Meryl Streep may have won the hearts of Hollywood and many Americans with her Golden Globes acceptance speech deriding President-elect Donald Trump, but she managed to upset many die-hard MMA fans at the same time.
Streep, who was accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award, essentially a Lifetime Achievement Award, used the platform to speak out against behaviors by Trump, without mentioning him by name, that she feels are disparaging towards outsiders and those who are “different.” This led her to making a point about what would happen if all of the Hollywood outsiders were kicked out of America. “So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners,” he said. “And if we kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”
It was the statement that mixed martial arts is not an art that upset many in the MMA community. It struck a chord and riled up a sense of inferiority from many in the sport that hadn’t really shown itself before. Reactions from some fans were personal and included many variants of a tweet that read “Go f— yourself, Meryl Streep.”
Some bigger names in the sport spoke out as well. Bellator President Scott Coker wrote a kindly-worded letter inviting Streep to attend Bellator’s upcoming show in Los Angeles. UFC fighter Cris Cyborg offered Streep MMA lessons in exchange for acting lessons, an offer that stinks of the old pro-wrestling tactic of offering an unsuspecting outsider a chance to train with him as a guise for “stretching” or roughing the person up a bit.
Streep’s speech got most of the mainstream press coming out of the Globes last night, most of it focused on the bigger picture of her speaking out against Trump. The small picture of the dig at MMA was not lost on everyone outside the MMA bubble, though. Howard Stern discussed the line on his Sirius XM radio show this morning and shared the same sentiment that MMA is a sport, while his co-host Robin Quivers disagreed, admitting that martial arts are a skill but not necessarily an art.
UFC President Dana White managed to one-up Trump when it came to biting back at Streep. He called Streep an “uppity 80-year-old lady” who is “stupid” and “uneducated” in an interview with TMZSports.com.
Many may be mad, but something tells me this all may be lost on Ms. Streep.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I was surprised that there was as much outcry over this as there was. It’s a lot to expect of a 67 year old career actress to fully understand and appreciate mixed martial arts in the same way a serious fan would. On top of that, her comment wasn’t really meant as a dig at MMA, just as it wasn’t a dig at football. The point she was trying to make was that if all of the foreign-born actors had to leave America, the performing arts would die. Mixed martial arts may have been a poor example as it has the word “art” in it and she had to throw in that qualifier. Clearly Streep has noticed that UFC is on TV for six hours nearly every Saturday. As many have pointed out, it’s impressive that she even knows what mixed martial arts is and didn’t just call it “ultimate fighting” as many uneducated to the sport tend to do. All in all, this is really a non-issue, as Meryl Streep doesn’t care about MMA, she doesn’t need to, and no one should expect her to. This will blow over very quickly and at best will be one of those any-publicity-is-good-publicity sort of things.
MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-After some back and forth and what seemed to be a refusal by UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley, he confirmed on “The MMA Hour” today that he will be fighting Stephen Thompson at UFC 209 in a rematch of their UFC 205 title bout that went to a draw.
-Ronda Rousey posted a photo to her Instagram account with a quote from author J.K. Rowling that reads “And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Not counting her millions of dollars in her bank account, that is.
-Marlos Coenen vs. Julia Budd has been made for Bellator 174 on March 3 from Thackervile, Okla. to crown the first Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion. (SOURCE)
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/8: Ronda Rousey-headlined PPV draws estimated 1.1 million buys, above expectations (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)