She has 19 Academy Award nominations, the most for any actor, and three Oscars; 23 Golden Globe nominations, three wins and a lifetime achievement award, and a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, yet Meryl Streep was labelled “overrated” by the President of the United States in response to her now infamous Golden Globes speech.
In a speech over the weekend, Streep spoke about her experience following the Golden Globes, at a Manhattan gala for the Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit that advocated for LGBTQI equality.
Speaking to an audience about how she felt to be vilified following her speech, she said:
“If we live through this precarious moment, if his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for,” Streep said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is. The whip of the executive, through a Twitter feed, can lash and intimidate, punish and humiliate, delegitimise the press and imagined enemies with spasmodic regularity and easily provoked predictability.”
Streep’s remarks come just one month after her speech caused the President of The United States, Donald Trump, to label her “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” and “a Hillary flunky who lost big.”
Agreeing with the President, Streep said “Yes, I am the most overrated, overdecorated and, currently, I am the most over-berated actress… of my generation.”
“It’s terrifying to put the target on your forehead,” Streep said. “And it sets you up for all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse, and the only way you can do it is if you feel you have to. You have to! You don’t have an option. You have to.”
She continued by saying that while her first instinct was to retreat and remain silent, the “weight of all these honours” inspired her to continue her quest for the truth.
Streep was the recipient of the National Ally for Equality Award and dedicated her honour to her gay and transgender colleagues, friends and teachers.
“Amazingly, and, in terms of human history, blazingly fast, culture seemed to have shifted; the old hierarchies and entitlements seemed to have been upended,” Streep said. “Which brings us to now. We should not be surprised that fundamentalists, of every stripe, are exercised and fuming. We should not be surprised that these profound changes come at a steeper cost than we originally thought. We should not be surprised that not everyone is actually cool with it.”
“All of us have the human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said. “If you think people were mad when they thought the government was coming after their guns, wait until you see when they try to take away our happiness.”