Meryl Streep’s Speech Deeply Upsets Donald Trump

Meryl Streep's Speech Deeply Upsets Donald Trump

During her acceptance speech last night receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Meryl Streep offered a stern lecture to the incoming president so well stated she never had to state his name. During that speech she called out the moment he mocked a disabled reporter and normalized the spread of bullying and hatred across the nation. Predictably, President Elect Donald Trump flew off the handle and began berating the actress on his Twitter account this morning as well as send his surrogates out to attack her in the media.

In her speech, Streep said in part:

There was one performance this year that stunned me. 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 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, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. 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.

As several people literally predicted during her speech last night, Trump reacted with playground-level outrage this morning:

Trump also spoke to the New York Times where he denied targeting the reporter (despite video footage of his mimicking his body movements while mocking him).

“I was never mocking anyone,” Trump said. I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.”

He went on to argue that Meryl Streep (and the rest of the nation) assumed to read his mind in how he reacted to the reporter’s criticism at the now-infamous rally. The denial is a part of a long-debunked campaign to clean up Trump’s image in the wake of his election trying to white wash the history of hate, personal insults and promotion of violence at his rallies.

In addition to lashing out personally against the well-respected, multi-award winning actress, Trump dispatched Kellyanne Conway to speak on his behalf as well.

Speaking on Fox & Friends this morning, Conway argued that Streep’s well spoken words actually incited people’s “worst instincts” by calling out and recognizing hatred.

“I’m concerned that somebody with a platform like Meryl Streep is also, I think, inciting people’s worst instincts,” she said.

Conway added, “When she won’t get up there and say, ‘I didn’t like it, but let’s try to support him and see where we can find some common ground with him.’ Which he has actually done from moment one. The moment he won, he said I’m going to be president for [all people].”

This is the same ‘all people’ president that’s mocked reporters, attempted to attack mainstream media (like the New York Times) for critical coverage, and sunk corporate bottom lines over what he perceives as slights against his brand.

He’s also the man who continues to disrespect the men and women working in national and international intelligence placing their lives on the line to obtain information about the Russian hacks into American sovereignty – information he’s continually belittled in order to side with foreign interests.

The Twitter commotion today is most likely a smoke screen to distract the public from his nomination hearings this week – which you can read up on here. In the mean time, here’s Streep’s speech:

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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