There was a time in my wayward, conservative youth that I was persuaded by the idea that performers should "Shut up and sing!" (to quote the title of Laura Ingraham's book on the subject). Then I started paying attention to history.
Do you ever wonder why fascists usually begin their domination of society by the two-pronged approach of both producing propaganda and silencing all of the independent producers of culture (writers, artists, musicians, teachers, etc.)? They are trying to influence and gain power over society by both creating their own mythology (through propaganda) and stifling anyone able to provide an alternative view (by clamping down on cultural elites).
In a truly free society, we would have nothing to fear from an actress giving an impassioned speech at an awards ceremony. If we agreed with her, we'd nod and applaud. If not, we'd roll our eyes, click the mute button, and wait for the show to move on. But we wouldn't be calling for her to be silenced, and I'd like to think we'd be downright horrified that the man who is about to assume the most powerful office in the world is so thin-skinned that he cannot simply allow a critique against himself to pass unremarked—and untweeted.
The fact that Donald Trump felt compelled to respond to Meryl Streep in the childish, boorish manner that he did should worry you a hell of a lot more than actors speaking their mind at a televised awards ceremony.
(Image: Graphic of man standing next to a statue of an Academy Award, Pixabay.)