For all the talk about him being erratic and unpredictable, one thing is clear about Donald Trump: No criticism is too small to get under his skin. So when Meryl Streep turned her acceptance speech for the Golden Globes’ lifetime achievement into an occasion into one long anti-Trump subtweet, it was only a matter of time until he fired back. And indeed he did, first in a late-night interview with the New York Times and then in a series of early-morning tweets. Who can sleep when a woman with 19 Oscar nominations is giving you the business?
The crux of Streep’s speech was Trump’s mocking imitation of disabled New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, which Trump used both venues to falsely deny he had done. On Twitter, he doubled down, further suggesting that he was simply attacking Kovaleski for revising a story about Trump’s insistence that he saw Muslims celebrating 9/11—a claim that the Washington Post’s fact-checkers found to be utterly false.
Streep, her voice hoarse from belting out a song at Carrie Fisher’s memorial service a few days earlier, also drew attention to the diversity of backgrounds in the room, referring to Hollywood as “just a bunch of people from other places”: Viola Davis, who introduced Streep, was “born in a sharecropper’s cabin in South Carolina,” Sarah Paulson “raised by a single mom in Brooklyn.” Her gratuitous slap at football and mixed martial arts, which, she harrumphed, “are not the arts,” didn’t exactly help her case, but at least she finished big, quoting her friend, “the dear departed Princess Leia,” saying: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
Trump, meanwhile, told the Times he’s confident his inauguration will have “plenty of movie and entertainment stars,” because “[a]ll the dress shops are sold out in Washington.”