The National Board of Review dinner on January 7 reportedly took a nine-minute detour from its regularly scheduled programming when presenter Meryl Streep launched into a lengthy introduction of her pal, "Saving Mr. Banks" star Emma Thompson, which covered everything from Walt Disney's not so spotless track record, to Mozart, Van Gogh and Quentin Tarantino. Oh yeah, and Streep also wore a baseball cap with "Prize Winner" emblazoned on it; she started the speech with "Oh, I'm not the prize winner?"
While Streep didn't cut corners on paying Thompson her due (saying she's "practically a saint" and "a beautiful artist"), the news of the night was Streep's diatribe against Walt Disney. Per Variety, she said that he was a "gender bigot," and that:
She then read from a 1938 letter from the Disney studio, which was in response to an aspiring woman cartoonist:
"[Disney] didn't trust women or cats...[he also] supported an anti-Semitic industry lobbying group.”
“Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as that task is performed entirely by young men.”
Per the NYT, Thompson's acceptance speech was equally as notable, if more directed at P.L. Travers' hairstyle:
“It’s been an extraordinary year for women’s roles. I can’t think what gave me the edge. It must’ve been the perm. Which was a great sacrifice -- it meant, of course, no sex for months on end. And then, even then, only with animal noises accompanying it.”