Meryl Streep did not go so far as to call Donald Trump out by name in her speech, but she made it pretty clear to those watching the Golden Globes that she considers him to be a “bully” who frequently disrespects and humiliates others.
“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” Streep said in her speech. “It sank its hook in my heart not because it was good. It was — 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,” She continued. “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 was referring to Trump’s public 2015 mockery of Serge Kovaleski, a disabled man who reports for The Times.
“It kind of broke my heart, and I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn't a movie,” Streep said. “It was real life.”
Trump took to Twitter to respond to Streep’s speech, claiming that he never made fun of Kovaleski and calling Streep “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”
“People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability,” Trump told The Times. “As If Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, I did no such thing.”
Streep explained in her speech that Trump's behavior sets a dangerous standard for his supporters, saying, “this instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform by someone so 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,” Streep continued. “Violence insights violence. When the powerful use definition to bully other, we all lose.”