Sophie’s Choice. Silkwood. Kramer vs. Kramer. Doubt. Bridges of Madison County. Julie & Julia. Into the Woods. The Deer Hunter. Out of Africa.
The list goes on and on. Movies that stick in our brain and star the gifted actor Meryl Streep.
She disappears into each character and brings us along for an unforgettable ride that makes us laugh, cry, smile, and think. She changes us one scene at a time.
Last night at the Golden Globes she accepted the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement Award.
And she did a lot more than thank those who helped her on her journey.
She made a statement.
She said, “But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good, it was — there’s 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 and power and the capacity to fight back. It, 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. 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.”
President-elect Donald Trump responded on Twitter by saying, “Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at Golden Globes. 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.”
What happened with that reporter is captured on screen just like Meryl’s movies. So we can all make our own decisions on whether someone is over-rated.
I hope we all stand up for what we believe in today. Say what is in our heart. And speak for the downtrodden.
Meryl Streep once said, “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.” It makes great actors and leaders. Let’s lead with empathy and make a difference.