- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2016

Academy Award-nominated actress Charlotte Rampling took a different stance on the lack of diversity at the Oscars, saying the calls for a boycott are racist to white people.

Ms. Rampling, who is up for “best actress” in the British drama “45 Years,” was asked to weigh in on the fact that several U.S. celebrities are boycotting the Oscars next month because only white actors received nominations for the second year in a row.

“It is racist to whites,” Ms. Rampling, who is white, said on French Radio network Europe 1 Friday morning, as translated by The Guardian. “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list.”

Asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should introduce quotas, a suggestion not made by boycott supporters, she responded: “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?”

When the interviewer explains that black members of the film industry feel like a minority, Ms. Rampling said, “No comment.”

Her stance differs from the position taken by a number of celebrities, including Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband Will Smith, who said they will not be attending the ceremony until the lack of diversity among acting nominees is resolved.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs released a statement promising that the group is “taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership.”

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