The lifetime achievement award recipient also paid tribute to "my dear departed friend, Princess Leia," referring to Carrie Fisher.
The Golden Globes were just toddling along as usual — lame host (Jimmy Fallon), all-over-the-map winners — when out strolled Viola Davis, to introduce her “Doubt” costar Meryl Streep, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. Davis’ powerful intro described what the Streep gaze is like: “You realize that she is seeing you, and like a high-powered scanning machine she is recording you. She is an observer and a thief.” Streep’s artistry, noted Davis, “reminds us of the impact of an artist, which is to make us feel less alone.”
After a stirring collection of clips from Streep’s four decades in movies, the honoree herself came to the stage, explaining that she had lost her voice. But it rang out strong. “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and to let you feel what that feels like,” she said, noting that the performance that year that made the most impact on her was the moment when Donald Trump (whom she did not name) imitated a disabled reporter. “It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head,” she said, “because it wasn’t a movie, it was in real life. This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public forum, someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it gives permission for other people to do the same.” She called upon the press to “hold power to account” and urged the crowd to support the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists, whose website promptly crashed (but now appears to be back up).
Just to leave us all in tears, Streep ended with a quote from “my dear departed friend, Princess Leia,” referring to Carrie Fisher, who died two weeks ago. (Streep played a lightly fictionalized version of Fisher in “Postcards from the Edge,” written by Fisher.) “Take your broken heart,” she said, “make it into art.”