Meryl Streep used her Golden Globe awards speech to talk about Donald Trump, civility, and bemoan the hatred toward foreigners and the press. That has prompted some “stick to movies” comments, including this one from country music star Travis Tritt:
It’s sage advice.
But anyway, back to Streep. After some introductory words, she started with this:
You and all of us in this room really belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners and the press.
But who are we, and what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places.
After going through the backgrounds of several actors and actresses, she then threw this in:
So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.
That, as far as I can see in the transcript of her speech, is the only part where football is mentioned. Former Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman (and former FOX sideline reporter) Tony Siragusa was not happy. He wants Streep to know that football players are “real people.” Siragusa has standing to criticize Streep because he is part of the club, having played other people in the past, including on the Sopranos.
However, I’m not sure where the realness of football players was invoked. Streep, in what is a mostly correct statement if you accept the underlying premise, says that without movies and television shows with actors, we would be left to watch football and MMA. Now, that’s a very mass generalization, but largely sums up some of the bigger entertainment options in our country. Musicians and “reality TV stars” and the WWE should feel left out, and if any athletes should be triggered, it is NBA players for not being considered as an entertainment alternative without movies.
But I don’t see where she said that she hated those things or they weren’t real. Just that they aren’t the arts. (She may very well believe them to be bad, but it’s not what she said).
If you want to quibble with that football segment of the speech, I think it’s that there is some assumption that the contribution of foreigners, and people from diverse backgrounds, is vital to the arts but not to sports entertainment.
Amanda Nunes, who just beat Ronda Rousey and is the women’s UFC champion, is openly gay and from Brazil. The sport is open to all and plenty of foreigners inhabit the UFC ranks. The NBA is full of foreign players from around the globe. MLB has a very large Hispanic base of players. The NFL is the most American of sports, but features diversity in the locker room in the backgrounds of its players. The arts are not the only thing that would suffer if we limited the talent pool.