Meryl Streep tells reporters 'we’re all African really' at Berlin International Film Festival

The Oscar-winning actress is heading an all-white judging panel 

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The Independent Online

Meryl Streep has provoked controversy by reportedly telling journalists “we’re all Africans really” in response to a question at a film festival. 

The Suffragette actress was speaking at the Berlin International Film Festival, where she expressed her commitment to equality and diversity. 

Streep is heading an all-white, seven-member jury responsible for choosing the winners of the Golden Bear and various Silver Bear film awards at a time when diversity in the film industry is a major talking point after only white actors were nominated for acting Oscars. 

When asked about diversity within the judging panel, she reportedly responded: “This jury is evidence 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.”

When a second reporter asked her whether she understood films from the Arab world and North Africa, Streep was quoted as saying by the Associated Press: ”I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures.

“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.”

Variety reported her response as:  “We are all Africans, we are all Berliners,” in reference to John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” quote.

The Independent has contacted Streep for comment.