Charlotte Rampling Says Her Comment That Oscar Uproar “Is Racist To Whites” Was “Misinterpreted” – Update

UPDATED, 4:44 PM: After causing a stir with comments on French radio about the Oscar diversity issue, Academy Award nominee Charlotte Rampling told CBS, “I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted.” In a statement to CBS’ Sunday Morning, the 45 Years star tried to clarify what she really meant:

“I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted this week in my interview with Europe 1 Radio. I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration. I am very honored to be included in this year’s wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses. Diversity in our industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed. I am highly encouraged by the changes announced today by the Academy to diversify its membership.”

PREVIOUSLY, 11:32 AM: Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling has plunged headlong into the Oscars’ race controversy, telling French radio this week that “perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list” and that the uproar over the lack of black nominees “is racist to whites.”

Nominated for her role in 45 Years, Rampling on Europe 1 dismissed the notion that racial quotas might be necessary to level the Oscar playing field. “Why classify people?,” she said, as reported in The Guardian. “These days everyone is more or less accepted.” Rampling, who won a top acting prize for 45 Years at Berlin in 2015, continued:, “People will always say: ‘Him, he’s less handsome’; ‘Him, he’s too black’; ‘He is too white.’

“But do we have to take from this that there should be lots of minorities everywhere?” she asked. When the 69-year-old actress was told by the interviewer that black actors feel like a minority in Hollywood, she replied “No comment.”

The racial controversy kicked into high gear recently when Jada Pinkett Smith and, just yesterday, her husband Will Smith said they will not attend the February 28 Oscar ceremony. Spike Lee also is staying away, and Mark Ruffalo was “weighing” whether to attend before deciding he would. On Wednesday, invited presenter Quincy Jones told the NATPE convention in Miami that unless he was given time to address the issue, he would pull out, adding “Boycott or fix it.” And Michael Caine, speaking to BBC Radio 4, advised black actors, “Be patient. Of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar.”

Rampling’s comments ignited a Twitter storm. Here’s a sampling:

Erik Pedersen contributed to this report.


  1. what she meant is that she feels bullied. this is her first nomination and now the nominees have to defend themselves for being nominated just because they are white. it’s disrespectful to her work and the others work. the Oscars have always been subjective. art is subjective.

    1. lola is exactly right. She’s always been a great actor and now because all this crap is coming up, she feels like she has to defend being nominated when she rightfully should have already won years ago. She should be applauded for saying what’s right, not what is PC.

    2. It’s not her fault that a white gay English director relates better to a geriatric, straight white English marriage to tell the couple’s story. Instead of an interracial couple. Or a black or Asian (Indian) couple. There simply aren’t black or Asian equivalents of Courtenay and Rampling among English actors. There are zero historical circumstances behind this fact, except merit.

  2. Not only is it racist to whites, but after this, every time a black person gets an award, it’ll be assumed to be because the Academy was bullied into it, not because it was earned.

    1. Wrong! Because all anyone has to do is look at the Black Actor’s nominated work to see it was well deserved and not because the Academy was “bullied”.

        1. It’s ignorant and insulting for you to think they are going to just nominate minority actors just because of their race. Get over your racist self. Believe it or not there are a lot of talented minority actors out there… hopefully NOW because of the actions of the Academy the world will see it.

          1. What are you talking about? This whole boycott campaign was to force feed awards to black actors irrespective of talent. You can’t have it both ways, i.e. bully awards and then say actors got awards due to merit! LOL.

          2. Get over YOUR racist self, Ignorant!! Stop playing the Race Card to get your way then pretending like you actually earned something from it. The only thing you’ve earned is disrespect & the ire of actual decent Americans

  3. Not only she has given the best performance of the year but she also speaks some sense. She deserves to win based on her performance alone but now I just don’t see liberal Hollywood going for her at all. Shame cause her performance is one for the ages.

    1. I have really grown to detest liberal Hollywood which is why I no longer support it as a consumer. I’m not alone as this is why movies/tv have been hit with precipitous viewership decline.

  4. This is a good point. There’s been a lot of outcry, but if you ask the whiners who shouldn’t have received a nomination in favor of a black person, you get a lot of nothing from them. Merit not quotas.

    1. Oy vey back at you. She should be applauded. I have gone from being a liberal Dem to a Drudger as the spectrum of crazy (and anti-Semitism) has shifted towards the liberal Dems. The Drudgers (as you slur them) are the ones who are sane and make sense now.

  5. You can’t be RACIST against white people. Racism literally implies the superiority of a dominant group.

    No one has ever said “he is too white.” We like to think that we live in a world of racial harmony, but that is simply not the case.

    1. Racism does not imply “the superiority of a dominant group.” If this was true then white South Africans during apartheid could not be racist, since they were in the minority. Just because you make up a definition, doesn’t make that definition true.

      1. Wait, Joshreader, did you just argue that whites didn’t have the power in South Africa during apartheid? I’m sorry but you’re all quite mad in your blind defense. Consider this, if you’ve nominated all the best white movies you could for best picture adding up to 8 (10 nominations max), then not nominating 2 more pictures to compete is clearly saying you don’t feel these other films deserve consideration… While only recognizing the white talent in these black productions. I heard the one white bg dancer from the wiz got a nomination too. Ha!

        1. You obviously didn’t read Josh correctly, Dummy. He said whites were not the majority. He said nothing about power, Mr Black Power!! You are WAAAYY too illogical in your thinking for me or anyone else to take you seriously

    2. Do you actually believe that you can’t be prejudiced against whites?? If so then you may be one of the dumbest people on the planet!! What an IGNORANT comment!!!!

  6. Agree with this 100%

    I mean…when is it the line has been crossed? To those who don’t agree with this woman, I ask: Is ANYTHING EVER “racist” to whites or is racism a one-way street?

    What this Oscar boycott issue looks like is something that will eventually lead to one bad, likely scenario or one possible good one: The bad, being proxy affirmative action for award nominations. The possible good being movies like Star Wars and Marvel movies (who cast a multitude of ethnically diverse casts) actually getting recognized as successful by the art and croissant crowd…

  7. Something like acting is an inherently unfair way to try and make a living. There are extremely talented people of every color who will never be able to support themselves acting. If you want fair, be in a profession less completely subjective.

  8. No black actors made an impression this year that was worthy of a nomination, period.
    All this drama and threatening to boycott is lame and childish and only diminishes the worthiness of an Oscar nomination in the future.

    1. They are actors. They pretend for a living. How much “worthiness” do they really need?

      No black actors made an “impression” to you. Many would (and are) refute that statement. Idris Elba did an amazing job. PERIOD. But whatever.

      1. I never said that that “no black actors made an impression to me” as I couldn’t hope to have the time to see every performance out there.
        I meant that no black actor made any impression to the nominators of the Academy, who are as Anonymous very wisely said “The exact same people who voted to give Oscars to Denzel, Forrest, Mo’nique, Lupita, et al…”
        The “worthiness” is in the eye of the beholder as to how well they acted. Obviously none of the nominators felt the same way you do.

      2. Idris did a good job. but it was a Netflix film so of course they weren’t going to vote for him because it wasn’t from a studio. Personally I love Idris’s work. but he’s been better. This doesn’t top Luther in my eyes

  9. I see Trump’s long-time bestie Piers Morgan just had to inject himself into this issue. That’s right Trump supporters – your new god,Donny, is very good friend’s with one of the most outspoken gun critics out there.

    Rationalize that one.

    1. Piers Morgan will attempt to inject himself into anything, since he is a desperate-for-publicity non-entity. A truly pathetic human being.

  10. The exact same people who voted to give Oscars to Denzel, Forrest, Mo’nique, Lupita, et al, voted this year. It’s not like the same group became racist all of a sudden.

  11. The hypocrisy of Hollywood that wants to keep things white in the Chinese box office. Yes, when Hollywood complains that they don’t want to have to cater to Chinese audiences and demands unrestricted access in China at the same time, that’s called keeping things white. Pretty hypocritical.

  12. Her words would mean so much more if she would’ve said this and not had been nominated. How’s the view from up there, Ms. Rampling?

      1. Opportunism masquerading as social justice and phony victimhood. That poor deprived Will Smith, never given a shot at a career (sarcasm.) What a bunch of parasitic con artists. Black people will never be taken seriously with stunts like this.

  13. She’s right. At the end of the day, there are many paths for aggrieved people to take to better their lot, and whining & boycotting & quotas might make them feel better, but it doesn’t make me want to hang out with them.

  14. I think there’s a side to both arguments of course. It’s not fair to imply that the nominees this year didn’t deserve it; they did. It’s also not fair Hollywood/movies systemically aren’t color-blind and can’t help but being racist. Almost everything is. That’s not fair either.

    I will say this though- Charlotte Rampling definitely deserved a nomination. Will Smith was okay, but the movie he was in was rubbish. THAT’s why he wasn’t nominated this year. :P

  15. Spike made a movie no one wanted to see and Jada’s husband starred in a flop. So it’s a little hard not to see the impetus of this whole campaign as sour grapes.

  16. When white women complain about lack of opportunity and recognition is that sexist against men? What a goofy comment for her to make. The Academy Awards is a popularity contest. Just be honest and say it isn’t about the “best” anything and that white people are more popular with mainstream America which is still barely but still mostly white.

    1. White people are still the majority and not “barely”.. although Obama is clearly and illegally trying to change that.

  17. Umm…Rampling is WRONG. Note her back pedaling. She does not “have a point”. She’s just wrong and now she has become the face of a tone-deaf Hollywood. Not a good career move, especially for a woman…an older woman at that. Sad.

      1. And ageist! Gotta love when people advance their fake claims of discrimination by being discriminatory.

  18. I wish the media would stop asking every nominee their opinion of it — but they want the headlines. She is correct in saying that nominees should not be based on race.

  19. People, this is not institutionalized racism, beacasue it’s not an instiution. We are a widely disparate group of voters who live all over the world, connected only by the Academy card in our wallets, and the blank ballot that arrives for us. It’s not as if we all compare notes before voting. And if someone did try to impose a racist agenda on us, how the *&%!# could they pull that off?

  20. Wondering how “white” will be measured in people. Plenty of people have “white” in them, but people may not realize it if they don’t look pale on the outside. With Native Americans, there is such a diverse range of hues, for instance, that it comes down to cultural identification in many instances…I have some of that on one “great” side, (there may be more, just haven’t had a chance to find out more) but I look pale. Since I don’t keep the cultural identification, it doesn’t “count”… With some of this uproar, one wonders if they’ll fire the “white” half of President Obama. I love him btw, best POTUS ever… The reason I love him is his great heart and soul, and of course his quality work…which often seems ceaseless on our behalf..

    1. My thoughts exactly. I’m never gonna see another movie starring him. And to think I considered him a good actor, not anymore.

      1. LoL at that comment:
        he’s as good an actor as before Jinjeon “thought” him not to be one …
        (Don’t confuse what people do with what they say.)

        1. “(Don’t confuse what people do with what they say.)”

          Then don’t use what you do as a soapbox for your shady politics and to be a creep. Lol, at YOUR comment. I agree with the previous poster. I’ll be avoiding that actor too. He’s in the dust bin with Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and others.

          1. Oh, you got a personal blacklist – how revealing.
            Ironically, it’s a blacklist with “whites” on it.
            (“Un-American” ones, I suppose: LoL & JgA)

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