- The Washington Times - Monday, January 9, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump on Monday dismissed actress Meryl Streep as “over-rated” and a “Hillary flunky,” as her scathing critique of him at the Golden Globe Awards prompted the proverbial “everybody” — from the White House to the UFC — to chime in throughout the day.

Miss Streep used almost all of her acceptance speech at Sunday night’s ceremony to denounce Mr. Trump for mocking a handicapped reporter, among other things, to denigrate fans of violent sports and to to place Hollywood actors among the world’s most persecuted people.

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes,” Mr. Trump wrote as part of a series of three tweets. “She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.”

In her speech Miss Streep said one performance from the previous year had “sank its hooks in my heart … when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it,” she said.

In a widely played clip from a November 2015 speech, Mr. Trump flailed his arms as he imitated Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter with a joint-structure disability.

But Mr. Trump said Monday that “for the 100th time, I never ‘mocked’ a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him … ‘groveling’ when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad.” the president-elect tweeted.

Miss Streep also claimed in her speech to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which sponsors the Golden Globes, that “all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood. Foreigners. And the press.”

She noted that many of the night’s nominees were foreign-born and implied that there’d be no art left under Mr. Trump’s border-wall plan.

“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which,” she explained to the applause and laughter of the audience, “are not the arts.”

That shot at combat sport raised the ire of multiple people in the MMA world, as Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White called her comments “stupid” and “uneducated.”

“The last thing in the world I expect is an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts,” Mr. White told TMZ, also agreeing with the interviewer that MMA is one of the most diverse sports in the world.

“We have fighters from all over the world,” he said. “We do fights in tons of foreign countries. She’s not educated about the sport, and it was a completely uneducated comment.”

Mr. White isn’t the only big name in the industry to slam Miss Streep for her comments. MMA fighter Tamdan McCrory tweeted, “[Expletive] Meryl Streep. Talks [expletive] about MMA then says ‘disrespect begets disrespect’. Typical hypocritical Hollywood liberal.”

So much did the Streep-Trump feud dominate the media environment that it even came up Monday at the White House press briefing, where the chief spokesman said President Obama has been biting his tongue to keep from unleashing similar public barbs because of his “institutional responsibilities” to ensure a smooth transition of power.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest also said the actress was engaging in a “fairly straightforward exercise of her First Amendment right” to freedom of speech. “She clearly was delivering a thoughtful, carefully considered message that she believes in deeply.”

Mr. Obama, a favorite of Hollywood, awarded Miss Streep with a presidential medal of freedom in 2014, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

⦁ Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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