Ellen Scott | Contributing Writer | Monday, 9 January 2017

Meryl Streep Gave An Incredibly Important Speech At The Golden Globes

Meryl Streep Gave An Incredibly Important Speech At The Golden Globes

The Debrief: A reminder that we can’t stop talking about Donald Trump

When Meryl Streep walked up on stage to accept her Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes, we expected some wisdom on acting, the joy it brings, and what you learn from being hugely talented for many years. 

We did not expect Meryl to gloriously call out president-elect Donald Trump, urge people to support the press, and manage to give a shout out to the late Carrie Fisher, too. That Meryl Streep. Such an overachiever. 

Meryl’s speech ended up being a key point in the entire night of the Golden Globes. It was proof of why even seemingly silly events like entertainment shows are important. It was evidence of the entertainment industry’s refusal to let bad politics go unchallenged. And it was a powerful reminder that – no matter what – we cannot forget or stop talking about the horrible, shocking cruelty of Donald Trump. 

‘An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like’ said Meryl, after explaining that she had lost her voice. 

 

‘And there were many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work. 

 

‘But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. 

‘It was the 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 of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie – It was real life. 

‘This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because 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 others, we all lose.’

 

Meryl then went on to urge the audience to support The Committee to Protect Journalists, explaining that in this time we’ll need the press to ‘safeguard the truth,’ before quoting Carrie Fisher: ‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.’ Incredible.  

Let’s hope people take all that Meryl said to heart.

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