In a six-minute speech at tonight’s Golden Globes, Meryl Streep took Donald Trump to task for his ugly, divisive rhetoric. The speech was a surprise, and was easily the most powerful moment of criticism aimed directly at the president-elect all evening. “When the powerful use their position to bully, we all lose,” she said.
Streep was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille award for lifetime achievement at the awards, joining the ranks of Judy Garland and Robin Williams as a fellow recipient. She was welcomed onstage by Doubt co-star Viola Davis, who gave her a rousing introduction that spoke to how inspiring Streep’s performances have been for her. “You make me feel that what I have in me, my body, my face, my age is enough,” she said of Streep.
However, Streep devoted her entire acceptance speech to remaining vigilant in the face of Trump. Calling back to a statement made by Hugh Laurie earlier in the broadcast, she spoke of the irony that the Golden Globes are put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — three groups that are particularly hated in America at the moment. “Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” she said, referring to Trump’s xenophobia, “and if you kick ‘em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts which are not the arts.”
She also took special time to call out his mocking a disabled reporter during the campaign. “This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful; it filters down into everybody’s life because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing.”
“We have to remind each other of the privilege [of acting] and the responsibility of the act of empathy,” she continued. “We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.”
Streep’s comments weren’t the only ones aimed at Trump. Host Jimmy Fallon made several jokes about the president-elect in his opening monologue. “This is the Golden Globes, one of the few places left where America still honors the popular vote,” he said. However, tonight’s speech will almost certainly be the one that’s most remembered.