First-time Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling says that the conversation surrounding the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards is “racist against whites.”
Speaking to French radio station Europe 1 on Friday morning, Rampling, 69, added, “We can never know whether it’s truly the case, but maybe the black actors didn’t deserve to make it to the final list.”
Asked whether the Academy should introduce quotas, the 45 Years actress responded, “Why classify people? We live in a time now where everyone is more or less accepted.” Rampling added there is always someone who will tell you you’re “too” something (“Him, he’s too black,” “Him, he’s too white”), so why should the Academy introduce measures that would classify people just for the sake of having “lots of minorities everywhere?”
When her interviewer explained that those in the black community feel like a minority within the film industry, Rampling ended the conversation, offering a “no comment.”
Director Spike Lee prominently spoke out against the lack of diversity present in the acting categories at this year’s ceremony on Monday. “We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock and producer Reggie Hudlin, president [Cheryl Boone] Isaacs and the Academy,” Lee wrote. “But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let’s not even get into the other branches. Forty white actors in two years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!”
While Lee won’t be attending this year’s ceremony, he insisted earlier this week that he is not calling for a boycott: “I have never used the word boycott,” Lee said. “I’m not going, my wife’s not going. Everyone else can do what they want to do.”
Rampling’s representative did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.