Jan. 8, 2017, was the precursor to the Academy Awards and one of award season’s biggest nights: The Golden Globes. Airing on NBC and hosted by Jimmy Fallon, the Golden Globes honored the best in television and movies and while LaLaLand made an impressive sweep through the night, there was another highlight that left many talking today: Meryl Streep’s Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement acceptance speech.
Instead of speaking about her career achievements, her years at Yale School of Drama or how she transitioned from theater to stage, as detailed by Biography, she devoted her speech to slamming Donald Trump. The move has sparked controversy with some praising her bravado and using her platform to call attention to Trump’s previous comments and actions, while others have expressed they wished politics stayed out of the Golden Globes entirely.
Two people who watched the speech, Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn were caught on camera with expressions on their faces that mirrored many in the public’s reactions. If you missed the Golden Globes, you can watch Meryl Streep’s full speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award in the video player above. You can read the full transcript below.
Photo: Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn Listening to Meryl Streep’s Speech
— Jacob Engels (@JacobEngels) January 9, 2017
Here is a video shot of Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn listening to Meryl Streep, caught and shared on Twitter.
— Darren Stuart (@boogiejuice69) January 10, 2017
No sooner did Meryl Streep begin her speech by discussing how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA and Golden Globes founders) consist of the most “vilified segments in America,” that social media lit up with outcry begging her to stop. The official Golden Globes Facebook page shared Meryl Streep’s speech and the comments by everyday Americans and citizens are overwhelmingly negative. You can read the comments under the video. Facebook isn’t the only social media network where people expressed criticism, disappointment and outrage. While many in Hollywood praised Meryl’s speech, many common Americans clearly expressed they want to keep politics out of entertainment.
One thread that runs consistently through the criticism of the speech is that it’s too late to elect Hillary Clinton and the speech sounded as if Meryl Streep were trying to get Hillary elected. She also called for journalists to hold Trump accountable, at a time when Trump is making it ever more difficult for journalists to keep up with him.
Many have pointed out that while Trump engaged in negative behavior during the campaign, he hasn’t been in office yet and hasn’t done anything as president to stir controversy. Others simply state that they need a break from politics and feel Hollywood, and Meryl Streep is out of touch with the common, everyday citizen. You can see some of the reactions shared on Twitter below. Not surprising, Donald Trump responded to the speech on Twitter.
Twitter responds to Meryl Streep’s Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Speech
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…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
find someone who looks at you the way literally everyone looks at meryl streep pic.twitter.com/ClnOwFsX02
— keely flaherty (@flahertykeely) January 9, 2017
— Linda Suhler, Ph.D. (@LindaSuhler) January 10, 2017
— Immigrants☆4☆Trump (@immigrant4trump) January 10, 2017
@ChristiChat Thanks, Meryl Streep, for encouraging me to drop HBO, Cinemax, stop watching Hollywood garbage and read more books in 2017.
— Bob Dugan (@Dugan8498) January 9, 2017
More than 1,100 donations to @pressfreedom after Meryl Streep's shout-out to the need for principled reporting
— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) January 9, 2017
— Scott Presler VA (@ScottPresler) January 9, 2017
There is no question that Donald Trump is one of the most, if not most controversial president ever elected into office. For those who want to see him out of office, there are few options. Hollywood actors and actresses have their hands tied. They can’t impeach him, assassinate him or make him step down. Is it really beneficial to use a public platform to honor someone like Meryl Streep for her contributions to the arts to attack the president-elect? Would it be better to wait for Trump to do something as president and then take issue with that specific action then? One thing is certain, the current attitude of many in the public is they are tired of political jargon, speeches and being talked down to by those who believe themselves in positions of authority. One user on Facebook responded to the video and stated if they wanted to hear a political speech, they would have put on a cable news channel.
What did you think about Meryl Streep’s speech? Do you fee it was appropriate and a good use of her platform or did she miss her opportunity to deliver a speech related to her career as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award?
You may read the full transcript of Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech as she received the Cecil B. DeMille award for Lifetime Achievement below. It’s interesting to note that while her speech specifically targeted president-elect Donald Trump, she never once mentioned his name.
“I love you all. You have to forgive me, I have lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend and I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year so I have to read.
“Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said, you and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments of American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.
“But who are we and, you know, what is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey, Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, R.I. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio, Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates?
“And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in Lon — no, in Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. 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.
“They gave me three seconds to say this, so. An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work.
“But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good, it was — there’s 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 and power and the capacity to fight back. It, it kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can’t get it out my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. 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. OK, go on with that thing. OK, this brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage.
“That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, ’cause we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
“One more thing. Once when I was standing around the set one day, whining about something, we were going to work through supper or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me: “Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?” Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight,
“As my, as my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
“Thank you, Foreign Press.”
[Featured Image by Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images]