Oscar Nominee Charlotte Rampling Says Diversity Boycott Is 'Racist to Whites'

by Antoinette Bueno 10:02 AM PST, January 22, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Not everyone in Hollywood is supporting the outcry over the lack of diversity at the Oscars for the past two years in a row.

British actress Charlotte Rampling -- who's nominated this year for Best Actress for her role in 45 Years -- says that the current campaign to boycott the 2016 Academy Awards is "racist to whites."

"One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list," Rampling, 69, tells French Radio network Europe 1 in a candid new interview (via The Guardian).

WATCH: A Comprehensive List of Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out About the Lack of Diversity at the Oscars

When asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should possibly introduce quotas, Rampling is similarly blunt.

"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]," she says. "But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?"

Rampling is just the latest star to comment on the outcry that of the 20 acting nominations at this year's Academy Awards, all 20 went to white actors.

On Good Morning America on Thursday, Will Smith -- who was snubbed in the Best Actor category for his performance in Concussion -- said that his boycotting of this year's ceremony alongside his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was absolutely not about himself.

"This is so deeply not about me," Smith stressed. "This is about the children that are going to sit down and watch this show and they aren't going to see themselves represented."

Smith added that although he believes all of this year's nominees are "deserving and fantastic," he feels "like it's going in the wrong direction."

George Clooney echoed the sentiment in a recent interview with Variety.

"If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job," Clooney said. "I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees -- like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman. And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction. There were nominations left off the table."

He continued, "Honestly, there should be more opportunity than that. There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars. By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it."

Earlier this month, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs told ET that the lack of diversity in this year's nominees is "disappointing."

"[There were] a lot of tremendously good films," Isaacs acknowledged. "There's Straight Outta Compton, Concussion, Creed, Dear White People, Dope, OK? I hope this isn't discouraging for anybody and for filmmakers in particular. You just keep moving along. You keep out there. We will keep out there. We will keep pushing that pedal. We're going to keep pushing it."

WATCH: Ice Cube Talks 'Straight Outta Compton' Snub -- 'I'm Not Surprised'

On Monday, Isaacs said that the Academy was taking "dramatic steps" to alter the makeup of its membership. Despite efforts to diversify, the demographic makeup of the Film Academy is still predominantly older white men, and admission to become a voting member of the Academy requires a personal recommendation from a current member. According to the Los Angeles Times, the makeup of eligible voters is mostly white (94 percent) men (77 percent) with an average age of 62.

"In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond," Isaacs said in a public statement.

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