Charlotte Rampling says Oscars' boycott is 'racist to white people'

The actress has been nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the film '45 Years'

Charlotte Rampling has placed herself front and centre of the the Oscars diversity controversy - claiming that the planned boycott by black celebrities is “racist to white people”.

In an interview with a French radio station, the 69-year-old who has been nominated for best actress for her role in 45 Years, claimed there could be legitimate reasons why the Academy Awards shortlist contained only white actors and actresses.

“One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” she told Europe 1.

45 Years - Trailer

The Oscars has sparked outcry over its failure to nominate a single non-white actor or actress, something that has been condemned by everyone from Spike Lee to George Clooney.

A number of black celebrities, including Will Smith, who failed to secure a nomination for his widely-praised performance in Concussion, is among those have said they will not attend the ceremony.

Yet Rampling claimed the boycott was “racist to white people”.

When asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should introduce quotas, she said: “Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted.”

When the interviewer explained that black members of the film industry felt like a minority, she replied: “No comment. People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome’; ‘Him, he’s too black’; ‘He is too white’ ... 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, whose 45 Years was directed by Andrew Haigh, faces compteition for best actress from Room’s Brie Larson, Carol’s Cate Blanchett, Joy’s Jennifer Lawrence and Brooklyn’s Saoirse Ronan.

The response on social media to Rampling’s comments was immediate, and largely unsupportive.

“I still plan to watch the Oscars, at least for Chris Rock’s monologue. But I’ll tell you what I’m boycotting: Charlotte Rampling’s movies,” tweeted Jamil Smith, a senior editor at the New Republic.

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