Meryl Streep won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes Sunday night in honor of a career full of brilliant performances. And she used her acceptance speech to shame Donald Trump for the performance he’s given America over the past few years.
By “shame,” I mean Meryl carved him up and ate him for dinner.
Trump’s performance, Streep said, “sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good.” It was so memorable to her because “it made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.” Specifically, she was referring to the time Trump mockingly imitated an epileptic reporter at one of his rallies, a moment the press optimistically dubbed the end of his campaign.
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. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, 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.
It’s for that reason, Streep concluded, that we need the press: to hold the powerful accountable for their actions, and to speak the truth in the face of bullying for the powerful.
Get ’em, Meryl.