Meryl Streep was asked in an interview this week to explain her silence over the sexual abuse epidemic in Hollywood. Streep responded in typically courageous fashion:
I don’t want to hear about the silence of me. I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now.
Well, that's it. She doesn't want to hear about her own silence. It would be quite rude to keep bringing it up. Especially when other random people who aren't in any way connected to the Hollywood scandal have also been silent. So, I won't talk about her silence.
I won't even point out, as so many already have, that Streep called Harvey Weinstein a "god" on stage at the 2012 Golden Globes. Who among us has not literally deified an alleged serial rapist on national TV? These are understandable mistakes. She didn't know he was an alleged rapist, after all. We know she didn't know because she says she didn't know, even though everyone else says that everyone knew. But why should the most prominent actress in Hollywood have any knowledge of the fact that dozens of actresses had claimed to have been abused and assaulted by the most prominent executive in Hollywood?
So, we'll leave that alone. Here's what we can't leave alone, though: Meryl Streep gave a standing ovation to Roman Polanski when he won Best Director at the Oscars in 2003. This is significant because Polanski was convicted of drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl decades earlier. He admitted to abusing the girl and then fled the country to evade his prison sentence. He has since been accused of raping several other minors, accusations that are all completely believable. Yet Streep — certainly aware of all of this — still made a point to stand and applaud the child-raping fugitive because he did a nice job making a movie. A movie which, it should be noted, he never should have had the opportunity to make because he should still be wasting away in a prison cell as we speak.
The decision to stand defiantly and applaud, even as most of the room remained seated, was obviously intentional and meant to send a message. The message was this: It's alright that Polanski brutally assaulted and violated a child. He's allowed to do that. He makes movies. He's important. He's better. We're better. We're Hollywood.
And now she wants to lecture about silence in the face of sexual abuse? Incredible.
People who were foolish enough to admire actors have, in recent months, been forced to face the fact that their icons are mortal. Many of the false gods of Hollywood have fallen before our eyes and been revealed as weak and pitiful little creatures. Few were as high on the pedestal as Streep, and few have fallen farther than she. Even though she has not been accused of committing any crime herself, she has nonetheless been exposed as a moral coward and a serial hypocrite.
The woman who stood on stage at the Golden Globes last year and preached about the bravery and heroism of Hollywood actors, and who warned that "the powerful are using their position to bully others,” could not stop herself from publicly bowing before the altars of not one but two of the worst abusers in her industry. She has no room to lecture anyone about anything, and should probably retreat from the public eye before she embarrasses herself any further.