(NEW YORK) — Meryl Streep used a keynote speech at the Golden Globes Sunday to speak out against Donald Trump, singling out his apparent mockery of a disabled reporter in 2015 and prompting the incoming president to criticize the actress as "over-rated" and a "flunky."
Though she never mentioned the president-elect by name, she did reference a moment when a "person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country" gave an impression of a disabled reporter.
She noted that the "performance" broke her heart.
Trump has said that his intention was never to mock New York Times reporter Serge F. Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital disorder.
"Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence," Streep said. "And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose."
Responding to the speech on Twitter Monday, Trump launched a scathing attack on Streep, calling her "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood," and a "Hillary flunky who lost big."
Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never "mocked" a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2017
At the start of her speech, which elicited a standing ovation from the audience, Streep noted that the organization behind the Golden Globe Awards — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — has three words in the title that "belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now."
She also acknowledged the diversity in the room, and explained that "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners."
"The beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in London — no, in Ireland I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a girl in small-town Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all of the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania," she said.
"So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."
Streep also spoke about the need for the press moving forward to hold those in power "accountable."
"That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution," she said, asking the acting community to support the Committee to Protect Journalists. "We're gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth."
The Oscar winner closed by quoting Carrie Fisher, who died almost two weeks ago after suffering a cardiac arrest.
"As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia said to me once, 'Take your broken heart, make it into art,'" she said.
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