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.
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