At the Berlin International Film Festival, the 66-year-old actress Streep on being asked whether she understood films from the Arab world and North Africa, said that she has played many different people from diverse cultures, adding "We're all Africans really", a website reports.
The Into the Woods actress further said, "There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we're all from Africa originally, You know, we're all Berliners, we're all Africans really."
Twitter users were quick to slam the actress for this remark.
One Twitter user wrote, "I love you Meryl Streep. But we're all not Africans. I'm an Indian and I make sure I don't look away from the fact that there's prejudice."
Another tweeted, "Meryl Streep's comments reveal the profound ways in which white people conflate evolution and history to erase real Africans and the diasporas."
One of users tweeted, "Aww. Leave Meryl Streep alone. She gets a pass because she's only the best actress alive. #WeAreAllAfrican Haha!"
It is being said that in the wake of controversy, symbolised by the social media hashtag #OscarSoWhite, has caused several black celebrities to boycott the Academy Awards on February 28.