In news made extra unfortunate by her wonderful, Oscar-nominated performance in 45 Years, Charlotte Rampling has apparently been watching whatever the British equivalent of Fox News is. She revealed as much in a recent interview with the French radio network Europe 1 (via The Guardian), where, when asked about the growing controversy over the lack of diversity in this year‘s Oscar nominees, she gave an answer only a rabid Trump fan could love. “It is racist to whites,” the six-decade veteran of stage and screen said, as her publicist presumably looked on in horror. “One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list … 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?”
Predictably, Rampling’s statement has since ignited a firestorm on social media. But there’s one other distinguished British actor who at least partially agrees with her: Speaking with the BBC, Michael Caine (who is not nominated this year) said that, ”I think in the end you can’t vote for an actor (just) because he’s black … You’ve got to give a good performance.” On a more compassionate note, Caine adds, “of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar,” noting that Idris Elba gave a “wonderful” performance in Beasts Of No Nation. Besides, he says, the Oscars kind of suck: “24 hours on an airplane and I’m going to sit there clapping Leonardo DiCaprio … I’m too old to travel that far to sit in an audience and clap someone else.” So don’t worry, black actors. Getting a career boost, the validation of your peers, and that sweet, sweet gift bag is totally overrated anyway.