Meryl Streep used her speech accepting a well-deserved lifetime Cecile B. DeMille Award from the 2017 Golden Globes Sunday evening to implore her fellow film people to organize to support a free press to hold He Who Should Not Be Named’s feet to the very hot fire of truth. Like me, I assume it is not on your bucket list to be so despised by this beautiful, gifted artist who has so touched the hearts of the world that she refuses to say your name in public.
Pinocchio responded with a tweet babbling about the “great wall,” calling the press “fake media.” Unlike Ms. Streep, he can’t think beyond 140 characters, nor form complete sentences, apparently. He did call her a “Hillary lover” in a phone interview with The New York Times. Oh, gee, really? Lucky Hillary!
Referring to Voldemort’s war on Hollywood, the free press and “outsiders, Streep asked, “Who is Hollywood, anyway? Just a bunch of people from other places.” After pointing out by name the legion of talented artists from other places, she pointed out dryly that without “outsiders,” we would be “left with football and mixed martial arts.”
Near tears, Streep spoke of one recent performance “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 [Serge Kovaleski.] Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.” Ever gracious, elegant in her speaking, compassionate and wise in her conduct, continued: “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, it filters down into everybody’s life. Because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing.”
She specifically asked her fellow artists to join her in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists “because we’re going to need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”
The company of actors listened with rapt attention, applauding often. It wasn’t just that she’s been nominated thirty times for Golden Globes, or won more, eight, than anyone else ever. It wasn’t polite applause. It was “thank you for shooting from the hip and nailing the boot to the floor” applause. It was honor to one who speaks truth to power to a bullshit artist who respects neither. It was “hell yeah!” applause.
She closed by quoting “my friend, the dear, departed Princess Leia,” Carrie Fisher:
“‘Take your broken heart, make it into art.”