So what’s an easy way out of answering a question about a film festival jury’s lack of diversity when you’re president of said jury? Don’t admit the faux pas, never that. Just claim that everyone is African. And that’s exactly what Meryl Streep did during a panel discussion Thursday at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Streep, who is president of the Berlinale jury, the group responsible for judging the films, was questioned about the jury’s lack of diversity, since it only included white people, and how it relates to Hollywood’s general shortcomings when it comes to inclusion.
“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,” Streep said, according to the Associated Press. “So I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game.”
But when an Egyptian reporter questioned her knowledge of Arab and North African films, Streep went off the deep end.
“I’ve played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures,” Streep stated.
“There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all, we’re all from Africa originally,” she added. “Berliners, we’re all Africans, really.”
Of course, once the news hit social media, everyone did a double take just to make sure that they had heard or read correctly.