Charlotte Rampling says Oscar racism comments were misinterpreted | EW.com

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Charlotte Rampling says Oscar racism comments were 'misinterpreted'

Actress is 'highly encouraged' by academy efforts to diversify

(Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage)

Oscar-nominated French actress Charlotte Rampling has addressed her controversial remark that the call for more diversity at this year’s Academy Awards is “racist against whites.”

Rampling, 69, regrets that her comments “could have been misinterpreted,” she said in a statement to CBS News’ Sunday Morning. “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.”

Earlier Friday, speaking to the French radio station Europe 1, the 45 Years star said, “We can never know whether it’s truly the case, but maybe the black actors didn’t deserve to make it to the final list.” Asked whether the academy should introduce quotas, she said, “Why classify people? We live in a time now where everyone is more or less accepted.”

When asked if she understands the anger of those like Spike Lee who are boycotting the ceremony, she replied that she thought it was “racist against whites.”

Rampling also told Sunday Morning she is “highly encouraged” by the Academy’s announcement that it will take drastic steps to double its numbers of women and minorities by 2020. “Diversity in our industry is an important issue that needs to be addressed,” she said.