As President Barack Obama prepares to leave office, he made sure to acknowledge the 74th Annual Golden Globes in an open letter, thanking the 2017 nominees for the show's diversity. Among those he thanked in the letter, which was first obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, were actors, directors, and producers who sought diverse casts.
“Michelle and I send greetings to all those attending the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards. Film and television have captured audiences for generations — transforming the art of storytelling and challenging our understanding of society. Using the big and small screens to bring diverse tales to life, actors and actresses and creative visionaries behind the scenes have inspired us to find deeper meaning in our shared humanity,” he wrote. “Tonight's nominees have devoted their talents to helping us celebrate our triumphs and illustrate our flaws. By enabling us to see ourselves in each other and creating a space for the many narratives that reflect our rich and collective history, they remind us of the power of our voices and ideas and the ways they can shape our world for the better. As you gather to recognize this year's nominees, I wish you all the best for a memorable evening.”
Obama's letter came after recent controversies over the lack of diversity in Hollywood, particularly surrounding the 2016 Oscar nominations, which was made up of mostly white actors and actresses for the second time in a row. Not only did it result in the social media hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, but celebrities such as Spike Lee, Will Smith and many others, decided to boycott the Oscars, too.
“The nominations reflect the Academy, the Academy reflects the industry; reflects Hollywood. The industry reflects America. It reflects a series of challenges we’re having in our country at the moment. There’s a regressive slide towards racial and religious disharmony. That’s not the Hollywood I want to leave behind. That’s not the industry, that’s not the America I want to leave behind," Will Smith said on Good Morning America at the time.
In contrast to Obama’s letter, President-elect Donald Trump fired back on his Twitter account this week after Meryl Streep expressed her distaste of Trump's action when he mocked the disability of New York Times reporter, Serge F. Kovaleski, who has arthrogryposis, or brittle joints, at a campaign rally last year.
“It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life," the actress said during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award Sunday night. “And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing."
On Monday morning, Trump denied the whole incident on his Twitter account. He tweeted, “Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. 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. Just more very dishonest media!" Trump tweeted in a series of posts.
Streep is not the only celebrity who isn’t too fond of Trump. A-list celebrities such as Celine Dion, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Dixie Chicks and many others have refused to attend and perform at Trump's inauguration that is set to take place next week on Jan. 20.
As Trump prepares for his inauguration, Obama will be giving his farewell speech on Tuesday night in his hometown of Chicago at 9 p.m. EST.