Meryl Streep: 'We're All Africans, Really'

Actress defends film festival jury's all-white panel
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2016 10:22 AM CST
Jury President Meryl Streep attends a press conference at the 2016 Berlinale Film Festival in Berlin on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt)

(Newser) – Hot on the heels of her "slave" T-shirt controversy, Meryl Streep is under fire again. She's the jury president at the Berlin International Film Festival, which runs Feb. 11-21, and the seven-member jury is all white. Questioned about its makeup, Streep had an interesting response, the AP reports:

  • Streep first pointed out that "at least women are included and in fact dominate this jury, and that's an unusual situation in bodies of people who make decisions. So I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game."

  • An Egyptian reporter then asked if Streep could truly understand films from North Africa and Arab regions, and she admitted she doesn't know much about those regions but that "I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures."
  • And then came the kicker from Streep: "There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we're all from Africa originally. Berliners, we're all Africans really."
Though it's definitely being reported as a serious statement, some hoped otherwise ("I'm thinking maybe Meryl Streep might have been going for sarcasm with this," reads one tweet) and others support her: "those who don't get Meryl Streep's comment on diversity ... are braindead," says another tweet. "She's saying we're spun from same cloth." (Read more Meryl Streep stories.)

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