Meryl Streep Slammed For “I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave” Shirt (PHOTO)
Meryl Streep is getting slammed on social media for wearing a “I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave” shirt, but it seems some may be taking the photo out of context. See the photo below.
A picture of Streep wearing a white t-shirt with those words on it began circulating on Twitter on Monday. Many are now accusing the Oscar winner of being racist or, at least, racially insensitive. But the photo is actually part of set for Time Out London that also features Suffragette co-star Carey Mulligan and other cast members wearing the top.
What’s more, the “I’d Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave” line is actually a quote from real-life suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who Streep plays in the upcoming movie. Pankhurst made the statement in a speech she gave more than 100 years ago as she encouraged women to join her in the fight for the right to vote. Time Out London says, “That idea of finding your voice, keeping your nerve and fighting the impulse to be a ‘good girl’ is a powerful one in the film. It’s perfect, then, for our photoshoot with [the cast], women who tell us why the fight for equality still isn’t over and why the suffragettes were ‘bad-ass’ feminists.”
And though the photos were first published online a week ago, Streep’s shot inspired a backlash on Twitter on Monday. “Meryl Streep has to know better. And if not, her publicist should have,” wrote activist Deray McKesson. Another person wrote, “Meryl streep is having a matt damon moment,” referring to the actor’s recent controversial comments about diversity in Hollywood. A different individual commented, “I respect Meryl Streep, but she is a privileged White woman wearing a t-shirt with the word ‘slave.’ Stop with the shenanigans y’all.”
“Fact that people denounce Viola Davis’ historical speech yet praise Meryl Streep should tell you something about White supremacy in feminism,” argued one Twitter user. Someone else simply stated, “I thought meryl streep was better than this.” Another individual concluded, “Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep basically said she’d rather be a Confederate than one of the slaves the Confederates fought to oppress.”
Some, however, are coming to Streep’s defense and pointing out the context of the shirt and photo. “Seriously, it takes as much time to look up why Meryl Streep is wearing that shirt as it does to be outraged over it,” remarked one person. Another observed, “The ‘outrage’ over the Meryl Streep shirt shows both ignorance of history & the desperate need some people have to monopolize victim status.”
A different supporter wrote, “Chill, Tweeps. The Meryl Streep shirt is a quote that the main character in the movie actually said 100 YEARS AGO!” Someone else similarly posted, “Do some research before turning on Meryl Streep people.” Another even sarcastically said, “yes, please, focus on meryl streep in a tshirt while we restrict access to women’s health care”
Writer Devin Faraci also sent out a number of tweets, such as, “To be honest reading that quote as pro-slavery has to come from either a place of deep confusion or bad faith. I just literally cannot imagine looking at that quote and going ‘I think Meryl Streep is perhaps pro-Confederacy!'” He went on to comment, “Super important to know that the Meryl Streep pic WAS in context, and included other stars of SUFFRAGETTE.”
Suffragette will open in theaters on October 23. Check out the controversial photo below, and tell us what you think.
Meryl Streep. pic.twitter.com/FsuP9N4ykE
— deray mckesson (@deray) October 5, 2015