Without referencing him by name, the actress blasted president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
In an interview with the The New York Times
Monday morning, Trump said he was “not suprised” by the critcism from “liberal movie people.”
“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,” Streep said to huge applause from the room.
She continued: “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. And there were many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that — breathtaking, compassionate work.”
Streep, however, said there was one “performance” this year that “stunned” her “not because it was good — there was nothing good about it.”
That, she said, 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 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,” Streep said. “This instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public … by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same.”
Streep added: “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Trump first denied
that he mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski in 2015 and reiterated his position while responding to Streep’s speech to the publication following the award show’s conclusion.
“I was never mocking anyone,” Trump said. “People keep saying I that I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.”
Trump, who had not seen the speech, called Streep “a Hillary lover,” according to the Times.
At the Globes and online, Streep received support from her peers.
Audience members listened with rapt attention. Actress Kerry Washington appeared near tears in the audience when the camera cut to her.
On Twitter, the actress Julianne Moore wrote: “Thank you #MerylStreep.”