Best Actress nominee Charlotte Rampling created a social-media shit-show this morning after some comments she made to French radio station Europe 1 about the inarguably whitewashed Oscars were translated into English. Weighing in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and the subsequent Oscars boycott by the likes of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Rampling shared some strange — and now widely criticized — opinions.
According to The Guardian’s translation of the interview, Rampling — who’s nominated for her spare, lovely performance in 45 Years — was asked for her take on the current “furore” (British people!) over all-white lists of nominees. “The British actor did not mince her words,” writes The Guardian. ” ‘It is racist to whites,’ ” she said.
As if that weren’t ignorant and face-palm-y enough, Rampling continued. “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list. When asked if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should “introduce quotas, a proposal which no current advocate of increased diversity has mooted,” Rampling replied with the airy confidence of someone who has been white and rich and freshly pedicured her entire life. “Why classify people? These days everyone is more or less accepted.” She added, confusingly, “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?”
And for the nail in the off-color coffin: When the interviewer explained that “black members of the film industry feel like a minority,” Rampling replied, “No comment.”
Suffice to say Rampling’s chances of winning an Oscar have been sufficiently lowered. But her social-media reception — which was heretofore quite positive, with critics lavishing praise on her 45 Years performance and posting old photos of her glam ’60s days — has also taken an immediate and likely irreparable hit. Some samples from the Twittersphere, below: