Op-Ed: Meryl’s Speech

| January 15, 2017
Meryl Streep backstage at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Meryl Streep backstage at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Although there were many memorable and well-regarded events that happened at this year’s Golden Globes, the most talked about ordeal of that historic night was the speech by well-renowned and iconic actress, Meryl Streep. Streep was awarded the Cecil B. Demille Award that night at the Globes. The Cecil B. Demille Award, is an honorary Award for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment. Most of us thought we would get the same old run-of-the-mill responses: “I am truly honored for this award,” “I would like to thank (insert name here),” or some other overused acceptance speech line. Well, we were wrong. Though we did get a few redundant lines here and there, the rest of Streep’s speech was her discussion of the President-Elect, Donald Trump.

Though she did not mention him by name, she discussed the time he shamelessly mocked disabled New York Times reporter, Serge Kovaleski.

“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 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.”

Streep expressed how hurt and saddened she was after Trump’s antics and talked about how important it is for her fellow actors and actresses to use their platform to evoke change and to help protect journalists’ rights of freedom of speech.

Everyone has their own opinion of Streep’s speech. I personally loved it. No, I am not a Trump supporter, but you don’t have to like someone to hold them accountable for their actions. I love when people with a powerful platform stand up for what is right for everyone and inspires people to come together and protect each other despite gender or race. In the early part of her speech, Streep talked about how diverse “Hollywood” is. All of the actors and actresses we see in the movies and television shows are from different places. Different states, different countries and they have different ethnicities. They all get recognized for their outstanding performances and work and no one notices or pays attention to the fact they are foreigners. So, if Trump deports all of the “foreigners,” what will this country have then?

As stated before, everyone had their own opinion on Streep’s speech. Well-renowned actor and fellow Cecil B Demille recipient, Robert de Niro is in agreement with Streep’s “sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.” Actor Alec Baldwin respected what Streep had to say and agreed to the issues she spoke of, but he felt it was inappropriate for her to discuss this topic at an awards show. Of course the biggest rebuttal to Streep’s speech was from none other than the President-Elect himself. The President-Elect retaliated by calling Streep, “overrated,” which sparked further retaliation from other actors and actresses who came to Streep’s defense. Actor George Clooney responded to the President-elect’s response by saying that “The right time for actors to get involved is when their platform can spotlight important issues that don’t get enough attention.”

I personally find it ironic how the most overrated person in the country has the audacity to call a woman of great talent, elegance and prestige overrated. A woman who is far more successful and accomplished, in my view, than this man.  The man with numerous failed business ventures, who has bragged about sexual assault and who added fuel to an already blazing fire of racial hate. A man who created an increasing storm of hate crimes around the country since his entrance into the presidential election.

In response to Baldwin’s remark about it being inappropriate that Streep chose to use the Globes to discuss her topic, I disagree. I believe if you have a platform that can evoke change, use it. If Streep had chosen to write a tweet or make a Facebook video talking about this, it would not have gotten this much attention. It was the best time to talk about it because that was her special moment on stage and everyone was watching. There is no point in having a large, respected platform, if you are not going to use it to make positive change.

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Category:Music and Arts, Opinion, Politics

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