Meryl Streep’s pedantic jab at football and MMA fans during her now infamous Golden Globes anti-Trump tirade on Sunday did not only confirm her status as a member of the out-of-touch Hollywood elite, but also annoyed a few people along the way. And now they’re hitting back.
Streep, who received the honorary Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe for lifetime achievement, used her acceptance speech to take a swipe at Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric, claiming that high culture was under threat:
“Hollywood is crawling with foreigners and if you kick them all out all you have to watch is football and Mixed Martial Arts,” she opined.
“And those,” she continued, “are not arts.”
Her words not only seemed to imply that MMA and football were lowbrow forms of entertainment for paupers, but that these sports were also less inclusive of foreigners than the Seventh Art.
Aggrieved, several fighters and mixed martial arts supporters took to Twitter to voice their opinions on Streep’s comments. Many pointed to the double standard in her speech, which called on Americans to rise above hatred and intolerance yet casually dissed an entire class of sports and their fans.
UFC Host Megan Olivi wrote: “Really weird to see someone talk about not discriminating then basically discriminate against an entire group of skilled, hard working ppl.”
Others reminded her that numerous Ultimate Fighting Championship’s titleholders hail from many parts of the world, with champions Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes or MMA superstar Ronda Rousey all having roots outside the country.
— #WSOF35 (@MMAWorldSeries) January 9, 2017
Martial Arts promoter Scott Coker went even further and penned an open letter to the actress, saying:
I’m a lifelong fan of your work but also a lifelong martial artist who happens to promote mixed martial arts around the world.
The global sport of mixed martial art celebrates males and female athletes from around the world who work years tirelessly honing their crafts and – yes – arts. They come from every country and every walk of life. We at Bellator support them and honor their skill.
Please be my guest at the LA forum on January 21st and you will see that Mixed Martial Arts is truly artistic – which will feature fighters from all over the world competing at a world class level.”
In a letter posted on his official Facebook page, UFC champion Josh Barnett also took issue with Streep’s remarks, joking that, to everyone’s misfortune, her nose was “so high in the air” her glasses would never fall from it and stop her from reading her pompous speeches:
“While it [Mixed Martial Arts] may not have the civil, often upper class air to it that your art does, it is not devoid of talent, skill, training or schooling,” he said.
“Stay classy” he added.