According to the Associated Press, Streep dismissed questions about the lack of diversity on an all-white panel today by saying, "We're all Africans, really."
Streep, 66, is serving as the president of the international jury this year, and all seven members of the jury are white.
When asked about the lack of diversity on the panel, Streep said that she was committed to equality and inclusion "of all genders, races, ethnicities, religions," then pointed to the number of females on the panel.
"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," Streep said. "So I think the Berlinale is ahead of the game."
Streep's remarks on diversity continued after an Egyptian reporter whether she understood films from the Arab world and North Africa. Streep responded by saying that while she didn't know much about the region, "I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures."
"There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we're all from Africa originally," Streep said. "You know, we're all ... Berliners, we're all Africans really."
The remark sparked outrage on social media, with "Meryl Streep" becoming a worldwide trending topic on Twitter following reports of her comments. Others defended the actress, saying that her comments were being misconstrued and taken out of context.
Reps for Meryl Streep have not responded to ABC News' request for comment.