Michael Caine Speaks Out on Oscars Diversity Problem, Says Black Actors Should 'Be Patient'

by Alex Ungerman 5:26 PM PST, January 22, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Michael Caine is addressing the Academy Awards' lack of diversity.

The Oscar winner spoke out on the controversy in a BBC Radio 4 interview on Friday, suggesting black actors “be patient.” “Of course, it will come. Of course, it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar,” Caine said.

"There's loads of black actors," the 82-year-old actor suggested. "You can't vote for an actor because he's black. You got to give a good performance, and I’m sure there were very good [performances].”

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

At one point during the interview, Caine raved about Idris Elba, who was snubbed for his role in Beasts of No Nation. During the talk, Caine seemed to suggest that he thought Elba had been nominated.

"I don’t know whether Idris got [nominated],” he said. “Because I saw Idris, and I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would get [nominated]. Did he not get nominated?”

“Well, look at me," Caine answered. After being told of the Elba snub, the actor went on to reference his own snub for Youth, after winning a European Film Award for the role. "I got nominated for nothing else.”

WATCH: Check Out the Entire List of Nominations for the 2016 Oscars

Meanwhile, Caine is not the only British actor to make controversial statements regarding on diversity at the Oscars.

Charlotte Rampling -- who is nominated this year for Best Actress for her role in 45 Years -- made headlines after suggesting 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," the 69-year-old actress told French Radio network Europe 1 in a candid new interview (via The Guardian). Rampling later clarified her controversial statements, saying that her remarks were “misinterpreted.”

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

After nominating an entirely white group of actors for the second year in a row -- sparking the #OscarsSoWhite boycott yet again -- the Academy made sweeping, "historic" changes to its voter rules, meant to double the number of women and "diverse members" by 2020.

"The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up," Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who previously told ET that the lack of diversity was "disappointing," explained. "These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition."

MORE: Academy Announces 'Historic' Changes to Increase Diversity Following #OscarsSoWhite Boycott

Of course, many have voiced that the problem goes deeper than the Oscars. Two-time Oscar nominee Viola Davis told ET earlier this week, "The problem is not with the Oscar. The problem is with the Hollywood movie-making system."

"How many black films are being produced every year?" said the actress, who last year became the first ever black actress to win an Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. "Are the big-time producers thinking outside of the box in terms of how to cast the role?"

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