Charlotte Rampling just showed the world exactly why the dialogue around #OscarsSoWhite and Oscar boycotts is so important.
The British actress, who is currently nominated for an Oscar for best "Actress in a Leading Role" for her performance in the drama "45 Years," said that the criticism over the Oscars’ inability to recognize any Black thespians "is racist to Whites." She said as much during an interview with French radio network Europe 1 today (January 22). She continued, as translated and quoted by The Guardian, to explain her position as follows:
“One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” added Rampling. Asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should introduce quotas, a proposal which no current advocate of increased diversity has mooted, she responded: “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]…. But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?”
When the interviewer explains that Black members of the film industry feel like a minority, Rampling replies: “No comment.”
Her comments echo those from fellow British film veteran Michael Caine, who appeared today on the BBC’s Radio 4 and implored Black actors to "be patient."
Rampling was roundly criticized on social media by people admonishing her ignorance of Hollywood’s institutional racism and her accusations of reverse-racism. Some said that her comments destroyed her chance of winning the award:
Someone better come get Michael Caine and Charlotte Rampling. They are out and talking nonsense.
— roxane gay (@rgay) January 22, 2016
Charlotte Rampling just lost the Oscar, btw. Way to shoot yourself in the foot by shooting off your mouth.
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 22, 2016
to be fair charlotte rampling also called out the source awards in 1995 for not showing love to the west
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) January 22, 2016
Maybe this was her attempt to beome fodder for good jokes from host Chris Rock?