Last night, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gathered to give awards to people in Hollywood in front of other people from Hollywood — and it was the perfect example of the kind of self-serving ego-stroking trash that is going to keep these wannabe political activists from ever having any influence over anyone outside of their bubble.
First of all, there’s the fact that La La Land – a movie about Hollywood — won more Golden Globes than any other movie in the history of the Golden Globes. Sure, it was probably a good movie (I wouldn’t know, I watch only the news, true-crime TV, and ’90s Adam Sandler movies) but the fact that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was apparently more enchanted with a movie about themselves than any other film ever is a story almost too perfect to write.
And then there was Meryl Streep’s speech — and I’m not just talking about her Donald Trump comments, either. Yes, those comments certainly played a role in pissing people off, and I will get to them later, but focusing on those alone would ignore just how terribly self-indulgent and ignorant so much of the rest of it was.
Streep actually had the nerve and naiveté to begin her speech by whining about how Hollywood is one of “the most vilified segments in American society right now” — all while wearing a gown that probably costs more than all of the clothing in an average American’s closet combined. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to be rich and miserable; what I am saying is if I am ever worth tens of millions of dollars and I still use my time in a public speech to complain about how victimized I am, please do me a favor and punch me in the face. People may be mean to you on the Internet, and that may be a bummer, but I can assure you that no one waking up at 5 a.m. to shovel coal from a mine or facing a day full of soul-crushing number-crunching interrupted only by a 20-minute break to eat a turkey sandwich on bread that may not even be organic wants to hear it. Streep said that people should be grateful for the Hollywood elite because without them they’d “have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts” — because apparently she’s too trapped in her bubble to realize that those are both things that many people very much enjoy.
Throughout the speech, Streep kept insisting that the actors gathered at the Golden Globes represented nothing more than a collection of various regular people from various regular places — “I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey,” she bragged — but the fact is, just because you start out as a “regular person” doesn’t mean that you’ll stay that way forever.
Regardless of who these “Hollywood elites” were before they became rich and famous, the truth is that they have since become people who were too isolated to consider that Donald Trump had any chance of winning the election, and who are still too isolated understand that they’re going to have to accept the fact that he did. Yes, the job of an actor may be, as Streep noted, “to enter the lives of people who are different,” but that doesn’t change the fact that when it’s time to give out awards, the film that they connect to the most is still the one about the glitzy lives they’re living now. It doesn’t change the fact that, instead of trying to connect with Trump voters to try and understand why they did what they did, they’d rather just write them off as garbage people and continue to make comments slamming them any chance they get.
Sure, some people may be calling Streep’s comments on Donald Trump “brave” — but those are the exact same people who already agreed with her anyway. Hollywood does not need to win over those people. They’ve been won, and continuing to mock the other side over things that happened more than a year ago is only going to ensure that their side will continue to lose.
I was no supporter of Donald Trump during the election. In fact, like Streep, I consider many of his comments and actions to be disgusting, including the one that she referenced last night. But the truth is, that incident with the reporter happened in 2015 . . . and he won anyway. Bringing it up isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about Trump, because the people who voted for him voted for him despite having known about it — and there were enough of those people to win him the White House. Her speech is not going to help her cause; it only encouraged the Trump voters who did not listen to Hollywood during the election to continue to not listen to Hollywood. If people like Streep are really concerned about the direction of our country, and if they really do want to change it, then they need to make earnest attempts to connect with the people they disagree with instead of going on self-serving, elitist rants in a country that’s full of people who do like things like MMA.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.