Oscar Nominee Charlotte Rampling Calls Academy Awards Boycott 'Racist to Whites'
As high-profile black celebrities like Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith boycott next month's Academy Awards, music notables such as 50 Cent and Tyrese are calling for host Chris Rock to step down. Now, Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling is offering a controversial take on the boycott.
The 69-year-old actress -- who is up for best actress for her work in the Andrew Heigh-directed British drama 45 Years -- appeared on Europe 1 radio on Friday morning (Jan. 22) to address the controversy over the all-white nominations list.
"It is racist to whites," she said of the boycott, according to The Guardian, who translated her French comments into English [Billboard confirmed the translation]. "One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list."
When asked about the idea of instituting a quota in an attempt to increase diversity, she said, "Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted ... People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome’; ‘Him, he’s too black’; ‘He is too white’ ... someone will always be saying ‘You are too’ [this or that] ... Are we supposed to start classifying all these different things as minorities?"
Rampling isn't the only one to sound off on the Oscars backlash. "There’s loads of black actors. In the end you can't vote for an actor because he's black," Sir Michael Caine told the Today Show on Radio 4. "You can't say 'I'm going to vote for him, he's not very good, but he's black, I'll vote for him.'”
He also co-signed actor Idris Elba. "You have to give a good performance and I'm sure people have. I saw Idris Elba [in Beasts Of No Nation]. I thought he was wonderful.”
Caine also advised black actors to “be patient," adding, “Of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar, years.”