Trevor Noah Criticizes Meryl Streep’s ‘Tone-Deaf’ Golden Globes Speech

Trevor Noah Meryl Streep Daily Show
Courtesy of Comedy Central

Trevor Noah is not among the celebrities and TV personalities bowing down to “Dame Streep,” as Viola Davis called her, following her takedown of Donald Trump in her Golden Globes speech.

The “Daily Show” host criticized Meryl Streep’s remarks on his Comedy Central show on Monday night, calling them “tone-deaf.”

Although he described the speech as “powerful” and a “highlight” in the actress’ distinguished career, Noah said she went wrong in slamming football and mixed martial arts.


Meryl Streep Golden Globes

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“It was really great except for this one tiny part for me, where Meryl Streep, like her character in ‘Florence Foster Jenkins,’ was tone-deaf,” he said.

“Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts,” Streep said on Sunday when accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

However, Noah noted that her intentions were well-meaning.

“I understand what Meryl Streep was trying to do, and I don’t know if I could’ve done better in that moment, but here’s the thing I feel like we could all learn as people,” Noah said. “You don’t have to make your point by s—ting on someone else’s thing, because a lot of people love football and the arts.”


Trevor Noah Daily Show premiere

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He then advised viewers not to focus solely on that aspect of the speech, and thereby risk missing the larger picture: “It was a speech about respect, it was a speech about empathy, and most importantly, it was a speech about responsibility.”

Surprisingly, Noah only briefly mentioned Trump’s reaction to the speech in a later segment on the show. Trump called the 30-time Golden Globe nominee “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood” in response to Streep’s criticism of him at the awards show.

“You and all of us in this room belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press,” Steep said on Sunday, without naming Trump. She later added that “disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence” after recalling an incident in which the now-president-elect appeared to imitate a disabled reporter.

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  1. Sirus says:

    It… Would also have been nice of him to note the whole ” most vilified segments in American society” thing. I mean, it’s also pretty tone-deaf to suggest that Meryl Streep and the room full of millionaires that she was speaking too are VILIFIED.

  2. Lana says:

    Ms Streep acted like Kanye in that she lectured us on how we should view the world. I respect anyone’s opinions that are different than mines, but please don’t “educate” me on how I should think. Meryl Streep is an entertainer, and not my political adviser. I don’t understand why she thinks she is qualified to help me understand her world view. I think she has bought into all the hype about her role in America. She is a wonderful actress but I am not interested in her opinion on politics.

  3. Mike says:

    I used to like “The Daily Show”… before it became “The Trump Show”. I’m no fan of him either, but the last thing I want to do is watch 30 minutes of someone go on and on about him every night. It’s boring and reeks of being a “one trick pony”. I turned it off a few months back and probably won’t watch it again until there’s a new host r they decide to expand their routine to more than “look what Trump did today, let me interpret it in the most far left way possible”.

  4. D. Lacey says:

    Trevor Noah didn’t ‘slam’ Meryl Streep. He pointed out a flaw in one thing that she said and was very respectful.

  5. Ricardo Cantoral says:

    Trump did not mock that reporter’s disability. Anyone who has actually seen the reporter in question would notice this. Secondly, Trump always did those flailing actions to insult someone. Just look at various clips of him ribbing people and you’ll notice that he always performed such histrionics for comic effect. He did the same thing to mock himself when he appeared on Larry King. Stop perpetuating lies Hollywood. We aren’t that stupid regardless of what you elitists think. Hi

  6. mazurka123 says:

    I think your headline is misleading. Trevor’s criticism, he says, is about a very small part of Meryl’s speech–her reference to football and martial arts. I don’t even know why she said that and it had nothing really to do with her larger point, which, as he said, was about respect. Not very controversial and I admire her for defending a disabled reporter who was publicly bullied.

  7. Jack says:

    I didn’t vote for either Trump nor Hillary, in fact neither did the majority of Americans. But I think most Americans who aren’t celeb stalkers or tv addicts, can agree we don’t need to be lectured to by an elderly white woman, 1%er, who lives behind a security gate and gets feeling all tingly and superior when she sees a NFL logo on her gardeners hat.

    • playrighter says:

      Streep should actually get the SJW Satire Award for her very-well acted send up of herself. She started by claiming she couldn’t speak, and then did so for several minutes. (She also admitted that she’d lost her mind). She finished by telling people to turn a broken heart into art, having just finished turning twisted panting into a twisted painting. She asked for help in protecting journalists who spent the last year (and likely the next years) mercilessly eviscerating the now President-elect, saying they (who covered for Hillary) need to hold those in power accountable. This after she heartily campaigned for the wife of a repeatedly reported sex abuser and rapist, and after she had given a standing ovation to a now exiled movie maker who “allegedly” raped a young teen. She dismissed millions of Americans with other entertainment choices as cultural heathens. She accused the President-elect of mocking a disabled person — when anyone with a room temperature IQ and a few minutes to spare could know that this is actionable slander. And her big finish was at the beginning, when she emoted on how disrespect invites disrespect and that when the powerful bully others, we all lose. What a BRILLIANT self-parody! Kudos!

  8. tlsnyder42 says:

    NOBODY, not even Trump himself, is trying to “kick out all outsiders and foreigners.” Streep’s speech was full of LIES and straw man arguments. By the way, if anyone’s an “outsider” in Hollywood, it’s pro-life conservatives and Christians. Stop the leftist hate speech against Donald Trump, Republicans, conservatives, and Bible believing Christians!!! Don’t be a stupid socialist

  9. Geri McCall-Barrath says:

    Incredibly poor headline. The headline makes it sound like Trevor Noah took the side of the Apprentice, when in fact it is just the opposite. Also the lead sentence says “celebrities and TV personalities bowing down to “Dame Streep,” what is that about? Please provide a list of everyone who is “bowing down” to Meryl Streep. Yes, a lot of people are applauding the speech, but that in no way congers “bowing down”. You do a disservice to your readers when you twist facts.

  10. Um… that was a very reasonable and well thought out critique by Trevor (and writers). I don’t like the headline to this article. It’s misleading. It mislead me here. I clicked it because I loved Meryl Streep’s speech. The headline made me angry at Trever Noah. I finally got around to watching the clip when I found some extra time during my work day. I waiting and waiting, ‘when’s Trevor going to drop the bomb??’. But when he got to the part about Meryl’s “football and mixed martial arts” I totally agreed with him. It’s actually something I had thought/felt when I watched Meryl’s speech the first time. Props to Noah and his team. He gave a wonderful and balanced critique.

    Also, this article spelled her name wrong: “…and the press,” Steep said on Sunday…” How disrespectful! ;-)

  11. Tell It says:

    I like football. I like movies. I like TV shows. I have no problem with what she said.

    • Mary says:

      Not a fan of Trevor Noah…not funny or particularly interesting to me. When he’s reached Meryl Streep’s age, accomplishments and life experience I may listen to what he has to say about this kind of thing but thankfully, by then, I will have shuffled off this mortal coil.

  12. michael says:

    “He then advised viewers not to focus solely on that aspect of the speech, and thereby risk missing the larger picture…” Whoever wrote the clickbaiting headline for this article might well have been similarly advised.

    • Jeanne T. Allen says:

      There are so many brilliant sports with less risk of concussion, arthritis, etc.e.g. the balletic brilliance of basketball. Ask moms, wives, sons and daughters what they think of America’s gladiatorial fixation. Streep is brilliant of course, and Trump’s inability to ignore criticism will help keep his blood pressure up. She got him on the most fundamental grounds: narcissistic inability to empathize. God help him!

      • Jim says:

        Brilliant? Your definition of brilliant and mine are very different. She’s simply an actor. She pretends to be someone else, that does not take brilliance.

        Watching her wag her finger at football and MMA like she something so superior, was really stupid. She came off as the arrogant elitist that we all know that she is.

  13. David says:

    Thanks for the completely misleading headline Variety.

  14. laurie zappulla says:

    Dear Miranda Prieslty…oh I mean Meryl Streep…what have you done for me lately…I’m a disabled woman, I have never heard you stand up for the largest minority, and to borrow the best line ever..”a minority that anyone can be a part of in a seconds notice” me, but WHAT A MISSED OPPORTUNITY, …JANUARY IS “NATIONAL MENTORING ” month…why couldn’t you be more focused on encouraging people with disabilities, why choose the lower road of platform..your ability to “share” your “tell us how you really feel about our soon to be President Trump”….I mean you went on and on and made your point…sorry, to see you in a different light. I enjoyed your movies and some people say I even look like you…so ok…give me a job, I could be your double and you could employ someone in the disabled community! ha

  15. Bill Thomas says:

    Other performers will need to follow Meryl Streep’s fine example and speak truth to power. His head will explode.

  16. Bill B. says:


  17. These award shows are great! With every sanctimonious, condescending speech Streep and others give, thousands of new Trump supporters are converted.

    • MerryMarjie says:

      Delusional. Thousands of old Trump supporters are being disappointed every day by the untrue statements Trump made while campaigning, and it will continue until his impeachment.

  18. Joe says:

    Meryl Streep only said that football & martial arts are not ‘artistic’ and that’s true: It’s sports. I have no problem with that part of the speech, but with her super-emotional (good performance !) misrepresentation of the Trump incident. If you do your homework – and she should have – you’ll know that Trump had every right in the world to be angry at this guy. This stupid reporter wrote lies about him because he tried to make him look as bad as possible. It was a coincidence that this reporter is disabled. His disability was NOT the reason for Trump’s attack – but now the lying media try to spin this into a discrimination narrative. If you are a disabled person, this doesn’t give you the right to write lies. You can’t hide behind your disability, because you know that PC culture will defend you at any price. Trump simply attacked that man and mocked his hysterical lies, NOT his disability. Watch it yourself. And one more thing: How many Hollywood films have you seen where they use discriminating and offensive stereotypes to mock minorities ? So many, I can’t even count them…These ‘moral’ people now want to teach us, what decent behavior is ? Ridiculous.

    • tlsnyder42 says:

      Meryl is indeed overrated. Getting tired of the phony accents/voices. She’s much better when she plays a regular woman, as in DEER HUNTER or THE RIVER WILD. Hollywood awards shows usually miss the best movies and best performances. Please stop the leftist lies and hate speech against Donald Trump and Republicans. BTW, HFPA is not a “popular” vote. It’s less than 100 people. Jimmy Fallon lied also.

    • The Truth says:

      Your defense of Trump’s disgraceful behavior is ridiculous. Trump’s not an actor in a Hollywood film, and his behavior has been grossly indecent on multiple occasions. Trump never rebutted the reporter’s contentions. He simply went straight to his default response — denigrating whoever calls him on his shit. Making Trump look bad doesn’t require lies.

    • Nate says:


      He is clearly mocking the guy. It”s on video.

      • Jim says:

        Apparently not.

        It had nothing to do with his disability. It had everything to do with him being a horrible reporter.

  19. Donna Fritz says:

    Meryl Streep wasn’t “sh–ting” on football, Trevor. You’re being dishonest and you’re missing the point she was making.

    I LOVE baseball, but I don’t want it to be the only thing on TV. That’s all she was saying, but used football instead. She could just as easily have said “reality TV” or “political comedy shows”.

    • JoeMc says:

      I don’t think Trevor was being dishonest. I think he was calling a spade a spade. Ms. Streep, who on that stage at that moment was representing all of Hollywood, very nearly pulled a Hillary “deplorables” out of her hat… and that’s the larger point I think Trevor was making. Further, while I don’t disagree with Ms. Streep’s comments, I do question their appropriateness at that forum. Many of us below those below the line are pretty tired of the entertainment elites coming up with even more ways to give themselves golden trophies. Hollywood lives in a bubble of their own self-importance, and if we’ve learned anything about this election it’s that not everyone sees things as they do. A little humility and respect can go a long way.

  20. Black says:

    People who like football and martial arts are BENEATH Streep and the Hollywood crowd. Her message is quite clear. All the people in flyover states are BENEATH the Hollywood elites, obviously, and are obviously ignorant and stupid and poor and dumb for not voting for Streep and the all-knowing Hollywood crowd’s presidential candidate. In fact, we are all so stupid, that some of the Hollywood elite are going to march in the cold during an inauguration they cannot change to show us how stupid we are and how brilliant they are.

  21. ballawalla says:

    Libtards unite!!!!

  22. SG says:

    ‘SLAMS’?? Really?? Donald would be proud..

  23. Danny Jude says:

    I LOVE Meryl Streep and actually fear a Trump Administration, but I also cringed when she mentioned football and mixed martial arts. It came out of left field. It would’ve been perfect if she had just left that part out. I’m sure there are millions of fans of these sports that don’t want Trump as President. Generalizations don’t help here.

  24. Jack says:

    Meryl Streep. Why worry about a loud mouth donald what he may or may not have said. Why not criticize the 4 hoodlums from Chicago that beat a disabled young man and held him captive. Where was the outcry from Mr Noah demanding justice for him. Why wasn’t CNN posted all over Chicago for 7 days for the expected riots to surly come. You know, buildings being broken into with free tv’s for all. Liquor and free drugs from ABC and pharmacy stores. Cry me a river you efn babies.

  25. toniJ says:

    he didn’t “SLAM” here lol click baits are hilarious

  26. I am a football fan (Go STEELERS!) but using the award show as a “Bully Pulpit” removes viewers from the occasion; and by not mentioning Donald Trump by name made a coward of Meryl Streep.

  27. Thin-skinned, isn’t he?

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