The 74th Golden Globe Awards had many memorable moments—including host Jimmy Fallon’s musical opening that paid tribute to favorite nominee La La Land, with all its fun cameos—but the night was truly won by celebrated actor Meryl Streep, whose acceptance speech called for empathy and responsibility in trying political times. Meryl, who was given the Cecil B. Demille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment, used her time onstage to give an important message to her fellow actors about the need to promote empathy and protect journalists.
Noting the different origins of fellow actors such as Viola Davis (Fences), Ruth Negga (Loving), Ryan Gosling (La La Land) and Dev Patel (Lion), Meryl declared that Hollywood itself was composed of many outsiders. This, along with the fact that an actor’s job was to show what it felt like to live as other people, the star of Sophie’s Choice said, meant that it was the entertainment industry’s responsibility to teach empathy.
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence,” she explained. “And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
She also addressed the Hollywood Foreign Press, saying that the responsibility of journalists was to “hold power to account,” and she invited everyone to the cause of safeguarding the press in this function.
Many stars at the Awards were visibly moved as the camera moved over them through Meryl’s speech, including Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, who afterwards tweeted, “Meryl, you give me life. #GoldenGlobes”
Meryl, you give me life. #GoldenGlobes
— Gina Rodriguez (@HereIsGina) January 9, 2017
Shameless star Emmy Rossum couldn’t help tweeting in all caps: “I HAVE NEVER LOVED MERYL MORE. BRAVO. WELL SAID.”
I HAVE NEVER LOVED MERYL MORE. BRAVO. WELL SAID.
— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) January 9, 2017
Pitch Perfect 2’s Anna Kendrick also tweeted her admiration for the older actor, asking, “Is there anyone better? #Meryl”
Is there anyone better? #Meryl
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) January 9, 2017
We echo Anna on this—is there anyone better than Meryl Streep? Congratulations to this amazing woman, both for the Cecil B. Demille Award and for inspiring millions of entertainment fans around the globe with her wonderful speech!