Meryl Streep calls out Donald Trump at the Golden Globes; he says she's 'over-rated'

The Washington Post

It's no secret that Hollywood skews liberal, and there were likely few Donald Trump fans in the audience at Sunday's Golden Globes. And while the awards show kicked off with a few jokes at the president-elect's suspense, Meryl Streep took an incredibly serious tone when addressing the recent presidential election.

Streep accepted the Cecil B. Demille Award -- basically a lifetime achievement award -- but didn't say anything about her career. Instead, she spent the minutes allotted to her to speak critically of the current political climate and Trump, although she didn't mention the president-elect by name.

"There was one performance this year that stunned me," she said. "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. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life."

Streep was referring to Trump's remarks during the campaign, when he appeared to mock New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits the functioning of his joints.

"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 kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing," the actress said.

Trump responded in a brief interview with the New York Times shortly after the Golden Globes aired. He told the Times he had not seen the speech, but he dismissed Streep as "a Hillary lover" and said that he was "not surprised" to be attacked by "liberal movie people." (Streep spoke in support of Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.)

As Monday dawned, the president-elect followed up with a trio of tweets lambasting Streep's speech, calling it an attack on him.

In addition, Trump referred to her as "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood" and "a Hillary flunky who lost big."

In her nearly four-decades-long career, Streep has been nominated for 30 Golden Globe awards and 19 Academy Awards, more than any other actor for either honor. She has won both awards multiple times, along with numerous Emmys and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

When Streep was named as a Kennedy Center Honors recipient, the performing-arts center noted that "the sheer breadth and joy of her artistry counts as one of the most exhilarating cultural spectacles of our time."

The American Film Institute presented her with its Life Achievement Award in 2004, citing "her unparalleled talent and integrity." A decade later, Streep received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with the White House calling her "one of our nation's greatest actors."

On Monday, Trump added that Streep's attack was unfounded, writing: "For the 100th time, I never 'mocked' a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him 'groveling' when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!"

Trump has made that claim before - and in August, The Washington Post's Fact Checker gave it "Four Pinocchios."

"It remains a mystery why Trump feels the need to revisit past controversies, particularly ones that reflect poorly on his tenor and judgment," The Post's Glenn Kessler wrote then. "But, as the evidence shows, Trump clearly mocked Kovaleski - who in any case never 'groveled' or in any way took back his reporting."

Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser to Trump and his former campaign manager, appeared on "Fox and Friends" on Monday morning to criticize Streep for not trying to unite people.

"I'm concerned that somebody with a platform like Meryl Streep is also, I think, inciting people's worst instincts," Conway said on the show.

On Sunday, Streep delivered her speech in a raspy voice after an introduction by Viola Davis that paid homage to the actress and her storied career.

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