Michael Caine is just the latest in a long line of actors to weigh in on the diversity issues plaguing the Academy Awards.
In an interview with Nick Robinson for BBC Radio 4, Caine was asked about “the argument going on in Hollywood at the moment, that not enough black actors – in fact, none – have been nominated for this year’s Oscars.”
“Yeah, but there’s loads of black actors,” Caine responded. “You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black. You can’t just say, ‘I’m going to vote for him. He’s not very good, but he’s black. I’ll vote for him.’ You have to give a good performance.”
Michael Caine also added that he was sure there were "very good" performances last year among actors of color, specifically calling out Beasts of No Nation
star Idris Elba, who was one of the most surprising Oscar snubs.
“The one I – I don’t know whether Idris got [nominated>,” Caine said. “I saw Idris, and I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would get [nominated]. Did he not get nominated?”
The interviewer would later explain that Idris Elba was not nominated and Caine replied, “Well, look at me. I won the [European Film Award] for best actor, and I got nominated for nothing else.”
Caine added: “The great thing about it is you don’t have to go." When asked about the Academy Award favorite, Caine responded by saying “I love Leonardo, he played my [son-in-law] in a movie, but I don’t want to travel that far,” Caine said. “I’m too old to travel that far to sit in an audience and clap for someone else.”
When asked by the reporter if his message to “non-white actors” is “be patient,” Caine said it was. “Be patient,” he said. “Of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar.”
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