Charlotte Rampling Says Oscar Diversity Comments Were ‘Misinterpreted’

Charlotte Rampling has backtracked over her recent controversial remarks that calls to boycott the 2016 Oscars due to the lack of non-white nominees were “racist against white people.”

The 69-year old British actress - one of this year’s Best Actress Oscar nominees for her role in ‘45 Years,’ for which she already won Best Actress at December’s European Film Awards - has attempted to clarify her comments in a statement made to CBS News:

“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.“

The furore has reached the point that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held an emergency meeting to introduce changes which, as of later this year, should see a larger number of women and “diverse members” become Oscar voters.

Rampling welcomes these moves, 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.”

Various high profile Hollywood figure including Spike Lee, Michael Moore and Will Smith had declared they would not attend this year’s Oscars ceremony in protest at the lack of ethnic diversity among nominees.

In her earlier interview with Europe 1 Radio, Rampling remarked, “Sometimes maybe black actors didn’t deserve to make the shortlist,“ later adding, "Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted.”

The debate has drawn comments from a great many Hollywood figures. Sir Michael Caine (who won Best Actor at the European Film Awards but did not get an Oscar nomination) has also remarked on the matter, largely agreeing with Rampling.

Caine told Radio 4, “You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black…You have to give a good performance,” although he did also voice surprise that Idris Elba had not been nominated for ‘Beasts of No Nation.’

Since the Academy announced its new measures to promote diversity, ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to praise the move as “one good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artists.”

This year’s Academy Awards will be presented on 28 February.

Picture Credit: WENN

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