Meryl Streep defends her "we're all Africans" blunder: "I was not minimizing difference"

In a new HuffPo essay, Streep addresses criticism stemming from her Berlin Film Festival controversy

Published February 25, 2016 5:40PM (EST)

 ((AP Photo/Craig Ruttle))
((AP Photo/Craig Ruttle))

Meryl Streep -- who faced criticism earlier this month for her "we're all Africans, really" comment during a press conference as president of the Berlin Film Festival -- penned an essay for The Huffington Post in an apparent effort to clear up any misconceptions as a result of "distorted reporting."

Streep leads with a description of a number of diverse winners from the Festival, which took place this past weekend, including "stories of people from China, Somalia, Mali, Sudan, and Tunisia."

She calls the films, "testaments to the impact, importance and diversity of global cinema [that] have been smothered in the U.S. by the volume of attention given to five words of mine at an opening press conference."

Streep then offers a brief explainer:

"Contrary to distorted reporting, no one at that press conference addressed a question to me about the racial makeup of the jury. I did not "defend" the "all-white jury," nor would I, if I had been asked to do so. Inclusion -- of races, genders, ethnicities and religions -- is important to me, as I stated at the outset of the press conference."

She adds:

"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. To be in Berlin is to see proof that walls don't work."

Read the whole thing at the Huffington Post.

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By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Aol_on Berlin Film Festival Huffington Post Meryl Streep