In some ways, the Golden Globes are very comforting.
It’s a mesh of all our favorite film actors and television stars in one room. It’s a time when we simpletons, who dependably carry out the blue collar jobs of America, get to sit in front of our TVs on a Sunday night and fawn over the most glamorous people in our society.
We get the privilege of seeing quick camera cuts to Jake Gyllenhaal laughing at a joke. To observe Amy Adams mingling with Reese Witherspoon. To witness Brad Pitt take the stage to raucous applause from his peers.
It also provides us the opportunity to learn about all the movies we haven’t seen — but now need to see … hi Moonlight — while simultaneously allowing us to tell our coworkers the next day how you knew, you just knew, that La La Land was going to win a lot of awards.
But what we don’t necessarily expect is for the Golden Globes to depart from its elegant bubble and commentate on the outside world.
Before any of us even knew who Meryl Streep was, we knew she was a good actress. It’s like growing up knowing that Babe Ruth was among the best baseball players of all time, but knowing nothing about his career or playing style.
Meryl Streep is synonymous with acting royalty.
Interestingly, she had a relatively late start to her career. It wasn’t until she was 30 when she co-starred alongside Dustin Hoffman in the classic divorce drama Kramer vs. Kramer in 1979. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the role, and 18 more nominations later (plus three wins), she’s still a tour de force in Hollywood, with her 20th nomination likely coming in a couple weeks for her work in Florence Foster Jenkins.
But on Sunday night, Streep — who actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton the past year and a half — chose to use her time as the show’s Cecil B. Demille award nominee to make a pointed statement about our president-elect.
First, Streep spoke eloquently about the diversity of the actors in the room, singling out several who were born and raised outside of the country, such as the Indian-born and English-raised Dev Patel and the Ethiopian-born and Irish-raised Ruth Negga.
Then she decried what she called the most “shocking” performance of the year — that of our president-elect, Donald Trump, highlighting the time he mocked a disabled reporter who works for the New York Times.
The room roared in approval.
Now, the subsequent criticism could’t have been more predictable.
“No one cares about what Hollywood thinks.”
“If celebrities’ opinions mattered, Donald Trump wouldn’t have won the election.”
“Meryl Streep is overrated” — Donald Trump.
Check, check and check.
Say what you want. If you think that an awards show honoring the year’s best in movies and television should be devoid of politics, then many people will agree with you.
But the beauty of living in America is having the fundamental right to express our beliefs.
And there sure as hell are plenty of people who were in full agreement with Meryl Streep.
There is a national consciousness that has awakened ever since this presidential election. Meryl Streep’s speech does not stand on its own. People are alert and aware. And in 12 days, tens of thousands of people will be marching on Capitol Hill to demand equality.
Meryl Streep should not be shunned for saying what millions of others are thinking.
And if you wish you could voice your rebuttal to Meryl Streep while garnering equally as much national attention, well, then go ahead and start an acting career.
You only need 19 more Oscar nominations to catch up.