Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Lorenzo Soria sent an email to Meryl Streep this evening, telling her the org stands proudly behind its choice to give her this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, POTUS-elect Donald Trump’s remarks notwithstanding. The Golden Globe-dispensing organization called her a “class act, in and out of character.” (Read the full note below.)
Twelve days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Meryl Streep gave what would have been the best political speech of the White House race cycle, except it was delivered exactly two months after Trump was elected, as she accepted the award at the Golden Globes.
Streep never mentioned the president-elect by name, instead saying: “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,” she continued, referencing the November 2015 speech in which Trump twisted and flailed his arms in imitation of a New York Times reporter who had written an article in 2001, when working for the Washington Post, about law enforcement authorities detaining and questioning people who allegedly had been seen celebrating the September 11 attacks.
Streep’s full-throated political speech was the talker of the night. Trump’s rally speech, at which he mocked the Times reporter, “kind of broke my heart that I saw it, and still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie — it was real life,” said Streep, who also had spoken, though not so powerfully, at the Democratic National Convention. “And this instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by … someone powerful filters down into everyone’s life because it 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.”
Trump blasted her that same night, in a late-night interview with New York Times, and via Twitter, calling her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood,” a “Hillary flunky” and “one of the liberal movie people,” among other remarks.
Here is the note HFPA sent to the actress today, in response to Trump’s remarks:
Congratulations once again on being the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient. We stand proudly behind our choice, and we applaud your 40 years of captivating work. You’re a class act, in and out of character.
As an organization of journalists, the HFPA stands by your defense of free expression and we reject any calls for censorship.
We thank you for your unwavering support for the arts.
With gratitude and respect,