Charlotte Rampling's Oscar Boycott Statement Is Awful, But Its Significance Is Bigger Than Just A Few Bad Words
You know that feeling when someone says something so offensive that you don't really even want to acknowledge it, for fear that it will encourage them? Well that's how I'm feeling about Charlotte Rampling's comments on the Oscars Boycott and the 2016 Academy Awards. (Bustle has reached out to a representative for Rampling for comment, but we did not hear back at the time of publication.) Her words are so insensitive that part of me wants to ignore them, so Rampling doesn't get the satisfaction of anyone paying her any mind, but the other part knows that it unfortunately doesn't always work like that. Sadly, these words are a snapshot of the systemic issues that the Oscar nominations' lack of diversity have brought to the forefront of the awards season conversation.
As evidenced by the fact that we have an all-white field of nominees yet again at the 2016 Academy Awards for the second year in a row, this is a systemic issue. While Rampling's comments might be a one-off for the actress herself, they also seem to echo the ignorance that has led to an industry plagued by a lack of diversity. And that means that though many of us don't want to even acknowledge Rampling's comments, we can't turn a blind eye and just hope these words go away.
So, with that in mind, and with four million grains of salt, here's what Rampling, nominated for Best Actress for her work in the film 45 Years, had to say about the outcry over the Oscars' lack of diversity this year, when she spoke to the French Radio network Europe 1 (her comments are translated from French):
[It is] racist to whites. You can never know if it's truly the case, but maybe black actors did not deserve to make the final stretch.
Sigh. So there's that. So incredibly oblivious and tone deaf and insulting, to a degree that no one should have to point out. But it came out of this woman's mouth, and it is indicative of some deep-rooted problems in Hollywood, so we have to start speaking up instead of ignoring these things and hoping they'll go away on their own. Staying quiet is a luxury that not everyone has, and since Rampling is using her platform to unmindfully to spread this backwards message, I'm gonna go ahead and do the same thing to call out their hugely problematic nature.