Meryl Streep wants everyone to know she actually really likes football. Streep made headlines at last month’s Golden Globes after taking President Trump to task and then seemingly dissing football and mixed martial arts fans during her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award acceptance speech by stating “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.”
Meryl’s remarks regarding football and MMA garnered her some immediate backlash from those in the sports world. UFC president Dana White told TMZ that Streep’s opinions didn’t really matter because Meryl didn’t really fit their demographic for viewers anyway.
“It’s not going to be everybody’s thing, and the last thing I expect is for an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts,” White said of Streep, who in reality is only 67-years-old.
According to Rolling Stone, Bellator president Scott Coker extended an invitation for Meryl to attend their MMA event in a heartfelt letter on Twitter.
Some people were agitated that Streep seemingly failed to realize the vast amount of athletes in both sports that come from diverse and foreign populations. Others felt Meryl was alienating her fan base by suggesting if you enjoyed either sport you were an uneducated imbecile. Donald Trump called Streep “overrated” for her remarks.
Perhaps The Daily Show host Trevor Noah was the one who summed it up the best when he explained why Meryl’s comments on football and MMA were so unnecessary. According to the Washington Post, the Monday following the Golden Globes, Noah had this to say about Meryl’s comments.
“I understand what Meryl Streep was trying to do, and I don’t know if I could have done better, but here’s the thing I feel like we could all learn as people. You don’t have to make your point by [dumping] on someone else’s thing, because a lot of people love football and the arts. I know yesterday I was watching the football with friends and then I went on to watch the Golden Globes.”
And that was just it. That one segment of Meryl’s Golden Globe speech made it seem as though we had to be divided into one category or the other, and clearly, only those who like the arts are the intelligent ones. But last night, Meryl Streep set the record straight.
While speaking at the Human Rights Campaign 2017 Greater New York Gala, Meryl took a moment to clarify her Golden Globes remarks.
“First of all, I do like football. Let me just make that clear,” Meryl Streep told the audience according to The Hollywood Reporter. She continued by sharing with the audience her many years of cheerleading and her love of watching football at various levels from pee wee to the NFL. Meryl even admitted to watching the Super Bowl and finding it incredibly frustrating that such an intense game came down to a coin toss.
Beyond her declaration of love for the sport, however, Meryl also recognized her error in saying the line in her Golden Globes speech in the first place.
“Look, some of us like football, some of us like the arts, many of us require both in our lives. I was making a joke. Some people missed it. Mike Nichols once told me, ‘If you have to explain a joke, you, and the joke, are doomed.’ So, whatever.”
Considering that Meryl’s Oscar wins have all been for dramatic roles, maybe director Mike Nichols is right. Comedy isn’t necessarily her thing. But at least Streep was willing to admit that she should’ve chosen her words more carefully.
But fret not Meryl Streep fans who thought she might have only focused her entire HRC speech on setting her football feelings straight. Meryl went on to spend the majority of her time discussing far more important things like inclusivity, human rights, and the need for social activism. After all, she wouldn’t be Meryl Streep if she didn’t.
[Featured Image by Rob Kim/Getty Images]