Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling, who was nominated for her role in the best actress category for 45 Years, says that the conversation surrounding the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards is “racist against whites” on France’s Europe 1 radio station early this morning. Her exact comments are below:
“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.”
“ Why classify people? We live in a time now where everyone is more or less accepted. 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?”
“What does it mean that [black actors] still think they are a minority?”
With public comments and mentalities such as this, it isn’t hard to understand why the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry exists. These statements give testament to deep rooted issue in the film industry that has been the focal point of the media since the nominees were announced. It is very clear that Charlotte Rampling exemplifies the dangerous ignorance of un-examined white privilege & the false utopia it uses to protect itself. I would say that her Acting career is officially over after making remarks such as this; however, after Mel Gibson resurfaced on the stage of the Golden Globes this year after nearly a decade of ostracism despite his racist and anti-Semitic remarks, I would not be surprised she she actually won an Oscar this year in her category (Best Actress).
Despite these misguided remarks, many others have come out in support of the industry’s push for diversity. The former Preside of the Academy, Hawk Koch wrote an open letter to the industry earlier this week which suggested the need for change in all regards:
“We are an industry of creative people, people! We should be able to use the very thing Idris Elba mentioned in his powerful speech to the British Parliament — our imagination … I want to personally challenge each and every branch of our industry — production, designers, cinematographers, sound mixers, editors, composers, makeup artists, hair stylists, casting directors, publicists, attorneys, agents, managers, animators, visual effects, writers, directors, producers, executives — to form committees whose sole purpose would be to imagine and create programs to extend opportunities to those without it.”