Meryl Streep explained her all-white film-festival jury by claiming that “we’re all Africans, really.” She’s right, and so wrong.
Meryl Streep, at the Berlin film festival this week, was asked why—given #OscarsSoWhite, given that it’s 2016, given that come on—she had convened an all-white panel to judge this year’s festival entrants. Invoking the rhetoric of an American president who had visited Berlin in the course of the last century, Streep dismissed objections to her panel’s monochromism. “The thing that I notice is that there is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture,” she said. “And after all, we’re all from Africa originally, you know. We’re all Berliners; we’re all Africans, really.”
This wasn’t terribly surprising. When Streep was asked, last year, in the course of promoting her extremely feminist film Suffragette, whether she is herself a feminist, the actor replied that, no, she isn’t. Instead: “I am a humanist,” she said. “I am for nice, easy balance.”