Contrary to what you might think, I don’t hate Meryl Streep. I’m not exactly what you call a fan, mind you, but that’s only because movies about Fashionable Devils with ABBA soundtracks aren’t my thing. If that’s you’re thing, more power to you. But it’s not mine.
For the record, I’ve liked what I’ve seen. She was good in that Prairie Home Companion movie, and she does an BOSS impersonation of that one cooking lady who’s name I can’t remember. Outside of that, my impression of Meryl’s work has been that, since I see her nominated for an Oscar almost every year, she has to be decent. Right?
What I’m saying is this isn’t about Meryl’s body of work. But that’s okay. Neither was her speech. Which was at an awards show. Celebrating her body of work.
Let’s analyze the speech and see what we can find. She’s in bold.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you.
You’re welcome. You know it’s nice when artists thank the people who actually support and pay for their work and I, for one, think…
… This town, thank you. I love you all
but you’ll have to forgive me. I’ve lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend
Next time I get invited to party at the Streep household, I’m there. Lamentations! If your Sunday hangover is so huge you have to resort to regret on a Biblical scale, you know you had a good time.
and I have lost my mind sometime earlier this year. So I have to read.
It always amazes me when actors read a prepared speech at an awards show. You spend your entire life and all your available energy learning to communicate well and now, when you get the chance to be You™ in front of a large crowd, you read a prepared statement.
Ah well. At least we know this speech will be well thought out, comprised of the kind of insights only an actor of Streep’s caliber can share. I can’t wait!
Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press, just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.
I’m sure Black Lives Matter Activits, The Police, Muslim Americans, The Homeless, Homosexuals, and many other marginalized groups who face ACTUAL vilification are excited to hear you, a multi-millionaire white woman, claim the mantle of “most vilified in America.”
But who are we? And what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places.
Pretty much any group anywhere is “a bunch of people from other places.”
I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey.
You were born in a public school in New Jersey? That’s an interesting story right there! That sounds like a great movie. “Young woman born in a public schoolhouse in New Jersey rises above the poverty and degredation around her to deliver quasi-political speeches at Hollywood awards shows!”
Starring Viola Davis as Meryl Streep.
Viola was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy. And Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem.
Here, Streep shows that she has access to both Google and Wikipedia, and may have even investigated these sites herself! Earlier, when she asked “who are we?” I should have answered: “The kind of superficial that reads the first two paragraphs of a Wikipedia article and assumes you ‘know’ someone.”
Where are their birth certificates?
Ha HA! Zing! … Right?
I mean, sure, the whole birther thing is almost a decade old at this point, and even people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck have been saying for years that it’s ridiculous to go down that route. But still. Zing.
And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in — no — in Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia.
So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
When I worked for a small, liberal arts college in Columbus, Ohio, I had the opportunity to work out with a former member of the football team who had recently fallen to injury. The man was 350lbs with a gut so large he was almost spherical. But he could move like a cat! He crawled around in football drills so swiftly you would have thought he was an alien. And he could bench press a Buick. It was one of the most shocking things I had ever seen. This, from a man who played backup O-line for a D3 school in Ohio. He never had a shot at the pros. He worked out like he was an addict because he loved the game and wanted to get back.
I know a few folks who have played professionally. I know a few other folks trying out for shows like American Ninja Warrior and MMA fighting. They are some of the smartest people I know, and the dedication they have for their craft – yes, there is a creative aspect to it – is a wonderful thing to see.
Meryl Streep has literally no idea what she is talking about here, and the fact that she feels it’s okay to denigrate these people to make a political point, as if practicing this craft somehow makes them less than, is insulting. This is why people make fun of celebrities.
Plus, she forgot about Reality Television. Even those stars can become President, I hear.
They gave me three seconds to say this.
So 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
Says the woman who’s entire career has consisted of playing privileged white women in prominent movie roles that bring her millions of dollars.
and there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work.
Finally! Those actor insights we were talking about. I’m excited!
But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hook in my heart not because it was good. It was — 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.
Replace “Laughing” with “Gnashing” and you are DEFINITELY talking about Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.
It was that 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, and 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 because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
I did not vote for Donald Trump. His policies, if you can nail them down, will be disastrous if enacted. His insecurity and tendency to lash out is dangerous, and there are countless examples of his absolute lack of character. From his statements about deporting Muslims to his statements about women, it’s clear that a man like him shouldn’t be allowed near the White House.
That being said, this line of criticism has to stop. Here’s a video exploring Trump’s repeated use of the same hand-waving mannerism in many other situations where the people in question are not disabled.
Sure. There is room to argue that he knew the guy was disabled and did this intentionally. There is also room to see how this was Trump doing his normal thing when discussing people who criticize him.
There is a large grey area here, and the fact that the Media as well as prominent figures in Hollywood (of whom Streep says “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”) feel it’s necessary to pounce on a thin issue like this and drive it home – when there are plenty of other reasons to criticize him – is exactly the reason why Trump will be President in a few days and it is exactly the sort of thing that will get him or someone like him re-elected in four years. Nevermind the fact that the entire issue surrounding this incident happened when most of the mainstream media clearly lied about Trump with respect to previous comments about people cheering in New York after 9/11 (source).
I was never going to vote for Trump. His actions during the campaign solidified that for me. But I also don’t believe in attacking a candidate based on lies or castigating him for intentions that are muddy at best.
The Media has a long history of this.
George W Bush, a relative moderate, was a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe who doesn’t care about Black People. John McCain who, until he was nominated as president, was considered an aisle-crossing “Maverick” was a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe who would almost certainly die while in office (he’s still alive and still serving as a Senator). Mitt Romney
Ask yourself this. If you are a liberal and you had to choose between Mitt Romney or Donald Trump as President, who would you choose? The fact that the media relentlessly characterizes anyone with a hint of conservatism in their background as a vile, racist, hate-monger is exactly why we have Donald Trump and not an actual conservative leading the Republican party. This “anyone who disagrees with me is the worst kind of Evil” approach has to stop. Because it’s stuff like this that got him elected and it’s continued stuff like this that will get him re-elected.
Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and those who DO learn from history are doomed to sit by and watch those who didn’t learn from history doom the rest of us.
How much worse will things get before we change? Because they do it to everyone.
Disrespect invites disrespect.
Ladies and Gentlemen. The Golden Globe winner for “Understatement of the Year” and “The Reason Why I’m Writing this Blog Post” … Meryl Streep!
Violence insights violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
Good arguments for limited government.
This brings me to the press. We need the principal press to hold power to account to call them on the carpet for every outrage.
Note the word “every” in that statement. That doesn’t just mean “things with which I agree.”
That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedom 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 because we are going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
She doesn’t ask everyone in America. She doesn’t ask the people who love their families or communities. She doesn’t ask the people watching on television.
She asks the people in her community – the community of multi-millionaire, largely white actors who do not debase themselves with “Art!” outside their narrow definition – to be the Safeguards of Truth™ for the rest of us.
Solipsism at its finest, gang.
One more thing. Once when I was standing around on the set one day, whining about something, you know, we were going to work through supper or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, “Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?” Yeah, it is, and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, “Take your broken heart. Make it into art.” Thank you, friend.
Hey, look. Some acting insights! Finally!
I have no problem with Celebrities who choose to speak their minds at award shows. I don’t even have a problem with people who choose to speak against the current or impending administration. Free speech is Free Speech. Have at it.
There are two things about Meryl Streep’s speech that bug me, though. First, it was bad. It was self-centered, condescending toward anyone who isn’t already like her, and full of half-truths and media lies. Second, everyone ate it up solely because she attacked Trump. If disagreeing with Trump is the standard of excellence, our standards are shot. There are better, more effective ways to “speak Truth to power” as everyone likes to claim she did.
Meryl Streep did not accomplish this.
You know who was full of class and wit and charm? Viola Davis in her introduction of Meryl Streep for the award she failed to mention even once in her acceptance speech.
If she wrote that herself (and I see no reason to believe she didn’t), I’m excited to see what else she’s written. That was cool.