Los Angeles | Veteran actress Meryl Streep, this year’s Cecil B DeMille Award winner at Golden Globes, slammed US President-elect Donald Trump in a politically- charged speech, as she cited actors like Indian-origin Dev Patel to highlight Hollywood’s rich diversity.
Streep, an ardent supporter of Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton, took the next President down in her scathing acceptance speech, without naming him and cautioned against powerful people using their position to “bully others”.
The 67-year-old actress echoed British actor Hugh Laurie’s earlier comment about how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is part of “the most vilified segments in American society right now”, Streep said the association was made of — Hollywood, foreigners and the press.
“But who are we and what is Hollywood, anyway? It is just a place with a bunch of people from other places,” Streep said.
“Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania,” she said as she highlighted the rich diversity of Hollywood.
“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.” The multiple award-winning actress, who is one of the most respected names in Hollywood, said the “performance” that stood out this year did not belong to an actor but to Trump when he publicly mocked a disabled reporter.
“There was nothing good about it, but 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, 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,” Streep cautioned.
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence.
When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
Streep urged 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 ended her speech by quoting late 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 honour to Streep, who has won eight Golden Globes and 29 nominations.
Davis began her speech by saying Streep “stares” and that’s the first thing one notices about her. She also tilts her head back with a “sly suspicious smile” and “she stares for a long time”, making one think that they have something on their teeth, Davis said amid laughs from the audience and Streep.
“Her artistry reminds us of the impact of what it means to be an artist, which is to make us feel less alone. 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,” Davis said while paying a glowing tribute to her “The Doubt” co-star.
The annual DeMille award honours those with “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” Previous recipients are Denzel Washington, George Clooney, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Warren Beatty.
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