Meryl Streep is under fire for saying "we're all Africans" to defend the all-white jury for the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.
For the 66th annual event, Streep is heading the seven-member jury, which doesn't include any racial minorities. The Oscar winner insisted she was nevertheless committed to treating "genders, races, ethnicities, religions" equally. In fact, she argued that the panel, which includes actor Clive Owen, was already diverse since women were represented.
"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," she told reporters at a press conference.
But when asked by an Egyptian reporter whether she would be able to understand films from regions like the Middle East and Africa, Streep responded,"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."
Streep is now getting ripped on social media for equating herself with Africans, who live a very different existence than that of wealthy film star. This isn't the first time actress has caused a racial dust-up, either. As Gossip Cop reported, she was slammed last fall for wearing a shirt that said "I'd Rather Be A Rebel Than A Slave" in a photo shoot for Time Out London.
While Streep didn't comment, the magazine defended the outfit, saying it was part of a larger quote from Emmeline Pankhurst, the real-life suffragette she played in the Suffragette movie. Amid this new controversy, Streep will now be overseeing the Berlin Film Festival through February 21.