Meryl Streep won the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.
The award is an honorary one, bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment".
As she started her acceptance speech, her opening remarks concerned the diversity in Hollywood, pointing out the range of backgrounds of people most would label a "hollywood type", citing Canadian Ryan Gosling, Italian-born Amy Adams, Jerusalem-born Natalie Portman, and the Ethiopia-born Ruth Negga.
She then spoke about their day-to-day work:
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. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that. Breathtaking, compassionate work.
Before delivering this side-swipe:
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.
She of course was referring to Donald Trump's mocking of a New York Times reporter for his disability. A moment many hoped would have been the end of his campaign.
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 modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.
She also called on the press to hold Donald Trump to account for his divisive policies:
O.K., this brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage. That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the 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 gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
She received applause from the audience for her speech and it has been a widely-reported focus point of the night.