"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," she continued.
"Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose...This brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them on the carpet for every outrage. That's why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in our constitution.
“So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood foreign press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists. Because we're going to need them going forward. And they'll need us to safeguard the truth.
“One more thing: Once, when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something—we were going to work through supper, or the long hours, or whatever—Tommy Lee Jones said to me, 'Isn't it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?' Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight. As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, "Take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you."
However in true Donald Trump style, the US President elect took to Twitter to unleash a viscous tirade against the actress, calling her "overrated".
Considering the 67-year-old actress was on stage to receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her 'outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment' we're pretty sure that argument isn't going to fly.
Also her three Oscars, 16 Oscar nominations, nine Golden Globes and 23 Golden Glob nominations would also suggest otherwise.
Trump has also previously claimed he was not aware that the reporter, Serge Kovaleski of the New York Times, was disabled when he signalled him out for ridicule during a rally in South Carolina — "You've got to see this guy," he said, before jerking his arms around mocking him.
"I was never mocking anyone," Trump told the NY Times on Monday.
"I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story. People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter's disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing."