BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Meryl Streep quickly turned the spotlight away from herself and onto immigration, the press, and President-elect Donald Trump while accepting a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.
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Without mentioning Trump by name, Streep on Sunday night called out the Republican’s “performance” on the campaign trail in which he flailed his arms and appeared to mock a disabled New York Times reporter. She said Trump’s actions “kind of broke my heart.”
“But 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,” Streep said. “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.”
“…Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose,” she said.
Streep also asked the audience to support the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the freedom of the press.
Without seeing Streep’s remarks, Trump defended himself to the Times, saying he “did no such thing.” He explained that he “was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.”
Trump also fired back on Twitter, criticizing Streep and addressing the Times issue.
“I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him ‘groveling’ when he changed a 16 year old story he had written to make me look bad,” Trump tweeted on Monday in response to Streep’s speech.
Streep’s remarks drew a backlash from some Trump conservatives, even from Trump critic Meghan McCain, who tweeted that Streep’s speech was “why Trump won.” She added that “if people in Hollywood don’t start recognizing why and how — you will help him get re-elected.”
In New York, residents were divided.
“It’s freedom of speech, you know? So she’s entitled just like everybody else is entitled,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.
“The President gets criticized for everything just because of his title,” another man said.
Streep had not responded to Trump’s remarks as of Monday morning.
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