BEVERLY HILLS, California — Meryl Streep was honored at the Golden Globes for a lifetime of notable work, and she took her moment in the spotlight to give an acceptance speech of a lifetime.
In her nearly 6-minute address while accepting the Cecil B. Demille Award, the actress highlighted the importance of the “most vilified segments in American society right now” — “Hollywood, foreigners and the press.”
Without referencing him by name, the actress blasted president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric.
On Monday morning, Trump responded to Streep on Twitter.
“Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes,” he wrote. “She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. 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!”
In an interview with the The New York Times Monday morning, Trump said he was “not suprised” by the critcism from “liberal movie people.”
“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts,” Streep said to huge applause from the room.
She continued: “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that — breathtaking, compassionate work.”
Streep, however, said there was one “performance” this year that “stunned” her “not because it was good — there was nothing good about it.”
That, she said, 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 and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was real life,” Streep said. “This instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public … by someone powerful, it filters down into everyone’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same.”
Streep added: “When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Trump first denied that he mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski in 2015 and reiterated his position while responding to Streep’s speech to the publication following the award show’s conclusion.
“I was never mocking anyone,” Trump said. “People keep saying that I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.”
Trump, who had not seen the speech, called Streep “a Hillary lover,” according to the Times.
At the Globes and online, Streep received support from her peers.
Audience members listened with rapt attention. Actress Kerry Washington appeared near tears in the audience when the camera cut to her.
On Twitter, the actress Julianne Moore wrote: “Thank you #MerylStreep.”
“Everything she said. Thank you #MerylStreep for you work and everything you said tonight,” added Laverne Cox.
Streep also used her speech to give her support to the press, who she said is needed to “hold power to account.”
Streep asked for those in the audience to support the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists “because we’re going to need them going forward and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth.”
The response to Streep’s speech wasn’t all positive.
Fox News host Sean Hannity tweeted: “This is exactly why Hwood is DYING, what a bunch of hypocrites. Sex, violence, and drivel rule hwood. Turning the channel.”
Radio host Meghan McCain, daughter of Republican Senator John McCain, added: “This Meryl Streep speech is why Trump won. And if people in Hollywood don’t start recognizing why and how – you will help him get re-elected.”
Streep also drew some criticism from the Mix Martial Arts community.
In a letter posted to Twitter, Scott Coker, an MMA promoter and fighter, invited Streep to an upcoming event in Los Angeles so she can see “that Mixed Martial Arts is truly artistic.”
Streep closed her speech with a quote from her late friend Carrie Fisher: “take your broken heart, make it into art.”