At the 74th annual Golden Globes ceremony Sunday night, Meryl Streep DRA ’75 won the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement, using the moment to deliver a politicized speech rebuking President-elect Donald Trump.

Streep recalled an instance of mockery on Trump’s campaign trail and highlighted the importance and responsibility of Hollywood and the press in America’s incoming presidential administration. Transcripts of the speech were circulated online later that night.

After thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press, she described Hollywood as “a bunch of people from other places.” Streep then detailed the variety of backgrounds and circumstances her fellow actors and actresses hailed from, insisting that Hollywood is “crawling with outsiders.”

But the bulk of her speech focused on an incident in South Carolina, in which Trump mocked a disabled New York Times reporter who suffers from a chronic condition that impairs his movement. Streep characterized this act of imitation as an effective albeit negative “performance.”

“This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform … filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing,” she said. “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

She concluded her speech by reminding her fellow actors of the “responsibility of the act of empathy,” and invoking the audience to support the protection of journalists.

Trump responded to the incident in a series of tweets early Monday morning. He called Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and said she was a “Hillary flunky who lost big.” Streep campaigned for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

At this year’s ceremony, Streep was also nominated for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” for her role in the film “Florence Foster Jenkins,” marking the 30th Golden Globes award nomination the Yale alumna has received. She has won eight Golden Globe awards: prior to receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award, she took home “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” in 2012 for her role as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

Past recipients of the Cecil B. DeMille award — first awarded to Cecil B. DeMille in 1952 at the 9th annual Golden Globes — include Morgan Freeman, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and George Clooney.

  • Mary Ann

    Remember when Meryl Streep blasted Obama for making fun of the mentally disabled by saying his bowling skills could land him in the special Olympics?….. yeah neither do I.

  • Mary Ann

    The problem for Mr. Obama is that Ms. Streep managed to step on many of the themes the president might be expected to hit in his last big presidential speech Tuesday, right down to a snarky reference to foreign birth certificates. Here are some of the lines Ms. Streep delivered, followed by a short interpretation of what she really means:

    • “All of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now.” Translation: You may think of us as rich and powerful and good-looking, but we are really just victims who live in fear.

    • “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” Translation: In case you haven’t heard, Donald Trump is a lout.

    • “We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage.” Translation: The big problem today is that journalists aren’t willing to criticize Mr. Trump.

    • “You’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.” Translation: This is a warning for all you deplorable people clinging to guns and “Monday Night Football.”

    • “Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian.” Translation: Under President Trump, the actor who just won a Golden Globe for “La La Land” lives in fear his home will be raided by the INS and he will be deported back to Ontario.

    OK, this last one might not make it into an Obama speech. But the rest—the preening, the ritual invocation of victimhood, the belittling of working-class tastes, the idea that no right-thinking person might have a different view of this election—these are all Obama chestnuts likely to feature in any presidential farewell. In Ms. Streep’s case, Sunday night’s address was naturally followed by a flood of celebrity tweets attesting to how brave she was to speak this way before an audience made up almost exclusively of people who think exactly the same way she does.

    Mr. Trump responded to Ms. Streep the way you would expect. He tweeted, and had three points. First, that as an actress the three-time Oscar winner is “over-rated”; second, that she is a “Hillary flunky”; and third, that he did not mock a disabled reporter the way she said he did.

    As it happens, there are arguments for No. 1, though they are beyond the scope of this column. With regard to No. 3, the reader can judge the contention by Team Trump that he’s used the same arm gestures with others that he did when he berated a reporter with a congenital joint condition for equivocating about a story he’d written years before.

    But it’s hard to argue with Mr. Trump’s No. 2, much as Ms. Streep might dispute the word “flunky.” In July she spoke at the Democratic convention on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As she would later tell Variety, “when I went out, I just felt what I felt. I did my Howard Dean scream.”


  • Sol G

    She began by saying that Hollywood, foreigners and the press are ‘the most vilified segments of American society right now’.

    At which point the cameras panned out to hundreds of the richest, most privileged people in American society sitting in the audience in their $10,000 tuxedos and $20,000 dresses, loudly cheering this acknowledgement of their dreadful victimhood.

    She then said that if all the ‘outsiders and foreigners’ were kicked out of Hollywood, ‘you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.’


    I haven’t heard such elitist snobbery since Hillary Clinton branded Trump supporters ‘a basket of deplorables’.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Meryl Streep is not a political leader, although she did play one on TV. Everybody picks their own political leaders, and you can have the Hollywood feminists. Unhinged, they have become.

  • nickroberti48

    I would expect a serious reporter to do some investigation before furthering lies from a movie star. The gesticulations used by Trump were not directed at the man’s infirmity which is a congenitally withered and fixed right arm. Trump has used those gesticulations frequently in the past. A simple Google search will find a video clip of him using them in reference to himself on Larry King Live in 2005.