In a series of three tweets sent over the course of 30 minutes and long before the sun came up in New York, Donald Trump responded to Meryl Streep‘s emotional Golden Globes speech, in which she criticized the president-elect. Trump called the most honored actress in Hollywood “overrated” and a “Hillary flunky.”
“Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes,” Trump wrote. “She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”
Trump also spoke with the New York Times briefly after the ceremony. He said he was “not surprised” that he was under attack from “liberal movie people.” Trump told the Times that he didn’t watch the Globes.
In her speech, Streep referenced Trump’s mocking of Serge Kovaleski, a reporter who has arthrogryposis. She said that moment was the “one performance this year that stunned me.”
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter,” Streep continued in her speech, which never mentioned Trump by name. “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.”
Streep continued, “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 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. OK, go on with that thing. 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.”
In his Times interview, just like he did on Twitter, Trump insisted that he wasn’t making fun of Kovaleski. “I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story,” Trump said, referencing how Kovaleski distanced himself from an article written after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Here’s the moment Streep was referring to:
Streep, who did introduce Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes. She also has three Oscars and the more Oscar nominations than any actress in film history. Her speech also called on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which hands out the Globes, to protect journalists and support the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution,” Streep said. “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, ’cause we’re going to need them going forward and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.”
Viola Davis, who introduced Streep and won the Best Supporting Actress Globe for Fences, also discussed Trump during her backstage interviews with the press.
“I believe that it is our responsibility to uphold what it is to be an American and what America is about in the true meaning of what it means to pursue the American dream,” Davis said. “I think that America in and of itself has been an affirmation but I think that we’ve fallen short a lot because there is no way that we can have anyone in office that is not an extension of our own belief system.”