Berlin Film Festival president Meryl Streep announced "we're all Africans really", when asked about the event's all-white jury.
The Oscar-winning actress is joined by British star Clive Owen and Alba Rohrwacher, Lars Eidinger, Brigitte Lacombe, Malgorzata Szumowska and critic Nick James - who are all Caucasian - and was quizzed about the choice of jury by reporters at a conference on Thursday (11.02.16) to mark its opening.
Meryl commented: "There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we're all from Africa originally. Berliners, we're all Africans really."
The 66-year-old star also responded to the debate over the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations list this for this year's ceremony which takes place on February 28.
Meryl insisted she is committed to equality and the inclusion "of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions", adding: "I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures."
The seven-member Berlin Film Festival jury is tasked with choosing the winners of the Golden Bear and various Silver Bear awards at the festival, which runs from February 11 to 21.
Speaking about the momentous task ahead of them, Clive said: "(It is) odd being on a jury because at some point we have to make decisions and it's a very difficult thing. Films are not hierarchical that way. Every film selected is already to be celebrated.
"We have opportunities to change the lives of some of these filmmakers and we take that very seriously."