UFC president Dana White and Meryl Streep are embroiled in a war of words after the legendary actress refused to acknowledge mixed martial arts (MMA) as "an art" during Monday's Golden Globes awards ceremony.
Streep, a former three-time Oscar winner, took a dig at both American Football and MMA while accepting her ‘Cecil B. DeMille’ Award. "So, Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick them all out you'll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts," Streep said while unleashing a tirade aimed at U.S. president-elect Donald Trump.
Meryl Streep angers MMA world with 'uneducated comment'
Barely minutes after Streep's jab, the MMA world took to social media and called out the actress for making an uninformed opinion. While UFC boss Dana White tore into Streep, Bellator MMA president Scott Coker wrote a letter on Twitter addressed directly to the star of "The Iron Lady".
White, a supporter of Trump, called out Streep for making "an uneducated comment" courtesy a rant to TMZ Sports. "Of course, it's (MMA) an art. These fighters, these men and women are so talented... saying something stupid like that is like saying... she's not a talented actress which she is."
"We have fighters from all over the world...She's not educated about the sport and that was a completely uneducated comment," added White.
The backlash from the MMA world was expected. Several fighters and sports publications called out Streep on Twitter and refused to acknowledge some of her past movies as "art".
"I'm a lifelong fan of your work but also a lifelong martial artist who happens to promote mixed martial arts around the world," Bellator boss Coker wrote to Streep in a letter via Twitter.
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) January 9, 2017
While inviting the legendary actress to an upcoming Bellator event on Jan. 21, Coker reiterated that MMA was an art form. "The global sport of mixed martial arts celebrates male and female athletes from all around the work who work years tirelessly honing their craft and -- yes -- art. They come from every country and every walk of life."
Meanwhile, several news publications contacted the National Football League (NFL) for a comment but the American football body refused to react to Streep's jab.
In recent years, UFC has eclipsed Boxing as the biggest box office attraction in combat sports. Many credit president Dana White for its unprecedented success.
Really weird to see someone talk about not discriminating then basically discriminate against an entire group of skilled, hard working ppl.
— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) January 9, 2017
— #WSOF35 (@MMAWorldSeries) January 9, 2017