“It is racist to whites”, she said. Rampling told France’s Europe 1 radio Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 that sometimes “maybe black actors didn’t deserve to be in the final stretch”.
When asked about the idea of instituting a quota in an attempt to increase diversity, she said, “Why classify people?” These days everyone is more or less accepted… Someone will always be saying, ‘You are too [this or that]…But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?’
Rampling replied “no comment” to the host’s assertion that black members in the industry feel like a minority.
Rampling’s stance on diversity stands in stark contrast to the position taken by a number of her fellow nominees.
Hollywood has been up in arms since the Academy Award nominations were announced on 14 January, with several black actors including Michael B Jordan, Idris Elba and Will Smith, failing to receive nominations despite putting on acclaimed performances. In the end you can’t vote for an actor because he’s black. The stark whiteness of the nominations this year has been so controversial (and rightfully so) that talent including Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Will Smith are skipping out on the ceremony this year.
Speaking to The Guardian, Screen International editor Matt Mueller said the interview had torpedoed any chance of Rampling winning the award as her comments “will not go down well with American Oscar voters at all”. I thought he was wonderful…
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has yet again promised to make an attempt to movie in the right direction, with potential plans to alter the number of nominees in some categories and filter older, less active voters in the works.