Charlotte Rampling is one of this year’s Best Actress nominees for her wonderful work in 45 Years. She is also, like the other 19 people nominated for an acting award at this year’s Oscars, white. While speaking to France’s Radio 1 Friday morning, Rampling said that the controversy over this latter point was “racist to whites.” (She was speaking in French; The Guardian translated her remarks into English.) As the British actress told the station, “One can never really know, perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list … Do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?” For a certain segment of film fans, this is even worse than that time Oscar Isaac wore an Ayn Rand shirt.
Update: Rampling has claimed that her comments were misinterpreted in a statement to CBS News’s Sunday Morning, writing:
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.
Rampling added that “diversity in our industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed” and that she is “highly encouraged by the changes announced today by the academy to diversify its membership.”