Fact Check

Meryl Streep Fired from Major Project for Lying About Trump?

A fake news article posted on several unreliable web sites claimed actress Meryl Streep was fired from a major television project for lying about Donald Trump.

Published Jan. 9, 2017

Meryl Streep was fired by director Ron Howard from a from a "Happy Days" reboot project for lying about Donald Trump mocking a disabled reporter.

On 9 January 2017, several web sites with a history of posting questionable information published articles holding that actress Meryl Streep was "fired from a major project" for "lying" about President-elect Donald Trump during her acceptance speech at a Golden Globes award ceremony televised on 8 January:

After saying 6 minutes of mean things about Donald Trump without ever once using his name, humiliating him in front of a crowd of Hollywood elites and millions watching around the world, Meryl Streep got word From Ron Howard that she was no longer being cast as an older, wiser version of Mrs. C in a reboot of Happy Days that was to make her millions.

Streep was to team up with Otis Winslow of “Family Matters” so Happy Days could be written into this century, with multi-racial families, gender identity and the gays playing a role in the plotlines. Ron Howard was to take on the role of Richie Cunningham once again, and other original actors include the guys who play Potsie and Malph, a cameo by Henry Winkler while Jon Voight plays Fonzie and an attractive guy who isn’t worth less than the chick from Charles In Charge plays Chachi, who now loves a guy named Jeff. Scot Baio had to be ejected from auditions when he found out he didn’t get the part.

Streep, who spoke after receiving the Golden Globes' 2017 Cecil B. DeMille award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment," took advantage of her stage time to criticize President-elect Trump for ridiculing the appearance of a disabled reporter during a campaign speech in 2016:

But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good; there was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh, and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kinda gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.

As he did after being criticized for his behavior at the time, Trump responded to Streep's accusations by denying that any mockery had occurred:

The fake news stories that appeared after Streep's Golden Globes speech doubled down on the claim that Trump's accusers (including Streep) lied about his having mocked the reporter, and further alleged that Streep was punished for "lying" by being fired by actor-director Ron Howard, who had supposedly hired her to play a part in a planned "reboot" of the '70s and '80s television sitcom Happy Days. However, despite endlessly recurring rumors of a Happy Days revival, it has not been confirmed that there will be one in 2017, much less that Ron Howard will be in charge of, or even involved in, the project, nor has it been reported in any reliable sources that Meryl Streep was under consideration for a Happy Days role.

In point of fact, far from taking Trump's side, Ron Howard tweeted in defense of Streep after the president-elect blasted her Golden Globes speech:



France, Lisa Respers.   "Donald Trump Attacks Streep for Speech at Golden Globes." CNN.   15 January 2017.

Gonzalez, Sandra.   "Meryl Streep Attacks Trump in Golden Globes Acceptance Speech." CNN.   9 January 2017.

Victor, Daniel and Russonello, Giovanni.   "Meryl Streep's Golden Globes Speech." The New York Times.   8 January 2017.

David Emery is a West Coast-based writer and editor with 25 years of experience fact-checking rumors, hoaxes, and contemporary legends.