With thanks to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Meryl Streep last night accepted the 2017 Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.
And, with characteristic poise and serenity, Streep reminded the rapt Golden Globes audience -- as well as millions of viewers -- that Hollywood, foreigners, and the press are all, in fact, the most vilified segments of American society.
"...what is Hollywood, anyway [but] just a bunch of people from other places..." Streep told the crowd.
Citing actors raised near and far, Streep said, "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. [...K]ick 'em all out, and you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts...which are not the arts."
Of all the powerful performances this past year, Streep pointed to "one performance that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart."
Speaking of Donald J. Trump imitating a disabled reporter, Streep called out the president-elect for bullying "...someone he outranked in privilege, power, and a capacity to fight back."
After a pause, Streep said, "It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can't get it out of 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...'cause 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, we all lose."
-- Meryl Streep, January 8, 2017
"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 gonna need them going forward. And they'll need us to safeguard the truth."
As actors, Streep said, "We have to remind each other of the privilege, and the responsibility, of the act of empathy."
"As my friend, the dear, departed Princess Leia said once, 'Take your broken heart. Make it into art.' Thank you."
The next morning, as news outlets reported a U.S. Navy ship firing a warning shot at Iranian boats, Trump, predictably, fired back at Streep on Twitter: