I know this is everywhere, but I can't help but feel compelled to write at least something about Meryl Streep's speech at the 2017 Golden Globes on Sunday night. The iconic actress received the Cecil B DeMille lifetime achievement award, and with her acceptance speech, owned the broadcast. She started by pointing out that Hollywood is full of "a bunch of people from other places" and finished with poignant words she credited to the late Carrie Fisher:
"...Take your broken heart, make it into art."
In the middle, Meryl said this:
"There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.
It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it's modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody's life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.
For me, that last paragraph of the above quote resonates most.
Some of the people I love most in the world have been victims of bullying, and so many of us have experienced it at some point. Then there are the news stories about the tragic aftermath of relentless bullying. To see larger-than-life public figures regularly indulge without restraint in such behaviour is terrifying, and Meryl beautifully articulated exactly why.
Kindness, compassion and empathy should be at the core of everything we all do. It doesn't always happen, we all have our moments, but isn't it something to strive for, no matter who we are?
Here's video of the star's complete speech:
Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? Did you see Meryl Streep's speech as it happened? Do you have thoughts?