Charlotte Rampling says Oscars controversy comments 'misinterpreted'


Actress Charlotte Rampling says her comments about the Oscars diversity controversy have been "misinterpreted". 

Rampling, 69, who is nominated in the best actress category, had said that the uproar over there being no black actors on the Oscars shortlist is unfair to the white actors who were nominated.

"We can never know if it was really the case, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to be in the final straight," she said.

Rampling, who is nominated for her role in 45 Years, told French radio station Europe 1: "It's racist to white people."

In a statement to CBS News's Sunday Morning, she said: "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 honoured to be included in this year's wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses."

She continued: "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."

On Friday, the Academy pledged to double the number of female and minority members by 2020.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs said: "The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up."

When asked in the Europe 1 interview whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should introduce quotas, she said: "Why categorise people? We live in countries where everyone is more or less accepted.

"There are always issues like 'He is less good looking', 'He is too black'. There is always someone who says 'You are too...' So are we going to say, 'We will categorise all that to make lots of minorities everywhere?'"

Asked if the black community in the film industry felt like a minority, she replied: "No comment."

Rampling is up against Kate Winslet, Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchett and Brie Larson.

The actress echoed former Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine who told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday: "You can't vote for an actor because he's black. You can't say 'I'm going to vote for him, he's not very good, but he's black, I'll vote for him'."

Earlier in the day, he said that nominations should be based solely on performance.

"You have to give a good performance and I'm sure people have. I saw Idris Elba (in Beasts Of No Nation). Did he not get a nomination? I thought he was wonderful."