Meryl Streep Comments on Lack of Diversity in Film, Says 'We're All Africans, Really'
By John Boone
Meryl Streep can do no wrong, but this probably wasn’t the best thing to say...
The three-time Academy Award winner is heading the Berlinale International Film Festival's (all-white) jury and, during a press conference, was asked by an Egyptian reporter whether she understood films from the Arab nation and North Africa, AP reports.
"I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures," the 66-year-old actress explained. "There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all, we're all from Africa originally. You know, we're all Berliners, we're all Africans really."
The soundbite -- made in the wake of Charlotte Rampling's "misinterpreted" comments that boycotting the Oscars would be racist against white people and Michael Caine's assurance that black actors simply "be patient" -- immediately proved controversial.
However, Variety states that Streep was attempting to reference John F. Kennedy's iconic 1963 "Ich bin ein Berliner!" ("I am a Berliner") speech.
"A compassionate heart is important as an actress. It makes me want to watch carefully each person's work," she continued, stating that she was committed to equality and inclusion "of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions."
Streep concluded, "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."
Meanwhile, Halle Berry recently called the Oscars’ lack of diversity since her 2002 win "heartbreaking." Find out what else she had to say in the video below.