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Arts and Entertainment

Oscar Nominee Complains #OscarsSoWhite Is 'Racist To White People' [Updated]

Charlotte Rampling (Photo via Getty Images)
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English actress Charlotte Rampling, who earned a Best Actress nomination for this year's Academy Awards for her role in 45 Years, has also joined in the #OscarsSoWhite conversation. And her response should prompt you to root for anybody but her to win.

She told French Radio network Europe 1, as translated by The Guardian quite plainly that calls to boycott this year's Oscars on the basis of a lack of diversity "is racist to whites." She continued:

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...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?

According to the Guardian, Rampling replied "No comment" when the interviewer explained that black members of the film industry feel like a minority.

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You know things are bad when Piers Morgan calls you cuckoo:

But that's not all in today's news of Dumb Things Old White People Say. Michael Caine also chimed in, telling the BBC that nonwhite actors should "be patient," because "it took [him] years to get an Oscar. Years."

"There's loads of black actors...You can't vote for an actor because he's black. You can't just say, 'Oh I'm gonna vote for him, he's not very good, but he's black' ... you've got to give a good performance," he said.

The reaction to the awful lack of diversity with this year's lily-white Oscar nominations has prompted dozens of actors and filmmakers to publicly chime in. Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith were some of the first to say they'd be boycotting this year's Oscars, and were later joined by Will Smith, Rashida Jones, Don Cheadle, Mark Ruffalo, and Lupita Nyong'o.

It's been so widespread, the L.A. Times even has a feature devoted to "updates" as to who's the latest to weigh in on #OscarsSoWhite, and have most recently rounded up quotes from Quincy Jones, Marlon Wayans, and Viola Davis, who told Entertainment Tonight, "You can change the Academy, but if there are no black films being produced, what is there to vote for?" And on her Facebook page, Reese Witherspoon wrote:

I really appreciated this article in TIME on the lack of racial and gender diversity in this year's Oscar...

Posted by Reese Witherspoon on Thursday, January 21, 2016

But some members of the Academy told The Hollywood Reporter that they're not racist, they swear! Actress Penelope Ann Miller, known for roles in Carlito's Way and The Artist said:
I voted for a number of black performers, and I was sorry they weren't nominated. But to imply that this is because all of us are racists is extremely offensive. I don't want to be lumped into a category of being a racist because I'm certainly not and because I support and benefit from the talent of black people in this business. It was just an incredibly competitive year.

With so many #HotTakes lighting up the internet, here's one more from L.A. Weekly, who argues that yes, while boycotting on the basis of racism is important, the Oscars are boring and stupid anyway.

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Updated 4:56 p.m.: Rampling has responded to the outcry over her interview with the release of a statement to CBS News' Sunday Morning:

I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted this week in my interview with Europe 1 Radio. I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration. I am very honored to be included in this year's wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses.

She continued her backtracking by saying, "Diversity in our industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I am highly encouraged by the changes announced today by the Academy to diversify its membership."

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