Golden Globes: Meryl Streep Talks Immigration, Takes Aim at Donald Trump in Passionate Speech
"Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you'll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts."
Meryl Streep received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday night, and she slammed Donald Trump's "performance" in her acceptance speech.
"Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you'll have nothing to watch except for football and mixed martial arts, which are not arts," she said tearfully and with a faint voice upon accepting the career-spanning honor.
She echoed Hugh Laurie's comment about how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is part of "the most vilified segments in American society right now" — Hollywood, foreigners and the press. "But who are we, and what is Hollywood anyway? It's just a bunch of people from other places," she explained, outlining her New Jersey upbringing, plus the non-Los Angeles backgrounds of Sarah Paulson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Viola Davis, Dev Patel and Ryan Gosling. She asked sarcastically, "Where are their birth certificates?"
Streep then noted that one "performance" stood out this year: that of Donald Trump when he publicly mocked The New York Times' Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter. "There was nothing good about it, but it did its job," she said. "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 in real life. 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," she continued. "When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose."
After stressing the importance for the press to stand up to Trump — "We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage ... We're going to need them going forward and they're going to need us to safeguard the truth," she said of journalists — Streep concluded her speech by quoting Carrie Fisher: "As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, 'Take your broken heart, make it into art.' "
Viola Davis presented the honor to the prolific actress, who has won eight Golden Globes and collected 29 nominations. "Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone," Davis told her Doubt co-star. "You make me proud to be an artist. You make me feel that what I have in me — my body, my face, my age — is enough." Fellow actresses such as Anna Kendrick, Laverne Cox and Mindy Kaling praised Streep's speech on social media.
At the Beverly Hilton Hotel ceremony, Streep also was nominated for her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, directed by Stephen Frears and written by Nicholas Martin.
The annual DeMille award honors those with "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Recent recipients include Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Warren Beatty.
Jan. 9, 9:50 a.m. A previous version of this article incorrectly noted Ryan Gosling's name. THR regrets the error.