Meryl Streep faces backlash over 'We're all Africans' comment

Story highlights

  • Meryl Streep tells reporter, "We're all from Africa, originally. We're all Africans, really"
  • The acclaimed actress is on an all-white jury at the Berlin International Film Festival

(CNN)Award-winning actress Meryl Streep is facing some backlash over a remark she made on diversity in the film industry.

At the Berlin International Film Festival on Thursday, Streep responded to a reporter's question by saying that Hollywood should be more inclusive in supporting female and minority actors and filmmakers.
"I do think inclusion is the name of the game," Streep said. "The thing I've noticed from my (different) roles is 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."
But some observers, noting that Streep was at the film festival to serve as president of its all-white jury, took offense at her "We're all Africans" remark.
One Twitter user said he thinks her comments tried "to erase real Africans."
Others brought up her contentious choice to wear a T-shirt reading "I'd rather be a rebel than a slave" in a recent promotional appearance for her 2015 film "Suffragette."
But still others on social media said that critics should lighten up on Streep.
Criticism over lack of ethnic diversity in Hollywood reached a new peak this year when no people of color were among the 20 nominees in acting categories at the Academy Awards for the second consecutive year. The controversy, symbolized by the social media hashtag #OscarSoWhite, has caused several black celebrities to say they will boycott the Academy Awards on February 28.
Streep is no stranger to holding a golden Oscar statuette. She has three Oscars and 19 Academy Award nominations, making her the most nominated actress.