MSNBC contributor Touré defended actress Meryl Streep from President-elect Donald Trump on Monday, saying Hollywood stars are “everyday Americans” who achieved the American dream.
Touré, a former MSNBC host whose show was cancelled, appeared on the network with host Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the ongoing spat between Streep and Trump.
Streep alluded to Trump in an acceptance speech Sunday night at the Golden Globes, criticizing him for being a model of disrespect. Trump responded with a midnight call to the New York Times, and then took to Twitter Monday morning to berate the award-winning actress, calling her a “Hillary flunky who lost big.”
“The beginning of Meryl Streep, however, was even more powerful for me,”Touré said. “Just noting, ‘We in Hollywood are from across the tracks. We are from everywhere. I’m Meryl Streep; I may be elite now, but I was a public school girl in New Jersey.’ Viola Davis, elite in Hollywood, came from a sharecropper’s cabin.”
“These are not people who were, to the manor-born like Donald Trump,” Touré continued. “These are people who come from nowhere: the theater school kids or the theater class kids who wanted to make a career out of it. These are just everyday Americans who did very well. Is that not the American dream?”
“Hold on,” Ruhle interjected. “It might be the American dream, but it’s fair to say there are many people in Hollywood now that are out of touch with that America.”
“Well, sure, yeah, but are they not America, too? Right? They come from everywhere, and they make up a significant and valuable portion of America,” Touré responded. “So to diss them as, ‘Well, you’re just Hollywood,’ no. They are real Americans just as well.”
Ruhle pointed out that dissing the Hollywood elite helped Trump win the election.
Kevin Fallon, senior entertainment reporter for the Daily Beast, who was also in the segment alongside MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, said Hollywood stars talking about politics has been happening since the 1960s and 1970s and “will never stop.” Fallon added that Trump getting upset over Streep’s comments was “dated.”
Kornacki noted that the event reflected the divide in America, as Hollywood stars who Streep addressed were already anti-Trump and Trump would not sway anyone on Twitter by “looking very petty and vindictive.”
“All I can think about is that red and blue map. The red counties, blue counties, that deep cultural divide. Every episode like this drives that deeper and deeper on both sides,” he said.
“Which Donald Trump should we listen to?” Ruhle asked. “The awards are over; who does Donald Trump get on the phone with at midnight? The New York Times, who he slams every chance he can get. Then he wakes up and leads the day with ‘the dishonest media.'”
“Let’s not put these people on an equal platform,”Touré said. “Meryl Streep in this situation is an American, not speaking to the room but speaking to television cameras, and saying, ‘Here’s how I feel about things.'”
“That’s typical of the Golden Globes as opposed to, say, the Oscars,” he added. “Trump is, of course, the president-elect. He should not be attacking specific Americans and dissing them as if this is some playground … She has a right to speak and he should listen.”
“She might have the right to speak but no one changed their vote last night,” Ruhle said. “All they did was make people feel more impassioned about the side they were on and made a whole lot of people entertained.”