"There's a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all, we're all from Africa originally," Meryl Streep said

By Jodi Guglielmi
February 11, 2016 01:25 PM
John MacDougall/AFP/Getty

Meryl Streep made clear her stance on diversity within the film industry.

As the newly named jury president at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival, the esteemed actress found herself addressing the issue Thursday while speaking with reporters in Germany about the 2016 jury panel, which consists of all-white members.

According to the Associated Press, when Streep was asked whether she understood films originating from the Arab community and North Africa, she admitted she wasn’t too familiar with the region, but that she’s “played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures.”

“There’s a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we’re all from Africa originally,” she continued. “Berliners, we’re all Africans, really.”

In response to a question regarding women’s rights and Berlinale’s history of representing female perspectives, Streep, 66, stressed that she was committed to the inclusion “of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions.

The seven-member jury is in charge of choosing the winners of the Golden Bear and a few Silver Bear awards at the first of the year’s major European film festivals.

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Speaking about the panel, Streep also singled out the inclusion of women. Of the seven members, four are women.

“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,” she said.

“The globe should be represented half and half. I do think inclusion is the name of the game,” Streep also said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The festival opens Thursday with Hail, Caesar! and runs until Feb. 21. There are 18 movies in contention for the Golden Bear prize.