Dana White fires back at Meryl Streep for MMA dig
MANILA, Philippines – As netizens continue to laud actress Meryl Streep for her powerful Golden Globes speech against US President-elect Donald Trump, there are others who found her comment about football and mixed martial arts (MMA) offensive. (WATCH: Screen legend Streep takes on Trump at Golden Globes)
UFC president Dana White gave a voice to the MMA community by firing back at Streep, who spoke on Sunday, January 8 (Monday in Manila) after accepting her Cecil B DeMille Award, a lifetime achievement award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
White, speaking to TMZ Sports in a video posted Monday, called the 67-year-old Streep "an uppity 80-year-old lady."
"It's not gonna be everybody's thing, and the last thing in the world I expect is an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts," White said.
"I don't expect an 80-year-old woman to be a big fan of mixed martial arts. And listen, you know, everybody's into whatever (they're into). I'm not a big fan of golf. Doesn't mean people should stop watching it. If you don't like it, change the channel."
Amid the passionate message of a speech where she emphasized empathy, Streep had a side comment about football and MMA when she brought up the advantages of diversity in Hollywood – a swipe at Trump's immigrant rhetoric throughout the elections.
"Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if we keep them all out, you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts – which are not the arts," she said to applause from the room.
White, however, had a different opinion about what constitutes art.
"Of course it's an art," he said of the sport he promotes year-round. "These fighters, the men and women are so talented, they train their whole lives to become the best in the world. And the people who get into the UFC are the elite of the elite."
"Saying something stupid like that is like saying she's (Streep) not a talented actress, which she is. She's a very talented actress," White added.
He also stressed that MMA, too, is a sport that boasts diversity, especially among its roster of fighters.
"We have fighters from all over the world, world champions, men and women, we do fights in tons of foreign countries," said White, whose UFC has led the way in giving MMA global recognition. The promotion staged its first event in the Philippines in 2015.
"She's not educated about the sport and that was a completely uneducated comment."
White followed up his comments with a tweet inviting Streep to watch UFC Fight Night on Sunday, January 15, which will be headlined by Yair Rodriguez and BJ Penn.
White supported Trump during the campaign and gave a speech at a Republican National Convention in July of 2016, while Streep endorsed Hillary Clinton with her own speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Another MMA president also reacted to Streep's comment with Scott Coker, president of American promotion Bellator MMA, taking to Twitter to invite Streep to watch Bellator 170 on January 21.
Meanwhile, Trump lashed out at Streep via a Twitter tirade in which he called her a "Hillary (Clinton) flunky." – Rappler.com