Apart from the elegance and fashion, our attention at awards season is increasingly drawn to the often controversial speeches delivered by Hollywoods champions.
And with the world’s changing economic and social climate (particularly so for America at this time of political shift), a familiar voice and trustworthy character can dramatically shift our mood; injecting much-needed light in a world sometimes filled with darkness.
Enter Meryl Streep. The veteran was last night awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award and used her five minutes to critique the new President-Elect and to infuse confidence, kindness, and common sense to the billions watching her; three adjectives which are a far cry from the words we normally associate with Trump.
It seemed like the importance of unity was the common denominator during her speech, as she reflected on the increasing need to have national and international collaboration within the arts, and the importance of welcoming outsiders.
She spoke of that horrendous incident between Trump and a reporter late last year and how “disrespect invites disrespect, and violence incites violence”.
“disrespect invites disrespect, and violence incites violence” – Meryl Streep
Telling us to acknowledge the privileges we have in this world she reminds us of the responsibility of the act of empathy. And when you’ve been broken and defeated, to “take your broken heart and make it into art”; which was also a fitting touch to her dear friend, the late Carrie Fisher.
Some critics say that politics shouldn’t be mixed with events like these, but Meryl – and an increasing list of other actors and directors, and creators in Hollywood – know that they have a responsibility to take a stand and use their influential voices for positive change.
Take five minutes to watch her full speech below.