Jim Spellman/Wire Image

Meryl Streep: Trump Has Made Us Realize “How Fragile Freedom Really Is”

"We owe it to the pioneers of the LGBTQ movement not to let them down.”

Meryl Streep isn’t backing down from powerful speeches anytime soon: Saturday at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, she received HRC’s Ally for Equality Award, and took the opportunity to respond to Donald Trump’s claim she was “overrated.”

“Yes, I am the most overrated, over-decorated, and currently, over-berated actress of my generation,” she joked. “But that is why you invited me here! Right?”

She confessed that receiving accolades “is against every one of my natural instincts, which are to stay the f*ck home.”

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11:  Honoree Meryl Streep speaks onstage during the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala at Waldorf Astoria Hotel on February 11, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Streep, nominated for another Academy Award for her role in Florence Foster Jenkins, insisted everyone had to answer the call to action.

“We owe it to the people who have died for our rights, and who died before they even got their own. We owe it to the pioneers of the LGBTQ movement not to let them down.”

She expressed her current frustration, but also pointed to a silver lining in the current political climate, however small it may be.

“If we live through this precarious moment… 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.”

Streep also revisited her Golden Globes comment about football and martial arts not really being “the arts.”

“I do like football … I have watched more football in 60 years than anybody here,” she teased. “But if you hear a woman in a restaurant say, ‘My son is very interested in the arts,’ she’s not talking about football or mixed martial arts because they’re just not the same thing.”

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 11:  Chad Griffin, atress Meryl Streep and filmmaker Ken Burns attend the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala at The Waldorf Astoria on February 11, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Jim Spellman/WireImage

The Ally for Equality Award honors those who use their voice and publicly stand up for the LGBTQ community.

“Throughout her phenomenal career, Meryl Streep has used her voice to stand up for the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Whether through her iconic roles that raised the visibility of LGBTQ people, or by boldly speaking out for equality, she embodies the very nature of what it means to be an ally to our community.”

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