Why I love Meryl Streep

By Tatiana Rodriguez

On January 8th, 2017, millions of viewers tuned in to watch the annual award show, the Golden Globes. This award show is put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press, HFA, to showcase achievements in both film and television, domestic and international. Each year, members of the HFA interview more than 400 actors, directors, filmmakers, and report from film sets. They also attend film festivals around the world to seek out innovative and interesting foreign language films. The Golden Globes serves as a way to recognize outstanding achievements in film amongst peers.

This year, Meryl Streep was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille award, which honors actors for their trailblazing and outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry. Streep is noted for taking on powerful female roles, and for making herself vulnerable on the big screen. Others who have been honored are Denzel Washington (2016), George Clooney (2015), Woody Allen (2014), and Jodie Foster (2013).

But, despite being an elegant and graceful woman, our President called her “overrated” because of her remarks during her acceptance speech. To review, she thanked the HFA for her nomination and went on to discuss the diversity of “foreigners” in the room; emphasizing that without many of them, our favorite movies would not exist. With the outcome of our election year, the audience knew exactly whom Streep was referring to without even saying his name–our new president, Donald trump. He has been belligerent and intolerant of said “foreigners.”

Now, being a descendant of immigrants myself, hearing those comments about any minority is hurtful, but my feelings upon hearing cheers erupt after Trump said such demeaning and degrading comments cannot be put into words. When I heard those cheers at a Trump rally, my only thought was, “Do people really hate us that much?” But, back to Meryl Streep’s speech. The part that resonated with me was, and is, one of my favorite quotes:

“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence.” – Meryl Streep

After she made this eloquent speech, Trump displayed his usual antics and took to Twitter. Sadly, this has become something we’re all too used to seeing. Someone criticizes his behavior and he calls them a liar, overrated, or the story reported is “fake news.” The majority of the time, Trump is being unprofessional and is trying to use his position of power to discredit his opponents. The fact that our President resorts to Twitter to deal with his anger and has a mass following of 22.1 million on Twitter alone, scares me, and makes our beautiful country look like a joke. This is the man who is supposed to be the leader of our nation, but he simply can’t take any criticism.

The reason why Trump took to Twitter is even more astonishing. Streep mentioned that Trump made fun of a disabled reporter during his campaign. She further said that Trump “outranked (the reporter) in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back.” All of which is true. But what I truly love about Streep is that she never mentioned Donald Trump’s name. Not even once. She didn’t even mention that the story she told had to do with our president. That is what I love and admire about her. She has the grace and the capacity to state her own opinion, one that many people share, and used her platform to reach an even bigger audience. She carries herself with dignity and such beauty, that we’re reminded why she won the award in the first place.

It deeply stuns me that critics like Tomi Lahren have so much to hate about her when, as I mentioned before, Streep had the decency not to mention Trump’s name. In my opinion, if she doesn’t mention his name, her critics should also show the same respect and not attack her. By the end of her speech,  Streep had the audience members in tears or close to it. She closed her speech by reminding her fellow actors that they are privileged to work in the industry and that they hold a responsibility to the public.

At this point, I probably sound like a broken record. But Streep really did speak with such grace and empathy that I’m reminded of why we need to rise above the hate that is happening. United we stand, divided we fall. By coming together and realizing what we can accomplish, we can achieve greatness together. 

 

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