Sunday night at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award which honors actors with “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In her speech, Dame Streep made it abundantly clear that she, in fact, does not care anymore.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017
In her speech, she cited the diverse backgrounds of actors and actresses such as Dev Patel, Natalie Portman, Sarah Paulson, Viola Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Adams, Ruth Negga, and Ryan Reynolds but, she also used those origins to sarcastically say, “Where are their birth certificates?” which is a jab at remarks made by President-Elect Donald Trump about President Obama’s birth certificate. Not only that, but she tearfully pointed out that, “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick us all out, you’ll have nothing to watch except football and martial arts, which are not the arts.” In just a few words, she highlighted that Hollywood and the arts are both products of diversity and that they thrive when that diversity is celebrated. She also proved that though power is a privilege, that privilege can be used to help those without it.
In regards to Trump publicly mocking Serge Kovaleski, a disabled reporter, she said that “There was nothing good about it, but it did its job.” And though she sarcastically called this event a performance, she made sure to point out that it was real life, “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.”
She also encouraged the press to stand up to the future President, saying that, “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.” An amazing thing to do considering Streep is very much a powerful woman with powerful and enlightening beliefs. She’s always been one to challenge the way things are done and does her best to provide spaces for minorities in entertainment instead of simply filling them.
There are parts of her speech that the public, the press, and Hollywood should all take to heart. For instance, “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence,” and, “When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.” But, it was her quoting the recently departed Carrie Fisher that really proved to be a beautiful ending to a speech filled with both heartache and hope– “As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’