Meryl Streep has caused uproar with a remark about the lack of diversity in the film industry, saying “we’re all Africans, really” at a press conference to promote her position as the jury president at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.

At an event on Thursday (February 11th), Streep deflected a question about the fact she was heading up an all-white, seven-person jury at the 2016, saying “at least women were included”, arguing that her appointment as jury president indicated an important change.

Meryl StreepMeryl Streep at the opening day of the 2016 Berlin Film Festival, at which she is jury president

“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,” the 66 year old told assembled reporters, according to the Associated Press. “So I think Berlinale is ahead of the game.”

Streep was criticised for being racially insensitive back in October when she spearheaded a promotional stunt ahead of her last movie Suffragette, in which the film’s female cast members were all pictured wearing T-shirts saying ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave’, despite it being a direct quote from a 1913 speech by Emmeline Pankhurst.

More: Meryl Streep’s ‘Suffragette’ T-shirts provoke angry online backlash

Nevertheless, she said she’s committed to the inclusion “of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions” as she sat alongside Clive Owen and German actor Lars Eidinger on the opening day of the festival.

“I’ve played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures,” she continued, when asked about diversity. “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.”

These comments come as the Academy Awards are the focus of renewed outrage at the lack of representation of minorities in the industry, with none of the 20 acting nominations going to a non-white actor.

More: Meryl Streep named as Berlin International Film Festival 2016 jury president