It was more than a simple slamming of President-elect Donald Trump.
Standing centre-stage at the Globe Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills on Sunday, Hollywood legend Meryl Streep pledged her support to one of the Republican businessman's favourite targets: Free press in the United States.
It was raw, and powerful, and brought many of the actors in the room to tears.
“We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage,” Streep said as she accepted a prestigious lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to entertainment. “That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.”
She has since been dubbed "Queen of the Golden Globes."
In her impassioned presentation, Streep asked the audience to support the Committee to Protect Journalists, an organization dedicated to promoting the safety of journalists worldwide. It focuses on conflict areas and countries where journalists can't report freely, and has mostly avoided partisan politics. But the CPJ has repeatedly voiced concerns about Trump's relationship with the press, calling a Trump presidency “a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.”
Streep avoided mentioning Trump's name but spent much of her six-minute speech calling him out.
“There was one performance this year that stunned me… It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back,” Streep said.
“It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can't get it out of my head because it wasn't in a movie. It was real life,” Streep said. “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
Responding on Twitter, Trump called Streep, who has both won and been nominated for more Golden Globes than any other actor or actress, “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood.”
He again denied that he intended to mock Kovaleski:
“The newspaper industry today is in big trouble,” Oliver said. “Sooner or later, we are either going to have to pay for journalism, or we are all going to pay for it.”