Meryl Streep continued her attack on President Donald Trump during her acceptance speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual New York City Gala and promised to “stand up” against “brown shirts” and “trolls.”
After winning the National Ally Equality Award, the Oscar-winning actress claimed that “fundamentalists of every stripe” are trying their best to undo America’s progress on civil rights and dedicated her award to her gay and transgender teachers and colleagues.
“I am not going to introduce you to all my gay teachers,” she explained, “just some of the most influential personalities in my past, the memorable people who made me an artist and who lived, unnecessarily, under duress.”
The actress then continued to go on a rant against Trump without mentioning his name:
“If we live through this precarious moment, if his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn’t lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank our current leader for. He will have woken us up to how fragile freedom is. His whisperers will have alerted us to potential flaws in the balance of power in government. To how we have relied on the goodwill and selflessness of most previous occupants of the Oval Office. How quaint notions of custom, honor and duty compelled them to adhere to certain practices of transparency and responsibility. To how it all can be ignored. How the authority of the executive, in the hands of a self-dealer, can be wielded against the people, their Constitution and Bill of Rights. The whip of the executive, through a Twitter feed, can lash and intimidate, punish and humiliate, delegitimize the press and imagined enemies with spasmodic regularity and easily provoked predictability.”
“It’s hard to stand up. I don’t want to do it. I want to read and garden and load the dishwasher. It’s embarrassing and terrifying to put the target on your forehead,” she said. “And it sets you up for troll attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse, and the only way you can do it is if you feel you have to. You have to. You have no choice, but you have to speak up and stand up and act up.”