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“What you said was great,” De Niro wrote in the letter, which was posted online by People and confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter. “It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.”
Streep, the recipient of this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award at last Sunday’s Golden Globes, gave a passionate speech upon accepting her honor that many in Hollywood applauded.
“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.
Streep also noted that one “performance” stood out this year: that of 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.'”
For his part, Trump quickly responded to Streep’s comments in a brief phone interview with The New York Times, describing the actress as a “Hillary lover.” He said that he had not seen the speech and had not watched the awards show. Trump added that he was “not surprised” that the “liberal movie people” slammed him during the broadcast.
In the early hours of Monday, Trump continued to lash out, this time taking to Twitter. Across three tweets, he described the multiple Oscar-winner as “one of most over-rated actresses in Hollywood,” saying she was a “Hillary flunk who lost big” and that she had “attacked” him without merit over claims he had ridiculed a disabled reporter.
Longtime pals Streep and De Niro have starred in four films together, starting with 1974’s The Deer Hunter and most recently in 2004’s First Man. Watch her Golden Globes speech above, and read De Niro’s full letter to the actress below.
What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough. You, with your elegance and intelligence, have a powerful voice — one that inspires others to speak up as they should so their voices will be heard too. It is so important that we ALL speak up.
We love you.
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