By MIRANDA KARANFILI, A&E Editor
On Jan. 4 The Golden Globes took place in Beverly Hills, Calif. This prestigious award ceremony, hosted every year in California, brings together the best of television and cinema who are honored for their work.
This year, three-time Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award. This award honored her body of work, including all the characters she brought to life on the silver screen. During her acceptance speech, Streep took the time to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for honoring her with the award, and she also took the moment to express her thoughts on President-elect Donald Trump.
“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” Streep said. “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. 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.”
Streep went on to say how deeply disappointed she was at the result of the elections, and how the statements by Trump left her feeling hopeless—that someone could hold a position of such high authority and be a bully to the people who make up this country. She went on to say that Hollywood, although very few have the privilege of making up the elite set of actors, directors, and other sought out careers at that level, that Hollywood much like the U.S. is made up of people from vastly different backgrounds.
“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.”
She earned a huge round of applause from those in attendance that night.
Streep received a lot of attention after her speech from both sides. There were people praising the actress for her courage to speak up and talk about the issues, and of course the opposing side who attacked her for saying what she did—that she was just being a sore loser over the loss of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
There were also the many opinions of others who wondered why Streep spoke about this at all. Should actors speak to how the country is run when their incomes allow them to live lavish lifestyles with seemingly no worries regarding how they will pay for healthcare, as their wealth far exceeds that of the average American?
Actors in Hollywood have a job is to entertain us. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t look to a celebrity to be your mouthpiece for things you want to see being changed in national government or local offices. Their job ultimately is to entertain, however they can choose to use their position to bring awareness to issues that can cause social change for the better or encourage others to donate their time to help foundations like Planned Parenthood. Streep encouraged members of the audience to help out the nonprofit organization Committee to Protect Journalists: “Because we’re going to need them going forward and they’re going to need us to safeguard the truth.”
In situations like this, I believe there isn’t anything wrong with Streep using this platform to inform the public. Much like journalists use the media to inform the world of the things occurring around us, using your voice is your First Amendment right as an American citizen.
In the end, it is up to the people to stay informed and be aware of the things going on around them so they can make decisions on how they want to influence change in government.