In 2003 Hollywood stood up—literally—to cheer Roman Polanski after he won the Best Director Oscar for The Pianist. That’s despite the fact that Polanski admitted to drugging and raping a thirteen-year-old girl in Jack Nicholson’s Jacuzzi in the late 1970s. Among the superstars offering a standing ovation to the man who fled the country rather than face punishment for his crime? Meryl Streep.
Sunday night, the same industry served up a lecture on morality in politics masquerading as an awards show, with Streep leading the way.
The three-time Oscar winner received the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globes, an honor that reflects her brilliant career on the big screen. She’s the greatest actress of her generation, and she proved it again last year with her bravura turn in Florence Foster Jenkins.
She’s also a hypocrite who used her Golden Globes platform to slam Donald Trump while ignoring the praise she and others heaped on a rapist like Polanski. She also conveniently forgot to mention some of the questionable ethical practices of the current President and other Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton. Consider how President Barack Obama’s IRS hassled conservative groups during an election cycle. Or how the president hectored Fox News for simply doing its job throughout his eight years in office. Remember how Team Obama spied on reporter James Rosen? Or how Obama compared GOP politicians to Iranian hardliners during one heated Beltway dustup?
Streep didn’t just segue into a partisan rant after thanking family and friends for their support—her entire acceptance speech hung on Trump’s improbable victory over Hillary Clinton. In particular, Streep railed against Trump for allegedly mocking a handicapped reporter, an act some observers claim has been misinterpreted. She denounced Trump for making fun of “someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back,” evidently forgetting the fact that the reporter in question is hardly powerless. He is a prize-winning journalist with the resources of the country’s major newspaper, the New York Times, at his disposal.
As well, Streep didn’t bother mentioning other, similarly ugly acts by her Hollywood peers. Just recently Amy Schumer called people who voted for Trump KKK members. Celebrated character actor Michael Shannon wished them dead, saying of Trump voters, “It’s time for the urn.” Aren’t those also examples of powerful people using their privilege (fame, money, a public soapbox) to attack the powerless?
Trump has, indeed, done and said some awful things. He mocked Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife and insinuated the senator’s father played a role in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. His remarks about the disabled reporter, if true, are perhaps his ugliest public moment yet. And the public shouldn’t hesitate to call out our political leaders when their public statements threaten the values we expect them to promote on the national stage.
So then, what about Hillary Clinton essentially calling the mother of one of the Benghazi terror attack victims a liar? Or Clinton telling the families of those same victims that the 2011 terror attack was caused by a YouTube video? Or Hillary’s decision to call half of Trump’s supporters “deplorable?” Pretty ugly, no?
Streep didn’t name check those ghastly moments. Instead, she used the opportunity to further denigrate half the country by claiming that without Hollywood elite such as herself, “You’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
In other words, rather than accept the will of the people in the recent election (and graciously accept her award at the Golden Globes), Streep ranted in the one forum where no one could share a dissenting view.
That’s a form of bullying right there.
The Golden Globes telecast is just a precursor to February’s Academy Awards ceremony. Expect more stars like Streep to savage Trump, his voters, and any other cause with which they disagree, all in the name of furthering diversity and empathy, of course. Astute observers, however, will notice something else lurking behind the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s annual celebration of itself: Hypocrisy.