No, Charlotte Rampling, WHY?!
The 69-year-old British actress (a major '70s icon and now a PROBLEMATIC FAVE) was an easy one to root for in a year of Oscar nominees that felt so, so off. Even though she's a greatly acclaimed actress (The Night Porter, Stardust Memories, to name a few), this is only her first Oscar nomination, thanks to her brilliant work in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years, one of our best movies of 2015. But just weeks before the big night, Rampling decided to speak on the controversial #OscarsSoWhite issue. This year's list of nominees in all four acting categories only celebrates white actors, an issue that not only led to Twitter outrage, but even led to major stars like Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Spike Lee to boycott the award show altogether.
Rampling, on the other hand, went onto French radio show Europe 1 and said that this call for diversity is "racist to white people." Ahskjdhkjhg. She added that people shouldn't be classified as they are "more or less accepted" and said, "One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list." Saying anything happening with the Oscars is "racist to white people" is not only incredibly offensive but plain silly. What an incredible bummer because Charlotte... WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.
In other news, fellow old white actor Michael Caine (who didn't get nominated for his work in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth) has also weighed in on the issue. He told BBC Radio 4, "Yeah but there's loads of black actors. 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." He does have a point and some will agree, the best performances this year came from white actors, not because they are better actors in general but because Hollywood gives them all the opportunities. Others will say there were plenty of great black performances that were ignored. Caine does mention Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation (probably the most mentioned in black actors being snubbed this year): "I saw Idris, and I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would get [nominated]. Did he not get nominated?" No, siree. Haven't you heard? #OscarSoWhite.
Hunger Games actor Jeffrey Wright and Selma director Ava Duvernay (an important visionary and rare woman of color in the industry) have also chimed in on the matter:
This. https://t.co/pd0kJuLVn2— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) January 22, 2016