As the jury president of this year's Berlin International Film Festival, it was up to Meryl Streep to answer the press' questions about diversity and the festival's all-white jury panel. However, Streep dismissed the criticism on Thursday by telling reporters, "We're all Africans, really."
The other members of the jury are German actor Lars Eidinger, British film critic Nick James, French photographer Brigitte Lacombe, British actor Clive Owen, Italian actress Alba Rohrwacher, and Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska, The Associated Press reports. Together, Streep and the jury will award Europe's first major film prize of the year, the Golden Bear, as well as several Silver Bear awards.
"There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we're all from Africa originally," Streep said. "Berliners, we're all Africans really."
Streep also defended herself against an Egyptian reporter who questioned if she understood films from North Africa or the Arab world by saying, "I've played a lot of different people from a lot of different cultures."
Additionally, Streep insisted she was committed to the inclusion of "all genders, races, ethnicities, religions."
"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 its game." Jeva Lange
First Lady Michelle Obama made it clear at the Democratic National Convention on Monday that fear mongering doesn't work on her, and it shouldn't work on anyone else.
"Don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on earth," she said to thunderous applause. "We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. Hear me: Between now and November we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago. We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States. Let's get to work."
For Obama, the election is about securing a prosperous future for the nation's children. "Hillary understands it's about leaving something better for our kids, that's how we've always moved this country forward, by all of us coming forward on behalf of our children," Obama said. Clinton has a "lifelong devotion" to helping children who need champions, she continued, and has spent decades "doing the relentless work to actually make a difference in their lives." Clinton "never buckles under pressure, never takes the easy way out," and "is someone who understands the issues the president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters."
"When you have the nuclear codes at your fingerprints and the military in your command you can't make snap decisions, you can't have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out," Obama added. "You have to be steady and measured and well-informed."
The first lady also reflected on what life has been like in the White House for the Obama family, and how she and the president have urged their daughter to "ignore those who question their father's citizenship or faith" and "insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country." Obama became emotional when discussing her children, and shared that "because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) gave an impassioned speech at Monday's Democratic National Convention, speaking loudly and eloquently on patriotism, American history, and why he believes Donald Trump is a terrible choice for president. The speech began by noting that America's founders signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, saying they also made a "Declaration of Interdependence," Booker said. The Democrats are in Philadelphia this week to "reaffirm our values," he said, to make America "more inclusive, more expansive, and more just."
America put a man on the moon, sequenced the genome, and did other wonders not as individuals, Booker said. "We did that together. And so this is the highest call of patriotism. Patriotism is love of country, but you can't love your country without loving your countrymen and countrywomen," even if you don't always agree with them. "We are not called to be a national of tolerance, we are called to be a nation of love," he said, defining tolerance as "I'll stomach your right to be different."
Booker then turned to Trump, saying he paints with "a broad, divisive brush," and noting Trump's pledge to run America like he runs his business, Booker laughed. "I'm from Jersey," he said, and "we've seen how he leads in Atlantic City," running casinos into the ground and stiffing contractors. "America, at our best, we stand up to bullies," he said, and when we work together instead of just taking for themselves. "I support Hillary Clinton because these are our values, and she has been paying it forward all her life," he said.
There were occasional disruptive chants from the audience, including "Black Lives Matter," appearing to throw Booker off his stride. But he ended what sounded kind of like a national campaign speech with a call to vote for Hillary Clinton, because with Clinton as president, he said, "America, we will rise." You can watch Booker's big finale below. Peter Weber
Throughout the Democratic primary, Sarah Silverman was one of Bernie Sanders' most vocal celebrity supporters, and while she remains "inspired" by the senator, she has a message for the Bernie or Bust camp: "You're being ridiculous."
— CNN (@CNN) July 26, 2016
The actress and comedian made her announcement Monday during the Democratic National Convention, after sharing that she will vote "with gusto" for Hillary Clinton in November. "Hillary heard the passion of the people, the people behind Bernie, and brought those passions into the party's platform," Silverman said. "That is the process of democracy at it's very best, and it's very cool to see." When Sanders entered the race, he "showed us that all of America's citizens deserve quality health care and education, not just the wealthy elite," Silverman said. "I happen to believe the crazy notion that people who maybe weren't born with the same opportunities as you and me should be given the same opportunities as you and me, and all it takes to accomplish this is everyone. It's all of us, or as a pretty kick-ass woman once said, it takes a village."
Silverman on GOP primary: "That stuff is for third graders," like calling names from a "gold-encrusted sandbox" https://t.co/J3wd3RqBI8
— CNN (@CNN) July 26, 2016
Silverman called the Democratic primary "exemplary," since it didn't devolve into name calling or comments on the size of a candidate's hands. "That stuff is for third graders," she said. "That's major arrested development stuff. That's 'I'm still emotionally four and calling people names from my gold-encrusted sand box because I was given money instead of human touch or coping tools' stuff." She's behind Clinton now, calling her the "only person overqualified for a job as the president," but remains "inspired and moved to action by the ideals set forth by Bernie, who will never stop fighting for us. I'm proud to be part of Bernie's movement, and a vital part of that movement is being absolutely sure Hillary is the next president of the United States of America." Catherine Garcia
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) took the stage at Monday's Democratic National Convention to loud applause, then started with some jokes about Donald Trump. "I'm Al Franken," he began, "Minnesotan, senator, and world-renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs." Franken, who was a comedian and author of books making fun of Fox News and conservatives before being giving up comedy when elected to the U.S. Senate, said that his list of subjects includes Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and now Trump. "I got my doctorate in Megalomanic Studies from Trump University."
"I'm Al Franken...world renowned expert on right-wing megalomaniacs" & "I got my doctorate...from Trump University" pic.twitter.com/AjEkHaQid4
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) July 26, 2016
Franken continued in that vein for a while, saying that while, "sure he's scammed a bunch of people," Trump's defunct real estate course business is ranked No. 2, behind Bernie Madoff University, thanks to instructors like Scott Baio, Mike Tyson, "and, of course, a life-size cutout of Mr. Trump himself," who teaches Bankruptcy 101. "Instead of voting for something who's never done anything for anyone else," Franken said, vote for Hillary Clinton, someone who he said has spent her life working for other people.
In his 25 years of knowing Clinton, "I've never met anyone smarter, tougher, or more ready to lead us forward," Franken said. "I am proud to call Hillary Clinton my friend, and I will be proud to call her Madame President." He didn't just call for Democrats to support Clinton, but to work for her, noting that he won his first Senate race by just 312 votes. "This week is about passion, but Friday morning, it's all work, hard work," he added, ending with exhortations to ignore your children and job. "An 8-year-old child can use a microwave oven," he deadpanned. You can watch his entire, very rare political comedy act below. Peter Weber
The youngest speaker at the Democratic National Convention on Monday was Karla Ortiz, an 11-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada, who shared her hopes and fears as the daughter of undocumented parents.
— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) July 26, 2016
Ortiz is an American citizen and immigration activist, and met Hillary Clinton during a campaign stop in Nevada. "Valiente, brave, that's what Hillary Clinton called me when I told her I was worried my parents would be deported," she said. Ortiz went on to explain that when she was younger, her parents were "always crying," but she didn't understand why. "I was born in Las Vegas," she said. "My parents came here looking for a better life, for the American Dream. I don't feel great every day; on most days, I'm scared. I'm scared that at any moment, my mom and dad will be forced to leave, and I wonder what if I come home and find it empty?"
With her mother, Francisca Ortiz, standing next to her, Karla Ortiz said all she wants is for her parents to "see me do science experiments and help me find my rare rocks in the desert. I want to grow up to be a lawyer so I can help other families like us. I have hope, esperanza. Hillary Clinton told me that she would do everything she could to help us. She told me that I didn't have to do the worrying because she will do the worrying for me and all of us. She wants me to have the worries of an 11-year-old, not the weight of the world on my shoulders." Ortiz received a standing ovation. Catherine Garcia
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) had the unenviable job of following singer Demi Lovato on stage at Monday's Democratic National Convention, but he was warmly received by the delegates — both those supporting Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Merkley, the only U.S. senator who endorsed Sanders, began by talking up his blue collar roots, saying that "where I come from, people like Donald Trump are not the solution, they are the problem." Then he offered some words of praise for Sanders. "We owe an enormous debt to Bernie Sanders — speaking of solutions," he said. "Bernie Sanders inspired us to reach for bold solutions," and as for the movement Sanders started, "we need it to continue long after November."
Then he started adding Clinton to the rhetorical mix, saying that Hillary and Bernie together created "the most progressive platform in our party's history," singling out some of Sanders' big themes, like free education and campaign finance reform. "We must say no to bad trade deals, and that includes the TPP," he said, and some delegates chanted against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (which Sanders and Clinton both now oppose). "Follow the vision of Bernie Sanders, and elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine," Merkley said. "Let's work together, as Bernie and Sanders have," and elect Clinton and Tim Kaine, he concluded.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 26, 2016
If there was booing at Clinton's name mixed in with the cheers, it wasn't as audible as with previous speakers. Peter Weber
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh gave a surprising opening line during his speech Monday at the Democratic National Convention.
— CNN (@CNN) July 25, 2016
"My name is Marty Walsh, and I'm an alcoholic," he announced. "On April 23, 1995, I hit rock bottom. I woke up with little memory of the night before and even less hope for the days to come. Everybody was losing faith in me — everybody but my family and the labor movement." Walsh, the son of Irish immigrants, said the labor community gave his family a chance and offered him a second chance. "There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the champion American workers need," he said, later adding that Clinton will help those struggling with addiction and believes in "an America that's not just for those with advantages, but those who need a helping hand." Catherine Garcia