A story about Meryl Streep’s response to questions at the Berlin International Film Festival went very viral, because it seemed like she was saying the Oscars don’t have a diversity problem, since white people are essentially African. Turns out, that’s not exactly what happened.
CORRECTION: Meryl Streep’s “We’re all Africans, really” comment was a direct response to a question about Arab and African films, not a response to questions about the Berlinale Film Festival’s all white jury, as the article and headline originally suggested. A recording of the panel shows that Streep’s original comments were misrepresented in subsequent reports.
At the panel, a reporter from Egypt spoke about how the festival had a film “representing Tunisia, the Arab world and Africa in the main competition” and followed that up with a question for Streep: “How do you see this part of the world? And is it easy for you to understand that culture? And are you following any of the Arab movies?”
This was Streep’s response.
“Yes, in fact I’ve just seen a film called Theeb, which I loved. I saw Timbuktu recently … I don’t know very much about, honestly, about the Middle East, and yet I’ve played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures. The thing that I notice is that we’re all, there is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture. And, after all, we’re all from Africa originally. We’re all Berliners, we’re all Africans, really.”
That contextualizes her comments somewhat, I guess? They were as baffling as they were outrageous, and now they’re just kinda classic out-of-touch-actor eye roll inducing. Upgrade!
Image via Getty.
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