Meryl Streep’s comments on diversity have raised ire at the Berlin International Film Festival. The actress and jury president’s remarks immediately sparked outrage on social media.
The Berlinale International Film Festival became embroiled in a debate on diversity in the film industry following comments made by first-time jury president Meryl Streep on Thursday.
During the jury’s opening press conference, questions about diversity were posed to the all-white panel numerous times. When asked by an Egyptian reporter whether she understood films from North Africa and the Middle East, Streep conceded that she is not very familiar with those regions. But, she added, “I’ve played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures.”
“The thing that I notice is that there is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture and, after all, we’re all from Africa originally,” Streep said during the press conference. “You know we’re all,” she added, pausing, “Berliners, we’re all Africans, really,” she said.
Social media storm
Streep’s comments immediately sparked criticism online with many Twitter users calling her comments racially tone deaf.