NEW YORK • Actress Meryl Streep, in a fiery speech criticising Mr Donald Trump last Saturday night, pledged to stand up against "brownshirts and bots" at a time when people are increasingly denouncing the United States President and his administration's policies.
Streep, in New York City accepting an award from the Human Rights Campaign, referred to the backlash she received after the Golden Globes last month, when she gave a speech denouncing Mr Trump.
"It's terrifying to put the target on your forehead and it sets you up for all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse, and the only way you can do it is to feel you have to," she said. "You have to. You don't have an option. You have to."
The term "brownshirts" was originally applied to a paramilitary group that assisted the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. "I am the most overrated, overdecorated and, currently, overberated actress, who likes football, of my generation," Streep added, to applause, in a response to Mr Trump, who had called her "overrated" as an actress on Twitter after the Globes.
Streep was receiving the National Ally for Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. She also addressed, light-heartedly, a controversial part of her Globes speech, saying, "I do like football", to a roar of laughter from the crowd at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
At the Globes, she had said: "Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. If you kick them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts."
She also said: "If his catastrophic instinct to retaliate doesn't lead us to nuclear winter, we will have much to thank this president for. Because he will have woken us up to how fragile freedom really is."
At one point, she referred to Mr Trump as a "self-dealer" and said: "The whip of the executive can, through a Twitter feed, lash and intimidate, punish and humiliate, delegitimise the press and imagined enemies with spasmodic irregularity and easily provoked predictability."