Whether you agree or disagree with the speech Meryl Streep delivered at the Golden Globes Sunday, there’s no denying it was powerful.
Streep used what was supposed to be an acceptance speech for the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award to make a political statement. One that many in Hollywood, and in the film industry in general, seemed to agree with.
“I think what she said was eloquent and really intelligent,” Canadian actress Sarah Polley said Tuesday night at the Toronto Film Critics Association awards.
Denis Villeneuve, who was at the event to accept a 20th anniversary special award for excellence from the association, thinks Streep’s comments were bang on.
“What she said was full of wisdom,” the acclaimed Quebec film director told CBC Toronto. “It’s just common sense, what she said.”
Without mentioning his name, Streep took aim at U.S. president-elect Donald Trump, in particular condemning him for appearing to mock a disabled reporter during the Republican primaries.
“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,” she told the room full of celebrities, who had fallen silent. “Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
Streep never actually used Trump’s name during her speech, referring to him as “he.” But it was clear who the actress was talking about as she blasted some of the president-elect’s policies.
“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,” she said.
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a…..
Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him…….
Trump responded on Twitter as he often does, calling Streep “one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood” and “a Hillary Flunky who lost big.” He also went on to deny mocking the reporter, despite video evidence that seems to suggest otherwise.
Many Trump supporters also lashed out at Streep on social media. Some suggesting she had no business using the Golden Globes to make a political statement, and that celebrities should stay out of politics.
Canadian actress and comedian Mary Walsh says that’s not how democracy works.
“I hate to legitimize it by even talking about it because Meryl Streep is a full citizen of the United States of America and as such she has a right to express her opinion.”
Walsh says she can relate to Streep
But Walsh isn’t surprised that people are challenging Streep’s right to express an opinion, while defending the actions of the soon-to-be president. Walsh says Trump supporters are not all that different from people who backed Toronto’s controversial former mayor Rob Ford.
“The people who support Mr. Trump seem to support him so much, in the same way that Ford Nation supported Mr. Ford, that no matter what he did, it didn’t matter to them. He was their man for good or bad.”
And just like Trump supporters have been critical of Streep’s speech, Walsh says she found herself in the eye of a Ford Nation storm back in 2011.
In the guise of her popular character Marg Delahunty from the CBC show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Walsh attempted to conduct an ambush interview with Ford in his driveway.
“The mayor tried to have me arrested.”
Ford was not happy to see Walsh, and called 911 to complain. Walsh says this did not sit will with supporters of the mayor.
“There was a lot of backlash; people saying. ‘Who does she think she is? She shouldn’t be allowed, blah blah blah.'”
Walsh says the angry comments directed at her were often difficult to hear.
“When people don’t like what I say, it kind of takes my breath away a little bit, but then I have to carry on in saying what I think is right, in the same way they carry on constantly saying what they think is right.”
And she hopes Streep will also continue to stand behind what she thinks is right.