Oscar-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling questioned the merit of this year’s black film performances, and said plans to boycott the upcoming Oscars over a renewed race controversy are actually racist toward whites in an interview on Friday.
For the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) did not nominate a person of color in any of the four coveted acting categories, prompting boycotts of the Feb. 28 telecast by prominent black filmmakers and scathing rebukes by countless others.
Speaking in French, the British screen legend and former model told radio station Europe 1 that racism surrounding the 88th Academy Awards abounds; however, it is the other way around.
“It is racist to whites,” she said, according to Guardian, which translated the interview.
The 69-year-old, who was nominated last week for Best Actress for her role in the British drama 45 Years, added, “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list.”
“Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted,” she said. “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],” she added. “But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?”
After her interviewer explained that black performers feel marginalized by being snubbed from awards consideration, Rampling replied: “No comment.”
Fellow Brit Piers Morgan was among the loudest critics to respond to Rampling’s interview on Twitter:
MISSING: a set of marbles. If found, please return to Charlotte Rampling. https://t.co/71O6fd8gxl
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 22, 2016
British two-time Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine, who has been nominated a total of six times and co-starred alongside Rampling in 2003’s The Statement, also spoke about the renewed #OscarsSoWhite controversy on Friday.
Caine told BBC Radio 4’s Nick Robinson, “You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black. You can’t just say, ‘I’m going to vote for him. He’s not very good, but he’s black. I’ll vote for him.’ You have to give a good performance.”
Caine added he was sure there were “very good” performances from black performers in 2015.
Following their separate interviews, Caine and Ramplng were both condemned online:
— Salon (@Salon) January 22, 2016
And no I am not saying Charlotte Rampling or Michael Caine are racist but obviously their comments were extremely ignorant and insensitive.
— Ashley Reynolds (@Ashley_Reynolds) January 22, 2016
I can't call Rampling or Caine racist. I don't them either of them. But their statements prove they're out of touch and not progressive.
— Kirk Moore (@KirkWrites79) January 22, 2016
Speaking to BBC on Wednesday, Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman also joined the conversation, when he said the Academy’s decision to nominate exclusively white actor’s this year is a result of “subliminal racism” within the United Staes.
“In our country, there’s a subliminal racism, and it’s been there. The end of the Civil War didn’t change that — it’s only been 200 years. This is just an example of it,” the actor told the British outlet.
Hoffman added: “Other than black entertainers being nominated, there’s a bigger problem with young black individuals being killed on our streets by police. That’s a bigger problem.”