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Quick hit: What the fuck, Meryl Streep (Updated)

Update 2/21/16: It would appear that Streep’s comments were, in fact, taken significantly out of context, and I must apologize for asking her what the fuck.

Meryl Streep, what the fuck.

BERLIN (AP) — The Berlin International Film Festival became embroiled in the debate about diversity in the movie industry Thursday, with jury president Meryl Streep dismissing questions about the all-white panel by telling reporters that “we’re all Africans really.”

Streep, who heads a festival film jury for the first time, said she was committed to equality and inclusion “of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions.” The seven-member jury also includes German actor Lars Eidinger, British film critic Nick James, French photographer Brigitte Lacombe, British actor Clive Owen, Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher and Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska.

“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. “So I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game.”

The question of diversity was raised three times during the jury’s opening news conference. It follows the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ announcement last month that it was changing its membership rules following uproar over the all-white nominee list for this year’s acting Oscars.


Asked by an Egyptian reporter whether she understood films from the Arab world and North Africa, Streep said that while she didn’t know much about the region, “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,” she said. “You know, we’re all,” she added, pausing, “Berliners, we’re all Africans really.” [Emphasis mine]

The fuck.

6 thoughts on Quick hit: What the fuck, Meryl Streep (Updated)

  1. These sorts of comments remind me of a kind of person who doesn’t understand what race studies could possible mean, because one day they sat down and thought about racism and figured it out in like half an hour. The same people also tend to be “color-blind”.

    1. saying “we’re all africans” completely ignores the constructedness of race. it’s true that humans as we know them came from what we now know as africa. but that doesn’t change the fact that in more recent human history, racialized social orders have emerged from the construction of race – which has nothing to do with biological ancestry and is instead a violently and systematically enforced class of oppression.

      meryl streep is expressing the harmful ideology of “i don’t see race!” through the disingenuous assertion that everyone is african. since she cited the fact of common african ancestry as a reason to dismiss the accusation of racial bias, her remark is specifically anti-black – she not only fails to acknowledge the reality of actual black people facing bias in the film world, but she also implicitly equates her life experiences to those of black people by denying racial difference.

      and on top of all of that, she cited the inclusion of (white) women in the panel as a relevant counterargument. that response makes it clear that she only cares about gaining social capital by claiming to have an interest in representation that she purports to be relevant to the issue of racial bias…somehow. it’s all “colorblind” white feminist bullshit.

  2. The story is a POS that slanders Streep. She was not talking about the all-white panel and the quote is intentionally truncated and misrepresented to make her look like an insensitive idiot.

    “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.’”

    – See more at:

    Meryl Streep ‘We’re All Africans’ Quote Gets Correction – See more at:

    So. You think this was an unintentional error? Or you think it was a smear?

    PS- Go ahead and disappear me, I don’t care, but please do correct the lie that you’ve unintentionally repeated.

    [Mod note: As a general policy, we usually just go ahead and delete any comments that talk about how We won't have the guts to publish this! or Go ahead and delete me or Freeze peach! because the truth is, we're just not gutsy and we hate free speech. But by tagging yours onto the end of an actual, substantive comment, you've found your way around it. Good on you!]

    1. I’m waiting for max to come back and acknowledge he wasn’t deleted or banned, and even notice the article contains the update.

      They never show back up when it turns out they’re not victims after all.

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