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During the National Board of Review dinner, actress Meryl Streep railed against Walt Disney before turning back to the reason she was standing up and talking at all, to honor Saving Mr. Banks actress Emma Thompson for best actress.
According to Variety, before reciting a poem called "An Ode to Emmy, Or What Emma is Owed" and showering Thompson with praise, such as calling her "practically a saint" and "a beautiful artist," she made sure to call out Walt Disney.
According to The Telegraph the August: Osage County actress called Disney possibly racist as she said he "formed and supported an anti-Semitic industry lobby," and then called him a "gender bigot." Streep backed up her latter name by reading aloud from a rejection letter Disney sent to a young woman who wanted to be in his cartoon training program. "Women do not do any of the creative work," the letter said.
Then after celebrating Thompson for her portrayal of P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks, Streep added that her friend likely is okay with her reading the letter since "she's also a rabid, man eating feminist, like I am."
Variety notes that though Streep is likely all anyone will remember, there were others honored during the dinner. Bruce Dern (Nebraska) won for best actor, Will Forte for best supporting actor for the same film, Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station) for best supporting actress, Ryan Coogler for directorial debut of the same film and Michael B. Jordan for his breakthrough performance in the film.
Spike Jonze won best director for Her, which also got best picture.