Charlotte Rampling is taking a different stance on the Oscar diversity controversy.
While appearing on the French Radio network Europe 1 on Friday morning, Rampling said she disagrees with the outrage surrounding the lack of diversity among this year’s Oscar nominations.
“[It is] racist to whites,” she said in the interview, which was given in French.
“You can never know if it’s truly the case, but maybe black actors did not deserve to make the final stretch,” she added.
Rampling, 69, is up for the best actress award for her role in the film 45 Years.
When asked if the Academy should implement a quota system to ensure diversity, the British actress said it wasn’t necessary.
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“Why classify people? These days we live in countries now where everyone is more or less accepted,” she explained. “People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome;’ ‘Him, he’s too black;’ ‘He is too white.’ Someone will be saying ‘You are too’ [this or that]. But are we going to classify this so there should be thousands of minorities everywhere?”
Despite her stance on the issue, Rampling said she was honored to receive a nod.
“Being named for the awards, that’s undeniably, already a victory,” she said. “You’ve entered into a private circle, very select, the great film club that is the Oscars academy.”
Rampling’s stance is at odds with the position taken by a number of high-profile celebrities including Jada Pinkett Smith, George Clooney, fellow nominee Mark Ruffalo and more in reaction to the second consecutive year of an all-white acting nomination list. While some stars have decided to skip the ceremony all together – and are calling for host Chris Rock to do the same – others point to a larger diversity issue in Hollywood.
Following the backlash, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement acknowledging the issue at hand and promised that the group is “taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership,” while the organization’s CEO declared the awards “almost at a point of crisis.”