On Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards, Meryl Streep got political in her acceptance speech for her Lifetime Achievement Award. Streep took aim at President-elect Donald Trump, calling his mockery of disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski.
“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, someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It broke my heart when I saw it, but 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 kind of 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.”
Full video of Streep. Worth watching: pic.twitter.com/ItQkoJLnxG
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 9, 2017
The actress is referring to a now notorious incident from Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 when Trump gave a speech in South Carolina in which he appeared to imitate the physical disability of Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, a joint condition where a child is born with joint contractures that may limit arm mobility. Trump and his supporters have repeatedly denied the President-elect was mocking the reporter.
“What I was indicating was a man that was groveling. He was groveling to try to change a story he had written many years before so it worked out badly for Trump…” Trump told Fox News after the incident. “I had no idea he was disabled.”
Though Streep’s statement on disability was brief, it started a buzz on Twitter, as disability is so rarely brought up in award shows like the Globes (unless, of course, an able-bodied actor is being lauded for portraying a disabled character).
Many on Twitter thanked Streep for bringing disability up at all.
Congrats #MerylStreep and thank you for a beautiful speech. Disrespect invites disrespect! Let’s spread love.
— Lauren Potter (@TheLaurenPotter) January 9, 2017
Whoa. Meryl Streep on Trump mocking the disabled. Yes. “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) January 9, 2017
— Jackie (@J2theDW) January 9, 2017
As a person with a disability, I want to thank #MerylStreep. You brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for standing up and saying something.
— AlphaCatPower (@alphacatpower) January 9, 2017
As an epileptic woman, #MerylStreep standing up for empathy for everyone, no matter what race or disability you have was incredibly moving.
— Caroline Parker Boyd (@ProducerToBe) January 9, 2017
Meryl Streep bringing visibility to disability. It’s good to know that the moment she referenced wasn’t completely forgotten.
— Rachel Donegan (@rachdone) January 9, 2017
— Andrew Spieldenner (@Aspield) January 9, 2017
Others instead blasted the actress for perpetuating a story Trump supporters claim is a non-story.
Meryl Streep, I love you…but Trump never mocked a reporter with a disability, despite what CNN tried to have you believe.
— Matthew Ivan (@matthewivan1138) January 9, 2017
— Zachery Henry (@heiszach) January 9, 2017
A few tried to stay neutral.
Don’t care who you voted for… the part of Meryl Streep’s speech on our President-Elect’s mocking of disability. That was a moment
— Matthew Lyle Mooney (@mattmooney) January 9, 2017
Did you watch Streep’s speech? What is your take? Let us know in the comments below.