With the blockbuster McGregor V Maywether fight on the horizon right before the Oscar movie season starts it may draw us back to January when a powerhouse actress made a powerhouse speech. I'm referring to
Meryl Streep’s speaking out against the Trump Administration at the Golden Globes back in January also brought a bashing of mixed martial arts. Her criticism of closing off borders argued that it would close off talent that could come to this country. She named off a diverse list of current superstar actors and actresses from America, Ireland, Canada etc. and how some were born here and how some came here to pursue their dreams that ultimately came true.
“So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick’em all out you will have nothing to watch besides football and mixed martial arts which are not The Arts!” Streeps’ words drew heavy applause and considering her audience, there was no surprise there.
Though, she was right: mixed martial arts are not the arts. They are two totally different subjects. The problem is the fact that she criticized something she obviously doesn’t understand. Both the arts and martial arts (whether it be the sport of mixed martial arts or the traditional forms of martial arts by themselves) share a lot of incredible traits which makes them so entertaining. Both require intense training, sacrifice and dedication. Obviously martial arts is more on a physical level and the arts more on an academic or mental level but it doesn’t take away from the fact that they both require mental and physical skills.
Streep was arguing against Trump's Immigration Bill and the notion of kicking out foreigners and limiting access to outsiders, and mixed martial arts is a sport that thrives in different techniques from all over the world from different walks of life.
The arts are a portrayal of life as told through a character, an artist, or a writer that presents a problem or an uplifting conclusion i.e. a story. The ability to create or portray these characters and tell these stories that have such an impact on our society also thrives on different techniques from all over the world. Watch an Oscar Winning movie from the 80’s and then watch one from the 2000’s after we were more interconnected in the world with the help of the web and you’ll notice a huge difference. The quality of acting is dramatically better because even an American story can benefit from a foreign entity that brings with it their own struggle, passion, technique. Much like even an American martial artist can benefit from a foreign form of defense.
In conclusion Streep would’ve made a stronger argument and maybe even reached a greater audience if she didn’t come off as criticizing something she obviously didn’t understand. Like if she said if you kick them all out, not only will the arts and your movies suffer but also so will your football and mixed martial arts . Because in the end it’s all entertainment and in the end we will all suffer together if we don’t welcome new, fresh and foreign arts into our lives.