Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech rendered applause but not for the typical reason. As she accepted her award, Streep passionately spoke about President-elect Donald J. Trump. His offensive imitation of a disabled journalist struck Streep’s core. Even though the incident occurred in 2015, she set its scene.
As the audience listened, Streep voiced, “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it … because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life … Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.” Her inspiring narrative portrayed a gruesome flashback. While images of Mr. Trump’s flailing limbs appeared, an episode in August: Osage County replayed on loop.
Throughout the film, Violet (Streep) smoked, drank, and drugged. Her violent outbursts were a common theme; she degraded her relatives, hurled insults at her daughters, and pushed loved ones away. She was in pain, and everyone felt it. Before the movie’s end, it reeled in the topics of disease, addiction, and trauma. As activist Thich Nhat Hanh said, “When another person makes you suffer, it is because … his suffering is spilling over.” Violet was sick. As mouth cancer consumed her, her words spit deadlier venom. It drove people to their graves.
When Streep concluded her oration, Violet’s dialogue faded into background noise. While her character survived for the curtain call, Mr. Trump’s shoddy performance imploded backstage. Streep reminded her fans (and critics) about life beyond picture palaces. She stressed, “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 kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing.” In response to Streep’s message, he tweeted, “Meryl Streep…is a Hillary flunky who lost big…Just more very dishonest media!” In the beginning of Trump’s campaign, he built his brand. However, in the process, he tore his reputation to pieces.