Hollywood Shows Its Fangs
Meryl Streep delivered an ominous warning at the 2017 Golden Globes telecast.
The Hollywood legend used her Cecil B. deMille Award speech to attack President-Elect Donald Trump. Her words, delivered with the passion only a triple Oscar winner could muster, suggested a beast was about to enter the Oval Office.
Her proof? Trump had mocked a disabled journalist, something we learned was likely the first of many Fake News attacks on Trump. She said:
There was nothing good about it, but it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth….
It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it of out my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.
And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing.
That speech turned prophetic, but not in the way Streep intended.
Streep’s celebrity circle has spent the last three-plus years doubling, and routinely tripling down, on President Trump’s bruising instincts. Trump didn’t force them to do it. His presence allowed them to reveal themselves for all to see.
It hasn’t been pretty.
While President Trump dished out disparaging nicknames and brawled with biased media outlets, Hollywood, Inc. upped the ante in ways Streep couldn’t imagine.
She’s yet to utter a public condemnation for any of it. That’s telling.
We’ll start with the obvious – celebrities calling President Trump Hitler, a racist, a white supremacist and, by connection, tagging his followers with similar brickbats. The list of culprits is too long to mention, but the “Trump is Hitler” meme dates back to far-left comedians Sarah Silverman and Louis C.K. during the 2016 primary campaign.
Later, some of our most recognizable stars wished death upon a sitting president or merely fantasized it out loud. Think Snoop Dogg, Charlie Sheen Madonna, Johnny Depp and more.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year some stars rallied for their fellow Americans. They staged online concerts to entertain the locked down masses and cut fat checks for food banks and other worthy causes.
The good vibes didn’t last long. Some stars targeted ordinary Americans who chafed at lockdown rules crushing their small businesses and, by extension, their livelihoods.
Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Albert Brooks, Pink and Patton Oswalt mocked American protesters worried about their short and long-term futures.
Other celebrities cheered on the riots that broke out following the death of George Floyd following a fatal altercation with Minneapolis police officers.
John Cusack, Michael Moore, Ice Cube and Trevor Noah praised and/or encouraged riots that left many minority-owned businesses in rubble. Others actively called for police departments to be “defunded” while crime rates soared in some of America’s biggest cities.
The last few weeks, though, have seen an uptick in unexpurgated hate. We saw that Oct. 3 during “Saturday Night Live’s” first new episode of the season. The show’s “cold open” replayed the Trump-Biden debate, with Jim Carrey’s Biden breaking character to say it’s “karma” that the real Trump contracted COVID-19.
Here’s how the show’s faux news desk marked Trump’s condition.
“There’s a lot funny about this! Maybe not from a moral standpoint, but mathematically, if you were constructing a joke, this is all the ingredients you need. The problem is it’s almost too funny, like, it’s so on the nose. It’d be like if I were making fun of people who wear belts, and then my pants just immediately fell down.”
Chris Rock, a former “SNL” player and returning host, mentioned Trump’s health status and cracked, “thoughts and prayers for COVID.”
Consider, this is one of Hollywood’s most revered institutions, a sketch comedy series dating back to the 1970s.
Other major Hollywood figures piled on, mocking President Trump for contracting COVID-19 with ghoulish cries of joy.
Lest anyone think Hollywood’s rage targeted Trump and Trump alone the facts say something different. We’ve seen the Hollywood Resistance hurl hate against anyone in Trump’s orbit.
Both Sacha Baron Cohen and comic Jim Jefferies sexualized First Lady Melania Trump without an ounce of outrage from the Cancel Culture Crowd. More recently, Showtime’s “Desus & Mero” late night show howled over Melania Trump contracting COVID-19, likely from her husband.
“Trump got that ‘rona!” The Kid Mero said to an initial blast of laughter before the comedy duo turned to the First Lady.
“Wowww. How you let a broke boy give you COVID? She’s having a terrible week!” chimed in Desus Nice, adding, “All his duties are eating Filet-O-Fish and tweeting, so I mean, he could still do that with COVID.”
Not to be outdone, “Star Wars” icon Mark Hamill saw an Ivanka Trump tweet featuring her child in a stormtrooper costume, the kind of snapshot any proud parent might share. Hamill saw it and publicly called her a “fraud” before saying, “go Force yourself.”
Streep’s 2017 speech chided Trump for allegedly attacking someone “he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back.”
Celebrities share plenty in common with that description. They wield tremendous power, both financially and culturally speaking. And they can fight back any time they choose via their media surrogates, studio connections or massive social media accounts.
They’ve used all of the above to show not just their teeth in the Age of Trump … but their fangs.