British actress Charlotte Rampling has backtracked on her controversial comments she made about the Oscars diversity row. She claims that her views on a proposed Oscars boycott was "racist to whites" were taken out of context after a backlash on social media.
When asked if the black community in the film industry felt like a minority, she replied: "No comment." Her opinions began trending on Twitter, where the hashtag #OscarSoWhite was used to express anger following the release of the all-white nominations. Many suggested that Rampling should "check her white privilege".
Rampling, who is nominated for Best Actress for her role in 45 Years, released an official statement in an attempt to clarify her comments.
"I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted this week in my interview with Europe 1 Radio," she said. "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 stated. "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."
The governing body of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Ampas) has said it will address criticism over the lack of racial diversity in 2016's Academy Awards nominees. The board said in a statement that its goal was "to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020".
This is not the first time that Charlotte Rampling has caused consternation with her views. On feminism she said: "One of the reasons I don't see eye to eye with Women's Lib is that women have it all on a plate if only they knew it. They don't have to be pretty either."
She has also talked about how much of a burden it is to be good looking. "What beauty brings is huge. It brings great privilege, great power and potential to do many things. If you are beautiful, doors open for you; people smile at you; you are accepted in places where others aren't. So the relationship that people have with beauty, in a sense, is almost deforming."
Her most controversial film roles include Lucino Visconti's The Damned, where she played a young wife sent to a Nazi concentration camp. In The Night Porter (1974), she played a former concentration camp prisoner who has a sadomasochistic relationship with a former Nazi SS officer, played by Dirk Bogarde.
The film has been accused of being sensationalist, with film critic Roger Ebert condemning it "as nasty as it is lubricious, a despicable attempt to titillate us by exploiting memories of persecution and suffering". Upon its film release, the Night Porter was ridiculed as "romantic pornography" and "a piece of junk".
In Max mon amour, she played a diplomat's wife who takes a chimpanzee as a lover. It was called "the greatest ape romance since King Kong".