Actors Charlotte Rampling, Michael Caine temper Oscar outcry over all-white nominees

By Karen Butler  |  Updated Jan. 22, 2016 at 6:23 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- British actress Charlotte Rampling says she thinks the outrage regarding this year's all-white acting nominees for the Oscars is "racist to white people."

Rampling, 69, is a nominee for Best Actress for her work in 45 Years.

"It's racist to white people," she told the Europe 1 radio network Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list," she added. "Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted ... 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?"

Two-time Oscar-winning British actor Michael Caine also weighed in on the debate.

"There's loads of black actors. You can't vote for an actor because he's black," he told the BBC. "You got to give a good performance, and I'm sure there were very good [performances.]"

Caine admitted he was surprised that Idris Elba was not nominated for Beasts of No Nation, then added, "Well, look at me. I won the [European Film Award for] Best Actor [for Youth], and I got nominated for nothing else."

Asked what advice he would offer to black actors frustrated because they were overlooked, Caine said, "Be patient. Of course, it will come. Of course, it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar."

African-American acting couple Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith and filmmaker Spike Lee have said they will not attend this year's Oscars because no actors of color were nominated.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which operates the Oscars, on Friday announced a series of changes it plans to implement to increase diversity among its members, who are now predominantly male and white.

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