Trevor Noah labels Meryl Streep ‘tone-deaf’ for disrespecting football & MMA


Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe speech is still being discussed, just as I hoped and predicted. I want to say that the support for Meryl is overwhelming, but that’s not true. I somehow got tagged in some sort of butthurt Deplorable tweet-athon, so I’ve glanced through some of the negative reactions people have had to Meryl’s takedown of President Baby Fists. It’s almost as if Donald Trump’s nasty and dumb tweets gave his supporters permission to act like a—holes to and about Meryl Streep, you know? Anyway, I thought almost everyone in Hollywood and the media and their adjacent industries would only have positive things to say about Meryl’s speech. But criticism came from a weird place on Monday night: Trevor Noah at the Daily Show got a little nitpicky about one line in the speech. Meryl told the crowd:

“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.”

If I’m being honest, that line stuck out to me, but I interpreted it more as “don’t confuse bloodsport with actual artistic achievements and creations.” Not to mention that there are a lot of athletes from other countries who come to America to play sports, so if we kick out all of the outsiders and foreigners, baseball, soccer, tennis and basketball will start to suck too. Anyway, Trevor Noah bitched about it, saying:

“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…I understand what Meryl Streep was trying to do and I don’t know if I could have done better, but here’s the thing I feel like we could all learn as people. You don’t have to make your point by sh-tting on someone else’s thing, because a lot of people love football and the arts… I know yesterday, I was watching the football with friends, and then I went on to watch the Golden Globes. A lot of the time, football and arts go hand-in-hand… It was a speech about respect, it was a speech about empathy, and most importantly, it was a speech about responsibility.”

[Via Vulture]

Yeah… no. Some of you have come to me on Twitter and in the comments, trying to convince me that Trevor Noah has gotten better at this, that he’s grown a lot in his role as host of TDS. But every time I watch a clip these days, I just feel like… other people are doing it better and making better points. And here’s a real question: are football fans or martial arts fans really that f—king offended that Meryl Streep doesn’t get their thing? Some people like football, some people like movies, some people like both and no one going to start a nuclear war over Meryl not giving a sh-t about football. Unless that’s President Baby Fists’ latest beef. To label Meryl as “tone-deaf” for suggesting that mixed martial arts aren’t really “arts”… just NO. She IS tone-deaf, for sure. But not because of that.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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141 Responses to “Trevor Noah labels Meryl Streep ‘tone-deaf’ for disrespecting football & MMA”

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  1. juice says:

    seriously dude, THIS is what you take issue with?

    • Jenns says:


      I defended Trevor around election time, because I thought he was doing some good work, but between this and sending that Ann Coulter wannabe cupcakes, I’m done. I’ll just stick with Seth Myers who is doing great coverage of politics.

      • LAK says:

        Trevor Noah grew up in Aparteid South Africa. He knows racism like you can only dream about.

        After Aparteid, South Africa had the truth and reconciliatin commission where oppressors met their victims and truths told to power, prejudices comfronted directly. It was the only way to heal the country so that it didn’t descend into retribution and civil war. I think the victims would have been justified in their retribution, but at what cost to society?

        What he did with that Tomi woman is borne out his experiences and he was using the template he learnt from the reality of aparteid as well as the truth and reconciliation commission.

        In her echo chamber, i doubt that Tomi woman heard the awfulness of her opinions, but put her in a room ( TV show) with someone who disagrees with her and or questions those opinions and perhaps she starts to realise how the awfulness of those opinions.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      That was my first thought as well.

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

      It was a stupid line in an otherwise good and meaningful speech, and he’s right- you don’t have to demean other people’s whatever to make your whatever seem more important. It was an odd line that stuck out exactly because the speech was all about inclusion and taking a thoughtful approach to those who are different than you are. The world would keep spinning without football, and it would keep spinning without Hollywood movies too.

      • LoveIsBlynde says:

        I think we are all learning how to debate in this in this unanticipated post election era. I had no idea racists would come to have a voice via Donny in 2017. I admit, like Streep, I’m idealistic but awkward. Liberal progressives need to be extremely coalesced right now, not divisive and overly critical.

      • Elyna says:

        Agree with you in that it smacks of elitism (of Hollywood and Foreign Press). She gave it a good try, which I applaud, while needing growth.

      • Carol says:

        @weareallmadeofstars. I completely agree with you. One thing I really liked about Meryl’s speech was her professing that the arts can be used to foster empathy and allow people to learn from others experiences. It seemed very inclusive. But then the speech took a turn when she demeaned football and MMA and the tone changed from inclusiveness to exclusiveness. Isn’t that what Trump is about – exclusiveness? “Us against them”? She has a right to say what she feels, unfortunately, in some ways it felt cliquish.

      • lucy2 says:

        I found it to be an odd line too, and just kind of unnecessary, but worthy of discussion on TDS? Not so much.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      I take issue with the fact that he reminds me of Charlie Brown…a very grim Charlie Brown.

    • naomipaige says:

      Good point!

    • Melanie says:

      I can’t stand this guy. I tuned in about a month after he started, all ready to embrace him. What a disappointment. He’s no John Stewart. I don’t find him funny, his points are off-mark for me. If THIS is your takeaway from her speech, I’m obviously not your audience.

  2. Alix says:

    Perhaps Descartes actually said, “I’m offended, therefore I am.”

  3. detritus says:

    I mentioned this on the previous thread, and its not just him.
    Dudebros are getting their tights in a bunch because she said the MMA football thing.

    TSNs overdrive, their 3-6pm broadcast, was totally riled over it. I think it was Jamie Mcalennan who was super pissed. Two out of the three are ex hockey players though.

    Pretty sure they told Meryl to stay in her lane and not comment on sports or politics and then made some sweet ageist comments.

    Discussed almost nothing else from her speech. Just that one bit.

    • Jellybean says:

      Ok, the ageist thing is bad, but when I heard the speech I did feel she implied ‘them and us’ and it was a bit condescending. I am not a dude and I do not like football or mixed martial arts, in fact I am British so American football is a frequent topic of ridicule, and I am politically liberal, so I am much more one of ‘u’s than one of ‘them’. It was a great speech, but if you are going to be dismissive of ‘them’ then you are only ever going to be speaking to the converted and that is a shame.

      • detritus says:

        I guess it’s two ex-athletes and a provocateur and it’s kind of their job to get rustled and pissy, and they aren’t always the most PC, but to focus just on that?
        As an ex-athlete, and an almost never artist, I kind of get the upset. Kind of. It made me eye twitch a touch, but I get what she meant. If she was making the comparison that Arts are better than Sport. I don’t think she was though, since she specifically said, they (MMA and football) are not the arts.
        Which is straight up true. They aren’t. Just as the arts aren’t sport, and both have a place and value in this world.

        My greater issue is that was a throwaway laugh punchline for the artists attending an Arts award show is getting more attention than the meat of the speech.

        It’s just hurtful such a large platform is being used to denigrate her message, and honestly, to change it, by focusing only on the piece that speaks directly to them.

    • Elyna says:

      So, they stayed in their lane and commented on what they thought was demeaning of their field. Whether they are “of the arts” or not, she stepped on toes that are earning a living, short-lived careers due to the abuse of their bodies. A small apology from Ms. Meryl would not be out of line for that ONE comment.

  4. OriginallyBlue says:

    He can go straight to hell. He had Tomi Lahen on his show and went to dinner with her and defended some of her bullshit (she is an ignorant loud mouth, who takes issue with everything black people do). He sucks and Jon Stewart made a bad decision leaving the show to him.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I thought his interview with Tomi was really good. He was respectful but managed to get her to run into a corner on her own.

      • MP says:

        I don’t get the hate for the Tomi Lahen interview, he actually kinda make fun of her, what happened afterwards…that’s another story….

      • eto says:

        I think the issue is (from my perspective) that these hosts like Trevor keep giving these hateful people air time and attention in an attempt to “understand and build bridges”. It doesn’t really work, does it? I don’t think the interview changed the opinion of anyone – folks who thought she was idiot still thought she an idiot and her supporters thought she “won”. And on the flipside, are they bothering to extend the hand to more liberal voices?

    • Marty says:

      @Locke and MP
      He gave her a platform to promote her racist rhetoric. Her followers came out of that interview loving her even more, not to mention her subscriptions went up as well.

      It was a bulls**t thing to do, and many black people were upset that he coddled her so much. Call me crazy, but I don’t pal around with people who see my race as inferior.

      • Lyka says:

        I don’t think he coddled her in the least, although if the criticism is simply that he had her on at all, then we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. But maybe look at it another way. Noah’s very existence was considered illegal as he grew up, and I’d imagine a mixed-race person living in that environment would engage with racism in a different way than we’re used to here. The nation’s legacy of truth and reconciliation, however successful it may have been, is a strong cultural touchstone for many South Africans, and I think it’s unfair to criticize what was simply a choice to question Lahren openly (which I actually found to be vigorous and sobering) and show the world the level of deceit, manipulation, and willful ignorance the alt-right employs in its marketing successes.

      • Marty says:

        He did coddle her, making fun of a racist isn’t revolutionary. When he took that position, he had a responsibility to his audience, injecting humor is one thing. The way he handled Tomatoe Lorenzo with kid gloves was just plain infuriating.

        And frankly, if that is what you consider “sobering”, then you have a long way to go in understanding race in America.

      • Shark Bait says:

        I read somewhere that a lot of these type of people, Tomi, Steven Crowder, Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulis, etc etc etc hesitate to do any interviews or press with any sort of mainstream news outlet that isn’t Fox, InfoWars, Breitbart, The Blaze etc in another move to discredit the media. Their followers, disciples of Trump, eat up the cries of corrupt media. I really wonder if the act with Tomi was to show, hey we’re fair here, not corrupt or unfair.
        I really don’t care about building bridges with the trolls living under them, though.

      • Marty says:

        @Shark- that was mine and a lot of other PoC’s problem with that interview. Whether or not she actually believes the hate she spits out, she sure as hell has no problem profiting from it. So even if that’s what Noah was trying to do, build bridges, all she saw was more exposure and dollar signs. And that’s all it was ever going to be about for her.

      • OriginallyBlue says:

        Exactly. Why bring her on the show? You think spending time going back and forth with a man of colour was going to change her mind? They keep giving them platforms or “trying to understand where their coming from”. They hate us for existing, what more do you need to know. All it does is give them more unwarranted attention.

      • Melanie says:

        Everything you said Marty! You are dead on!

    • lol says:

      How dare he put politics aside and have dinner with her!

      He was leading by example – we can put aside our differences and be friendly with each other. More of that is needed.

      • OriginallyBlue says:

        Are you f*cking serious. This chick spouts hate for black people. That is her whole career now. That isn’t having different political opinions, that is hating someone’s very existence or at least profiting from it.

  5. smcollins says:

    Well, we do live in the age of picking people and what they say apart. It’s like the new national pastime, along with faux outrage. I understand the point he’s trying to make, but no…he’s nitpicking and seems to be missing the bigger picture.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Exactly….why is it okay for MS to give her opinion…but TN is lambasted for his opinion!!! His opinion is that MS disrespected football and MMA…What is the problem…opinions, as they say, are like assholes, everybody has one!

  6. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    He keeps getting more disappointing with every story I read about him. I want to like him but he continues to miss the overall point on a lot of things. Going from 1% understanding to 2% is an improvement, but do you really want to celebrate that?

    • K says:

      Why because he doesn’t say what you want him to say all the time?

      He didn’t slam Meryl Streep he praised her but just pointed out that slamming someone else interest while asking for respect and empathy doesn’t work.

    • Melanie says:

      Disappointing indeed! They need to fire him and bring in someone that understands that shows audience.

      • K says:

        the show has the same writers as before, so my guess is that the staff felt this way as well and Jon Stewart would have said the same thing.

        Also he didn’t bash the speech.

  7. Louise177 says:

    I don’t think Trevor was defending football and MMA but looking at the larger issue of respect. Meryl called out certain sports so in a way she was disrespecting people who like them. No I don’t think there’s an outrage but the point being don’t bring down others to prop others up. In both cases I think their comments is a minor issue that people are trying to make bigger.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      @Louise: She didn’t, tho. She didn’t ‘call out’ certain sports–or sports at all. ALL she said was if you get rid of the arts, all you’ll have left is stuff that isn’t art. She didn’t say “Sports are bad!” Or, “People who watch football are dumb!” Or even, “You shouldn’t watch MMA!” Or a million other things that people are implying she meant. It was one sentence, and it was very simple. You take away choices and you’re left with a lack of, well, choices. Just like when you nit pick one line of an entire speech you lose sight of the (much) bigger message.

      I’m a huge sports fan, but that’s not all I watch, nor do I want it to be. And I wasn’t offended in the least. Variety is the spice of life and all that. I’ll also add that she was talking to a room of artists, so a bit of it was playing to her given audience. But it was still not derogatory, offensive, or belittling in any way. Again, BIGGER MESSAGE.

    • OhDear says:

      Yeah, I agree. It did sound a bit like “well, if the arts don’t exist anymore, then you only get crap.” But her larger point was correct.

  8. Cannibell says:

    Oh, dear. Someone got stuck in a tree and missed the rest of the forest.

    • NastyWoman` says:

      Yeah, his critique of her alleged tone deafness sounds tone deaf …

    • Snowflake says:

      Exactly! Just like all these people on DM complaining it was not the right place. Every time there is something they don’t want to acknowledge or admit to, they say it’s not the right time or place of they did it in the wrong way. They just don’t want to talk about it.

  9. Patricia says:

    If some football person said that art films aren’t entertaining I wouldn’t give a flying F. I like art films. I’m not into football. We don’t agree. So what?
    People are so ready to get upset. What she said was no big deal and just making a point.

  10. Jay (the Canadian one) says:

    It was likewise also a very small piece of him otherwise praising her, too.

    I think his comment about tone deafness was one of the same criticisms levelled at Hillary Clinton’s campaign in hindsight, that she in some cases lost the support of a group by alienating, ignoring, or disregarding them, by implying they didn’t count.

    To be clear I find both football and MMA wholly uninteresting, but I don’t scoff at their fans. The “tone” has the same faint strench of elitism that was sufficiently off putting to the general populace to put the US in this situation in the first place. 16 other Republican nominees ignored it and ended up with a lunatic conman of a candidate, the Democrats ignored it and ended up with a lunatic conman of a President. One would hope the lesson would be learned at some point.

    • skyblue says:

      Spot on Jay. It is the faint whiff of liberal elitism that is killing us. Hell, I suffer from it and I live in a god-forsaken flyover state, albeit a beautiful flyover state. I own that I’ve personally been tone deaf and I have condescendingly judged a lot of people for their blind faith in religion, politics, taste in beer and blind faith in Fox News, poor grammar, ugly jeans, lack of education and love of Buffalo Wild Wings, unfailing loyalty to programs like Duck Dynasty. So why can’t we acknowledge Meryl’s bit about football was slightly insulting. She should have left it out. We need a different tack. I don’t know what it is but I’m going to try to figure it out.

  11. robyn says:

    I like Noah … smart and insightful. But we do tend to miss the forest for the trees when someone makes a slip. It was the body of her speech about humiliation that is key. Were lovers of football and martial arts humiliated the way the disabled reporter was?

    More recently, Obama gave a speech about citizen responsibility that was very important when it comes to maintaining a democracy. But many worried more about Sasha. Where was she? Again, missing the forest for the trees.

    • swak says:

      Reported that she was at home studying for a test. Seems pretty normal to me. Considering they were very forthcoming with where she was, people should not be upset or worried.

  12. Jess says:

    Yeah, he definitely missed the mark especially when there are far more interesting criticisms levelled at her which I would argue are more problematic. For instance, Meryl giving a standing ovation for Roman Polanski during the 2003 oscars. I mean, it does look incredibly bad that you’re giving a child rapist a standing ovation.

    • samrai says:

      A total hypocrite. She needs to call out and stand up for all the women and children her Hollywood friends abuse first. She must get dizzy up there on the moral high ground. Giving a standing ovation to a paedophile who raped a 13 year old child. How can she justify that? Everybody knows about it, he was convicted in a Court of law.

      • ria says:

        And she was not the only one.
        A lot people protesting rightfully a child raping President, had no Problems cheering a child raping Director.

      • ria says:

        And she was not the only one.
        A lot people protesting rightfully a child raping President, had no Problems cheering a child raping Director.

    • lili says:

      But but Polanski is an artist, he’s no football player.

  13. D says:

    Footballers and fighters take hits for a living, they should be able to handle one misinterpreted sentence.

    • Delta Juliet says:

      I’m pretty sure that they are little tougher than being offended by something Meryl Streep says. Seriously, how many of them were even WATCHING those awards?

      • K says:

        Bam there is the elitism he is referring to. Probably a lot of football players and fighters were watching, they enjoy TV and movies too. They also have families who might care.

      • Delta Juliet says:

        Ummm, K? I am a fan of football (not so much AMA), as are my husband and two sons. We also watch lots of movies although I did not watch the awards show. Slow down with the assumptions. There’s no elitism here. I’m also not about to be offended because Meryl Streep supports having a choice in forms of entertainment.

  14. als says:

    Meryl’s speech was ok but also weird considering some of the people in the room, considering the shitload of dirt that came out these past years about the movie industry and that is still coming out.

    Maybe Meryl did her part but in everyone’s eyes, in the eyes of all the people that shared her speech on FB her words represent HW. People that loved the speech and Meryl now think that those words and that kind of thinking represent the principles, the guidelines that HW follows, which is just not true. Meryl did her job well, the people behind her, that will benefit from that speech, did not.

    Casey Affleck is going to win an Oscar this year and no one will say boo about it. Nate Parker would have probably been in the race had it not been for skin color, his impatient answer in the face of accusations and his bad movie reviews. The point is that we NOW know he was not excluded because of the gang rape. Woody Allen is still a successful film-maker.

    And what about freedom of the press in HW? Ben Affleck trying to stop the press from showing his ancestors’ connection with slavery, Tom Hardy’s mightier than God attitude, the press is asking actors and actresses about wage disparity but not the money people (as Amy Adams rightfully noticed). Very few people in the press dare to talk about Leo DiCaprio’s shady charity and how there is mounting evidence that the people of Malaysia founded the Oscar winning movie Wolf of Wall Street.
    And many more…

    Also, HW treats violence on women in the same way the NFL does: with indifference. So, from this point of view, not much can be said.

    • perplexed says:

      Hollywood isn’t immune from criticism and shouldn’t be, but in this case she was talking about a guy holding the highest office in the land. And someone who was elected to it.

      Several people in Hollywood are terrible in bad, but they aren’t in elected positions of power. Someone who is elected and holding the highest office in the land will definitely be held to account for how he behaves by all sections of society, elite and non-elite. And I think it should be expected that we would hold an elected official (especially the President!) to a much higher standard. We also have definitive video of him making fun of a reporter. It’s not like the video evidence is disputable or debatable the way it might be in other cases.

      In the end we did find out that Ben Affleck did try to suppress information about his ancestry so I don’t see how the press hasn’t gone after him when necessary. And he isn’t anywhere near running for President either.

      • Shark Bait says:

        Agreed. Hollywood sexism is atrocious, though! I would love if a woman got up to give a speech and called that ish out! I would hope a ton of us would rally behind her so she wouldn’t fear losing her career.

      • Kitten says:

        Well said, Perplexed!

  15. Locke Lamora says:

    I agree with Meryl for the most part, but the way Hollywood likes to be self congratulatory is very annoying and I can see why it rubs people the wrong way. And using Hollywood as some kind of example of diversity and inclusvity is just laughable.

    • JulP says:

      This. I agreed with the overall sentiment of her speech, but Hollywood should hardly be patting itself on the back for its diversity. (And MMA, at least, is more inclusive than Hollywood in that respect, because people from all over the world, male and female, fight in the MMA).

  16. Jayna says:

    All she was saying is take away the arts and for entertainment all you would have on TV is sports. It’s not a big deal what she said.

    All the Repubs on a site I was on were basically blasting actors getting political on a show like the Golden Globes, and saying they are sick of it and sick of singers at concerts who do it. That was more the focus of discussion regarding her speech that I read.

    • Emily C. says:

      Science, history, and news. The state of all of them on television is terrible, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t see Hollywood trying to get real history and science on television rather than the Ancient Aliens gunk they make money from.

      • perplexed says:

        She never claimed that Hollywood covers science and history and news though. She talked about the arts because that’s the area she’s in.

        Her speech stuck to what she and her peers are capable of handling — embodying a character. She even said that in her speech — “An actor’s only job is to….”

    • minx says:

      Republicans can’t complain anymore about fluffy actors getting political–they voted for a reality star.

  17. Adele Dazeem says:

    Offside (haha accidental football pun) question: are there football players, MMA people that are offended that they were lumped in with the Trump crew? Serious question.

    While I know we as a society love to stereotype, not every MMA/Footballer etc are “Trump” ers. I havent followed coverage of this (esp as I don’t watch sports/sports tv) so forgive me if this is a rhetorical question.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I don’t think she implied they were Trump supporters.

      Having said that, in Croatia, our most famous fighter actually served in parliament as an mp for a left wing party.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      A better question is, why is someone, whose profession, basically consists of being told where to stand, what to say, what to wear, and pretend to be someone they are not, putting down the profession of athletes that have to train, physically and mentally everyday…If anything, I think athletes should be given more appreciation than actors.

      • Kitten says:

        I don’t know,..I think an actor like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and an athlete like (wait for it!) Tom Brady are both equally awe-inspiring in terms of talent but the former is an emotional exercise and the latter a physical one–just very different kinds of talent.

    • Payal says:

      I did Muay Thai for years and still train BJJ. Having danced as a girl, I ‘ve always noted the connection between sparring/rolling and dance. Not a supporter of Peeotus by any means. Meryl should check her condescension. I mean theater people look down on movie actors, is she ok with that?

  18. Kimble says:

    I see people here still don’t get why we lost the election …

    • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

      Nice. I knew someone would be able to sum up my exact sentiment a lot more succinctly than I could. :)

    • LAK says:

      And they never will…..

    • Emily C. says:

      At this point, I’m thinking it’s useless to argue about it any longer. I’ve read, at a conservative estimate, about 5,639 pieces on Why Trump. This is probably just me being exhausted by it, but I feel like how about we start churning out How to Fight Trumpism articles instead.

    • Lingling says:

      I keep saying this and getting hit back with “why should I try or change!? They didn’t for Obama!”

      Because we’re supposed to be better, not just more of the same. I’m so ashamed of my party right now. All this hypocrisy has me wanting to defect. I’m over the 2 party system. I don’t want to be associated with the behavior on either side.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      So succinct and so perfectly said. Thank you Kimble!

    • lili says:

      I’m not American but reading all the comments here, I totally understand now how someone like Trump was able to win this election.

      • maria 2 says:

        I know right? Same thing with Brexit, “why dont those stupid plebs realize how stupid they are!? they’ve ruined EVERYTHING for MEEEEEEE!”

        buckle up elitists. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for you. Braze yourself for the french election. But hey, same rule there right? Not voting for LePen = misogyny.

    • maria 2 says:

      THANK YOU!

      talk about tonedeaf….

    • Lola says:

      Because they weren’t good and patient enough to educate the beasts?

  19. AG says:

    I think Trevor has been doing a great job — I’ve become a regular viewer since the election and he’s had lots of smart and interesting things to say. I also loved Meryl’s speech! But I agree that it would have been a slightly stronger speech without that line, which jumped out to me as worrisome as soon as I heard it. When a faction of the public likes to complain about the “out of touch liberal elite”, why add fuel to the fire by saying something that could come across as elitist?

  20. Frannydays says:

    Ahh see he was saying he was being nitpicky not attacking her entire speech, which was for the most part great. You don’t have to put something down to bring another thing up. A lot of immigrants do a lot of other things in this country besides filmmaking.

    • Emily C. says:

      But they aren’t the Right Kind of immigrants with precisely the Right Kind of beliefs and the Right Way of thinking. So they don’t count.

  21. Skins says:

    Well, I would rather watch a good football game or fight than a Meryl Streep movie anyday

  22. Maum says:

    I just saw the segment and didn’t think he was being nitpicky at all.

    As others said he mostly praised her message and called her speech powerful..

    However he also made the point that if you are going to speak of respecting others you shouldn’t then criticise their taste.

    I can totally see why Trump supporters will look at her and call her (and by extension Hollywood, liberals, Hillary-lovers etc) entitled and out of touch.
    Which is a shame because the part about Trump was very powerful and utterly valid.

    • perplexed says:

      She didn’t criticize their taste though. She just said there wouldn’t be anything else on tv to watch if you kicked foreign actors out. I’m beginning to wonder if Trever Noah knows how to read a transcript…

      • MrsBPitt says:

        If MS knew ANYTHING about UFC, she would know that it’s fighters are from all over the World. I would say UFC is waaaaaaaay more diverse than Hollywood!! And, why is it all right for her to put down something she obviously knows nothing about, just to make her point!

      • Maum says:

        No but by mentioned MMA and adding it’s not *art* it sounded (unintentionally) mocking (martial *arts* and real art, how clever?). It sounded like a throwback to the tired argument that ‘intelligent’ people don’t know sports and people who watch sports are rednecks who bellow at their TV with a beer in their hand.

        Not at all what she meant I’m sure but I agree with Trevor that when I first watched it I thought it sounded pretentious and that people who dislike what Hollywood represent who see it that way.

      • perplexed says:

        She’s talking about having choices though. Sports have foreigners and outsiders in them, for sure. But are football and mixed-martial arts the only choices you want on tv when there are a billion channels out there? There’s nothing wrong with liking football or mixed-martial arts. But that doesn’t mean we want those things to be the only thing we have access to.

        Also, I don’t see anything wrong with calling mixed-martial arts not art in terms of performance and eliciting the desire to enter another world.. She talked about art with respect to empathy. Unless mixed-martial arts is all fake to elicit sympathy (maybe it is fake like wrestling? I wouldn’t know), I don’t see what’s wrong with pointing out that it’s not art in terms of how she framed acting as an art. She had a running theme throughout her speech — the notion of empathy and how it relates to performance and art. If all we have left on tv to watch is football (and on Sundays, I sometimes do feel like that that’s all there is left to watch besides infomercials, and I give in and watch) we will be missing out on options, some of which have to do with the act of empathy and inhabiting other worlds. I have watched football when I feel there’s nothing else on tv, and I can enjoy it for what it is, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had the motive of empathy as one of my main reasons to watch the sport.

        I think Trever Noah missed the running theme and as a result took what she was saying completely out of context. Though even out of context, I think her words are clear. I’ve come away thinking that Noah isn’t that smart. There are a number of other things Meryl Streep could be criticized for, but I think in this instance her speech was well-written, clear, and had an explicit theme running throughout that she provided with evidence.

      • K says:


        I understood that she was talking about choices but it didn’t come across that way it came across as if she was saying the arts are superior to sports especially those particular sports. Personally I don’t like those sports so I was fine with it but if I was a big fan of MMA and also the arts it would have felt like judgement.

        The speech was amazing and would have been perfect without that.

  23. original kay says:


    We have people saying that Hollywood elitist have lost touch, and don’t know the commoner, and so should shut up.

    Then, the commoner the Hollywood elitist have lost touch with elected the most elite of them all- the billionaire with NPD and a hidden agenda which does not include them in the slightest.

    So people believe Trump because he says what they want to hear, but doesn’t/won’t do what is best for the country, and the other the people who speak out and work for charities, most give back to the world, try their best, yet are disparaged for not doing enough and being out of touch. Leo, for example, speaks about climate change and uses a private jet. Off with his head! Trump, dismisses climate change AND uses a private jet. I’d still take the former

    What a conundrum.

    • Locke Lamora says:

      Or you can criticise all of them.

    • Kitten says:

      Agreed. Also not sure how lecturing about how we’re supposed to “be better” than them is gong to make them like us more lol. Mostly I think it’s bizarre that people are getting mad at liberals for not being “more inclusive” towards the people who are pushing to have their rights taken away. Very odd to me that people seem so hellbent on excusing the behavior of the ignorant and self-interested and laying blame at the feet of those who want equal rights for everyone.

      • Crox says:

        It’s because many people who oppose equal rights do not see the situation as them having privilege. They believe their status is rightfully earned. What you see as giving equal rights, to them feels like their rights are taken away. That’s why they demand liberals to be more inclusive towards their issues: they don’t really want that, they are just shooting back with what they feel is the same – to them silly – rhetoric.

  24. Eric says:

    Meryl was trying to make the point that if you removed the arts from TV, then all you’d be left with is football and MMA. On that point it is essentially true and no offense should be taken for her stating the obvious.

    Everyone take a breath, ffs.

    • Dani says:

      It would be true, for sure, but it’s offense because she labeled it ‘not the arts’ as if acting somehow beats out any other entertainment talent.

  25. trollontheloose says:

    some people really push it a bit far in their “I’m gonna tell it like it is” personae. Sometimes one step back is ok so as not to believe the “hype” hype. In this case Trevor is this guy.

  26. Snowflake says:

    Geez, you can’t say anything right these days! I appreciate that she acknowledged that making fun of a handicapped person is wrong. Trump can deny it all he wants, but he was making fun of that guy.

  27. Natalie S says:

    Meryl speaking up for the press and against xenophobia: great and moving. Meryl gate-keeping what is art: pompous and self-absorbed and unnecessary. That’s where she derailed herself by turning her statement into a rant.

    You don’t get to ask for people’s empathy and support while taking an unnecessary shot at something they like and then arguing with them when they in turn express how they feel. What was her point? How was taunting “Haw Haw. What you like isn’t art?” relevant?

    I’m a total leftie liberal and I cringed when she said that. The whole liberal shtick of showing contempt to Nascar and country music etc. needs to stop. I don’t care if the other side does it. It’s still petty and embarrassing and honestly insulting to hear concepts like freedom of the press lumped in with a person rolling their eyes at MMA.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Natalie….OMG…YES!!!!!! SLOW CLAPPING!!!!!

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Love! Thank you Natalie. I’m a lefty lib too but finding myself a little isolated these days too.

    • K says:

      Yes!!! This is exactly it, as a leftie too I felt that moment in her speech was exactly the point many were making. In fact it was the point President Obama made last night that we have to listen to each other and respect each other.

      Not slamming NASCAR, Football and MMA (all things that are lost on me) isn’t the same as condoning racism and hate. When the other side threatens equality and important policies that help the masses call them out, if they mock the disabled point it out and demand they do better. But to say arts are better then football not right (my personal opinion but I am not right and the guy that prefers football to arts wrong its taste).

    • hannah says:

      You nailed it .

    • lili says:

      Great comment.

  28. MrsBPitt says:

    Sorry, but my son is a diehard UFC fan, and he was totally offended by MS’s remarks on his favorite subject. He says, these men and women come from every corner of the world, and have to train daily to make it in that sport. It takes extreme discipline to be in that kind of physical and mental shape. I understand what she was trying to say, but, she could have made her points without putting down sports.

    • Scarlet Vixen says:

      HOW did she put it down, tho? As I mentioned upthread, I’m a huge sports fan, and I wasn’t offended in the slightest. I watch everything from American football to golf to figure skating to swimming to volleyball to skiing to basketball and pretty much everything in between (except boxing, MMA, etc–can’t take the blood, but admire the athleticism). She didn’t say sports are unnecessary, or dumb, or even ‘less than.’ She also didn’t say people who watch those things are unnecessary, dumb, or ‘less than’. She quite obviously said none of those things. All she said was if you take away the arts you have things that aren’t art. That’s it. Nothing more. People are so quick to inject implied meaning and just assume they know what everyone is ‘really trying to say’, and why? What purpose does it serve?

      • MrsBPitt says:

        Well, I’m glad YOU weren’t offended, but I thought MS sounded very condescending towards sports and athletes. So, in your world, since you are a sports fan and weren’t offended, then no one else has the right to be offended! Way to be open minded and respectful of other peoples feelings!

    • Maum says:

      As I mentioned I did find it unecessary and offensive. It’s the way she snorted when she said MMA wasn’t art… it sounded patronising.
      Having liked the rest of the speech (the message was great- her delivery a touch OTT) I thought it killed the vibe.

      I think Trevor was on point there. By making that point she was being divisive herself,

      • Scarlet Vixen says:

        @MrsBPitt: Way to prove my point of inserting imaginary things to be offended by where there wasn’t any. Did I say you or your son have no right to be offended because I wasn’t? I most certainly did not. Not even close. So then, who here isn’t being ‘open-minded’? Maybe instead of being so quick to invent things people ‘mean’ you should try just a tiny bit harder to actually listen and read. You may just find yourself getting offended less often.

        Meryl Streep chuckled as she said Martial Arts aren’t arts. How dare she…So let’s continue to foolishly infer meaning in a single sentence and tarnish the larger inclusive and important message MS was imparting.

      • Allie B. says:

        Maum, I agree with you. I hate that we are so divided that we can no longer disagree with our allies. I’m sorry, but I did give her the side eye when she gave Roman Polanski a standing ovation and I hate that the right is able to bring it up. I was all in with her speech at the Globes, but I’m unsure how football and MMA needed to be dragged into it. As an educator in a low income school, we worked very hard to maintain our football program which gave the children so much.

  29. MellyMel says:

    *sigh* :|

  30. Frigga says:

    Sorry. But this dude is lame. He has absolutely nothing on Jon Stewart. As for sports and arts, I’d say martial arts is an actual form of art in its own right, but football? Gimme a break. That is not art. It’s a fricken sport, done and done.

  31. Greenieweenie says:

    The things ppl go out of their way to take offense to. The arts=Fine arts. She’s making an observation. If you take performance art off TV, you’re left with nothing but sports (and news).

    It’s actually kinda gross that people are looking to find offense over something insignificant rather than absorbing her larger point.

  32. Kait says:

    If you watch his entire but he is overwhelmingly supportive and simply made the point that you don’t have to drag others to elevate yourself. The remark was tone deaf. But Trevor Noah also pointed out that if that one line is all you heard, you missed the importance of what Meryl said.

    • K says:

      High Five! That is exactly what he said there is no reason to bash him for it.

    • I Choose Me says:

      Exactly! He liked her speech but pointed out one line that he thought was problematic then gave his opinion as to why he thought so. Other disagree and that’s fine but I don’t get why some commenters seem ready to tar and feather him.

      I’m getting mighty tired of people being quick to dismiss or become hostile toward anyone who isn’t in lockstep with their opinions.

  33. UpIsDownandBlackIsWhite says:

    As someone who’s a fan of MMA, I took Streep’s comment to simply mean without acting/music, we would be left with only sports which are not “art.”

    *shrugs* I guess I just don’t get what the big deal is.

  34. Shark Bait says:

    I wish she would have said we would have been stuck with just reality shows. *shudder*
    I know nothing about MMA, I like football as a sport but I hate the corrupt NFL. However, lots of football players are amazing philanthropists and activists. Lots of football players are told to “shut up and throw the ball.” Sort of like Meryl was told “just shut up and play pretend.” So yeah, maybe a little tone deaf. I wish she would have said reality shows. Man imagine a world of just The Bachelor and Keeping up With the Kardashians.

  35. S says:

    When I heard that line, I knew it would be the one that would be seized upon to “prove” how out of touch and elitist and whatnot “Hollywood” is from “Real America.”

    It’s like “deplorables” where, even if true and factually defensible, it probably shouldn’t have been said, because once it was uttered, some people couldn’t hear what else was said. They just seized on their outrage about a word or phrase, and ignored the larger, more relevant argument.

    On the other hand, as Andy Richter so cogently, and obviously sarcastically, pointed out on Twitter … “I’m pretty upset that a classically-trained 67 yo actress was kinda snotty about my fave sports that involve blunt force head trauma”

    Speaking of Twitter sarcasm … Does anyone else follow Josh Malina and see how he joked about how the one thing he agrees with Trump about is how Meryl Strep is “over-rated”? So, clearly, Malina, who likes to be a provocateur and is virulently anti-Trump, was joking, but soooo many people took it seriously. Malina then went on a day-long tweet/retweet storm condemning Meryl and egging on those who couldn’t get the joke. I admit it got tiresome, but mostly because watching how many people just couldn’t get it, no matter how outrageous Malina got, was just so depressing. (I believe he was trying to do that thing where he did something that was funny-ish, and kept repeating the not-quite-working joke till it got annoying and repetitive, waiting for it to come around to being funny again by dint of repetition.)

    So, umm, yeah, it’s not just the Right who can’t see the forest for the trees.

  36. K says:

    If you watch it he overwhelming praises Meryl’s speech he just points out that there was no need to slam other people’s interest to make her overall point that respect is important. He also says if you get lost in that one very tone deaf line then you will miss the overall importance of what she is saying and we shouldn’t do that.

  37. Matador says:

    Trevor Noah is an idiot. Comedy Central should have canned him and let Wilmore take that show.

  38. squeezeolime says:

    Trevor is as closed minded as they come if you’ve seen his standup. His view on women, gender roles etc are on par with the cheeto although not as openly. Funny guy but a huge disappointment.

    • Lola says:

      Which is why he tried to put Meryl’s speech down.
      He didn’t agree with her, and worked hard in finding something to criticize instead of agreeing that the press will desperately need support and protection.

  39. CItyHeat says:

    So Hollywood gives itself awards, gives itself platforms, and sanctimoniously preaches to the rest of us. And that’s newsworthy and worth days of media time and print space?

    Our culture is so effed up as evidenced by a Trump presidency and by all the after shocks.

    I couldn’t care any less about Meryl Streeps political opinions, nor Clint EAstwoods unless they are running for office and will be representing me,

    Otherwise the only thing I look to them for is entertainment,

  40. ash says:

    Trevor Noah is delusional…. he is still dumbfounded that he is perceived as black in america. I read that was his sentiment and it was like THIS is a DELUSIONAL man…. and then the cupcakes thing….

  41. Joannie says:

    It was an awards show. I think she could have spent more time thanking the people who helped her get where she is today. Not pontificating about her opinion which has been discussed to death.

  42. Shannon says:

    I loved Meryl Streep’s speech, but I do see his point. I could see where it came off as a bit condescending even if she didn’t mean it that way. I know quite a few people who watch almost exclusively football and while I agree it’s not “the arts” it is entertainment that a lot of people – including myself – enjoy. I can’t hate on him for that comment. It’s merely constructive criticism. If you want to sway people outside of your own echo chamber, it’s good to be aware of things like this.

    • bitchy says:

      I think I would like to have a closer look at Streep’s speech and Noah’s critique.

      Streep did some satirical exaggeration, fair point to point that out.
      It is just that the entire purpose of her speech wasn’t satirising MMA or football nor Hollywood. It was directed against Trump who might introduce and fuel xenophobic and discriminatory policies and movements.
      So criticising Streep looks like Noah wants to score by criticising a famous celebrity. But instead of contributing to the important contents of the debate he scores on something unimportant and cheap and something that probably wasn’t meant as an academic truth but as a rhetoric satirical point at an arts festival.
      Additionally criticising such a minor point looks like Noah tries to dilute the importance and the contents of Streeps speech and that is no good because Streep made some very very important points. What Streep said about Trump is much more important than not satirising MMA and football and Hollywood. Streep’s speech and Noah’s criticism just don’t rank on the same level.

      So yes, Noah has the right to criticise. But look closer and judge his critique, too.

  43. bogos says:

    It’s all for entertainment but sports is more extremist in nature, that is, you either win or you lose. Streep’s field involves more shades of gray so more of an evolution in understanding others. I admit I have not read the transcript yet but I have read most of the comments.

  44. Lua says:

    Eh. She attempted to make a joke.
    mixed martial ARTS, which really isn’t art.
    It got lost in translation.

    • bitchy says:

      I think that that line was a kind of satirical exaggeration which is perfectly acceptable in a political rhetorics. Not something to make a big fuss about. Looks like Trevor Noah tries to score by bashing Streep over minor stuff.

  45. Allie B. says:

    I’m tired of people telling other people what they can and can’t be offended by. If it’s not a big deal to YOU then so be it. When you are personally offended then the last thing you want to hear are people telling you why your feelings are not important.

  46. Tila says:

    Why people are trying to compare him to Jon Stewart is beyond me. It’s a different show now! Get over it or don’t watch it. Also, Kaiser you need to take off your js Rose tinted glasses. I’m not saying Trevor noah isn’t with his problems but he has been and always will be regarded more harshly even though js continues to say things that are problematic.

  47. emma says:

    yeah… but they’re not “art”…. she’s not saying it’s bad to like them, but rather that it is good to also enjoy art once in a while. to be dimensional.

    “That said, while Streep’s comments might have struck a nerve among those of us already sensitive to this artificial divide, those expressing outrage seem to be willfully ignoring the entire point of her statement — that sports, quite simply, are not the arts. That last part got obscured by premature applause, but it was there for anyone who wanted to listen, and it seems a lot of fans are choosing not to hear it [...] It’s probably among the least controversial — not to mention the least consequential — statements to make that football isn’t art and that art is important.