Robert De Niro has joined the growing list of celebrities showing support for Meryl Streep. While the legendary actress accepted the Cecil B. Demille Award at Sunday's Golden Globes, she encouraged Hollywood to promote empathy during a reign of "powerful bullies" like president-elect Donald Trump.
Here is De Niro's response letter in full, first published by People on Wednesday:
What you said was great. It needed to be said, and you said it beautifully. I have so much respect for you that you did it while the world was celebrating your achievements. I share your sentiments about punks and bullies. Enough is enough.
"You, with your elegance and intelligence, have a powerful voice – one that inspires others to speak up as they should so their voices will be heard too. It is so important that we ALL speak up.
"We love you. - Bob"
De Niro, 73, was also honored with the Cecil B. Demille Award in 2011.
After condemning Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter, 67-year-old Streep called upon the Hollywood Foreign Press and other influencers to protect journalists such as that reporter:
"We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call him on the carpet for every outrage," she told the audience. "That’s why our founders enshrined the press and its freedoms in the Constitution. So I only ask the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the Committee to Protect Journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.
"One more thing," she added. "Once, when I was standing around on the set one day, whining about something — you know we were gonna work through supper or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, 'Isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor?' Yeah, it is, and we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.
"As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art," she finished.
In October, De Niro said he'd like to "punch [Trump] in the face" in a video project by Anonymous Content. The comment led to the removal of his speech from the bi-partisan video project for which it was intended, "#VoteYourFuture." Instead, the segment was released to major news networks.
In the video, De Niro was asked, "What do you care about?" The 73-year-old opened up about his sincere concern regarding to the 2016 presidential election, and the direction in which the U.S. was headed. Referring to Trump as a "punk," he labeled him "blatantly stupid," and a "bulls–t artist."
De Niro and Streep have a long history, having acted together in multiple films including 1974's The Deer Hunter, '80s flick Falling in Love, '96's Marvin's Room, and 2004's First Man. In this case, however, friendly support is only a small part of De Niro's motivation to speak up.