times reporter and reminded his interviewer that Streep “introduced Hillary Clinton at her convention, and a lot of these people support Hillary.” And yet even as he seemed to denounce the Hollywood elite, he stressed that his own inauguration later this month would be a star-studded bash.
“We are going to have an unbelievable, perhaps record-setting turnout for the inauguration, and there will be plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” Trump said. “All the dress shops are sold out in Washington. It’s hard to find a great dress for this inauguration.”
Watch Streep’s entire speech again, below:
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