In an interview with French radio station Europe 1 (as translated by The Guardian), Rampling was asked her thoughts on the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, and the planned boycott of entertainers including Spike Lee, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith.
"It is racist to whites," Rampling said of controversy.
As if that wasn't enough, the actress continued trying to explain her (apparently quite long-winded) thoughts on the subject:
"One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list," added Rampling. Asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should introduce quotas, a proposal which no current advocate of increased diversity has mooted, 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, Rampling replies: "No comment."
Maybe the best time for that "no comment" response should have been at the beginning of the interview, yes?
The Academy has pledged to make an effort to be more inclusive in the future, and may be ready to act on that promise as soon as next week by making sweeping changes to its nomination process. One proposed idea was instituting a voting cutoff for Academy members who have not been active in the film industry for a certain period of years, though that change is unlikely due to anticipated backlash from older members.
According to a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Rampling herself is a member of the Academy, "and many other members publicly share her sentiments." Maybe sweeping change isn't so imminent after all.
[via: Europe 1, The Guardian, Glenn Whipp]
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