Meryl Streep has sparked some controversy over remarks she recently made at the Berlin International Film Festival, where she’s serving as the head of the festival’s jury.
When prompted to comment on the diversity of the jury (or lack thereof), Streep explained it by making a claim that everyone is African, really.
“There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we’re all from Africa originally,” she said. “Berliners, we’re all Africans really.”
The Berlin International Film Festival’s panel is all white.
Twitter, as you would imagine, has things to say about Streep’s justification.
Meryl Streep said "We're all Africans," in response to being on an all-white film jury. European colonizers & enslavers would have disagreed
— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) February 11, 2016
Since according to Meryl Streep we're all Africans I can't wait to see Wesley Snipes play George Washington!
— Bougie Black Girl (@BougieBlackGurl) February 11, 2016
"We're all Africans, really" is like something Meryl Streep would say on the CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM version of the Oscars.
— Miriam Bale (@mimbale) February 11, 2016
I want to be shocked by what Meryl Streep said, but she's an older white woman. Shame she can't be Barack Obama in his life story anymore.
— Kanye Pest (@CorporateBarbie) February 11, 2016
Today I think Meryl Streep has never been luckier that she's not on Twitter.
— Travon Free (@Travon) February 11, 2016
Streep also commented on the gender diversity on the panel.
“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 decision. So I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game,” she said.
Diversity (or lack thereof) has been a big topic this awards season. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has taken much criticism for the lack of diversity surrounding this year’s Oscars. All the actors and actresses nominated in both leading and supporting categories are white.
This has prompted an internet protest in the form of the #OscarsSoWhite meme, as well as boycotts from numerous actors and directors. Some, like Jada Pinkett Smith and director Spike Lee have said they will not attend the Oscars this year. Others, like Kate Winslet, will not participate in the boycott. Some were conflicted.