"It's racist to white people" – Oscar-nominee Charlotte Rampling weighs in on awards controversy

The British star of '45 Years' was asked to comment on the escalating boycott of the awards due to lack of diversity

British actress Charlotte Rampling, first-time nominee and widely considered the dark horse at this year’s Oscars, has weighed in on the escalating controversy over the lack of ethnic diversity amongst the nominees while speaking on French radio, calling the scandal unfair to white performers.

Rampling, nominated for her role in 45 Years, told the French radio station Europe 1 that she did not support the introduction of a minority hiring quota in the film industry.

When asked if she understood the anger felt by African-American director Spike Lee, who has decided to boycott the ceremony after no actor or actress of colour was nominated in any category for the second year running, Rampling replied: “No, I find that that is... in a sense... racist to whites.”

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

Rampling's comments come in the wake of a wide call for African-American performers to skip this year’s ceremony in light of the perceived lack of opportunity for people of colour to make inroads into the film business. Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have all said they will not attend the show, while nominee Mark Ruffalo is also considering not appearing.

Rampling went on to say that being included in the list of nominees was “already a victory,” and that having worked in cinema for decades, it is an honour to be included in “the private, very select circle of the great cinematic club, the Academy.”

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