Print out Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech and read it every day

Hands down, Meryl Streep had the best Golden Globes speech.

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In her speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, Streep took time to honor Hollywood, foreigners, and the press, all of which she indicated were crucial to society and to the future of the political landscape. Her speech was appreciative of the different people who come together to make films and tell stories reflective of our contemporary American landscape. She honored other women. She spoke truth to power. She brought the whole damn house down.

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Here is the full transcript of her speech, which you should print out and read every day for the rest of 2017.

I love you all. You’ll have to forgive me. I lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this weekend. And I lost my mind sometime earlier this year, so I have to read.

Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said: You, and all of us in this room really, belong to the most vilified segment in society right now.

Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press. But who are we and what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey. Viola [Davis] was born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, raised in Lon— no, Ireland, I do believe, and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people, is Canadian, and Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, and is here playing an Indian raised in Tasmania. So, Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we kick ’em all out, we’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts (which are not the arts).

An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. There were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work. But 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, and 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 modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives everybody permission to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

OK, this brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our Constitution. So, I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists because we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing. Once, when I was standing around on the set one day, whining about something — we were going to work through supper or the long hours — Tommy Lee Jones said to me, “Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl? To be an actor?” Yeah, it is, and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.

As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once: “Take your broken heart and make it into art.” Thank you.

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There is nothing more to say other than this: Thank you, Meryl Streep.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Golden Globes 2017 speeches slideshow
Image: Getty Images


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