Huge congratulations are in order for Meryl Streep, who won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes tonight. The award is given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and honors “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.” In her acceptance speech, Streep did more than just thank her colleagues and loved ones. She advocated on behalf of outsiders—like performers, foreigners, and journalists—whom she called “the most vilified segments in American society right now.”
“Who are we—and what is Hollywood anyway?” Streep said in her speech. “It’s just a bunch of people from other places.” She then took a moment to highlight the backgrounds of a variety of nominees—herself, Viola Davis, Sarah Paulson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Ruth Negga, Dev Patel, and Ryan Reynold. None of these actors were born in Hollywood, and a few were born abroad. “Where are their birth certificates?” she asked, satirically.
Streep went on to highlight an upsetting incident that has stayed with her since it happened in 2016: the moment that Donald Trump mocked a differently abled reporter at a campaign event. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out my head,” she said, speaking on behalf of the nearly 20 percent of Americans who are differently abled. “Because it wasn’t in a movie—it was in real life. That instinct to humiliate—when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform—it filters down into everyone’s life, because it gives permission for others to do the same…Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence.”
Streep ended her poignant speech with a quote from the late Carrie Fisher, who passed away at the end of 2016. “Take your broken heart,” she said. “Make it into art.”
Congratulations Streep, and thank you for using your platform to advocate on behalf of others.
Watch her speech below.
— Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) January 9, 2017