Legendary actress Meryl Streep Was given the Cecil B. Demille Award for “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment” at the Golden Globes on Sunday night. What followed was a rousing speech that moved some fellow Oscar winners to tears.
Streep chose to use the platform to admonish the President-elect Donald Trump, a noble cause — and this is coming from a Mexican man, the exact type of person he seems to have the most disdain for — and her words were powerful. She spoke of unity, diversity in Hollywood with both Americans from all backgrounds as well as international stars, and though she never spoke his name she clearly berated Trump for an incident when he mocked a disabled reporter on the campaign trail in South Carolina in 2015.
The speech has been lauded, but there were some curious moments, most notably her chiding of the sport of mixed martial arts. “And if we kick ’em all out,” she said of all of the international stars, “You’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.” The idea is, without all of the diversity present in Hollywood and at the Globes, we’d all be left with Trump and his supporters watching football and mixed martial arts, apparently the hobbies of the modern-day neanderthal.
The choice of MMA showed not only a gross misunderstanding of what the sport is, who participates in it, and who its audience is. Not only is alluding that MMA is the sport of the immigrant-loathing Trump supporter insulting, it’s just plain wrong. By inferring that Hollywood — a culture so white-washed that #OscarsSoWhite became a movement last year and actors and actresses of color boycotted the profession’s premiere event — was somehow more diverse than sports in general, but especially MMA, Streep made her tender and eloquent moment laughable, even for the briefest of moments.
If Streep took the time to factcheck herself she’d see that the current champions in UFC make up a more diverse field than the select Hollywood types that she cherry-picked for her speech. There’s heavyweight champion Stiep Miotic, a Cleveland native born to Croatian immigrant parents, Brazilian champions Jose Aldo and Amanda Nunes, Polish women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jędrzejczyk, and Brit Michael Bisping who is of noble, Polish descent.
And that doesn’t even begin to speak on the UFC’s black champions, including Tyron Woodley, a native of Ferguson, Missouri, yes that Ferguson. He too has admonished Trump publicly, saying “He gotta keep Ferguson out his mouth so he can keep my fist out of his mouth,” back in September. Woodley began his career by identifying with St. Louis for notoriety, but has worn his his hometown on his chest like a badge of honor on the national stage since Michael Brown was gunned down by Darren Wilson in 2014.