Now that the Berlin Film Festival has wrapped up, jury president Meryl Streep has the chance to address the uproar over her comments on diversity from the start of the fest.
At a press conference kicking off the annual European movie confab, Streep uttered the phrase, "We're all Africans, really" while discussing diversity and representation, a comment that caused instant headlines and criticism, especially in light of the current #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
But Streep, in a Huffington Post editorial, insisted her words were being misconstrued. "I did not 'defend' the 'all-white jury,' nor would I, if I had been asked to do so," Streep wrote. "I was not minimizing difference, but emphasizing the invisible connection empathy enables, a thing so central to the fact of being human, and what art can do: convey another person's experience."
Streep also made a point of highlighting how disparate and diverse the various winning film were that took home prizes awarded by the jury in question. "These stories of people from China, Somalia, Mali, Sudan and Tunisia -- testaments to the impact, importance and diversity of global cinema -- have been smothered in the U.S. by the volume of attention given to five words of mine at an opening press conference, which is too bad," she wrote.