Lack of diversity among the Oscar nominations has become a huge theme again, as the Academy Awards heads into their second year with no black actors nominated for the highly-coveted award. Michael Caine has weighed in, making some very controversial statements about the reasons why he thinks actors of color continued to be ignored at the Oscars, but he made one big mistake. Even Caine admitted that Idris Elba deserved a nod for Beasts of No Nation, proving that there is an issue with diversity and, dare we say it, discrimination when it comes to handing out Oscar nominations.
Michael Caine spoke with BBC4 in a radio interview, via The Hollywood Reporter, about the recent outcry to boycott the Oscars. The 82-year old Caine urged actors of color to “be patient.” The two-time Oscar winner and four-time nominee seemed to entirely miss the point of the Oscars protest. Caine claimed that black actors would eventually be awarded for their talent, that it’s just a matter of time. Caine cited his own painstaking wait for recognition as proof that winning an Oscar just takes years. Nevermind the fact that there were several performances that were deserving of an Oscar nomination that were completely ignored.
Michael Caine: You can’t give Oscar nominations for sake of diversity https://t.co/ufdqVHDPDL
— Sue McDonald (@suemcdonald342) January 22, 2016
To further prove the point of those boycotting the Oscars, Michael Caine was under the impression that Idris Elba had earned an Oscar nod.
“The one I – I don’t know whether Idris [Elba] got [nominated],” Caine said. “Because I saw Idris, and I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would get [nominated]. Did he not get nominated?” The answer to Michael Caine’s question is no. Idris Elba did not get an Oscar nomination for Beasts of No Nation and it’s actually a huge part of the #OscarsSoWhite uproar that has been trending on social media.
Also ignored during the Oscars nominations was Will Smith’s performance in Concussion and the entire black cast of Straight Outta Compton. The caucasian writers got an Oscar nod though. Michael B. Jordan is another actor who gave a fine performance in Creed. Many commented on the amount of work that Jordan put into his starring role but unsurprisingly, Sylvester Stallone pulled an Oscar nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role with his reprisal of Rocky Balboa for the film instead.
Michael Caine, too. He tells black actors to “be patient,” as if that isn’t what they’ve been doing for generations. https://t.co/JTDEYY61fj
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 22, 2016
Caine joins the growing list of Academy Award supporters, who claim that actors of color just need to keep trying. This begs the question, are Michael Caine and others with his mindset ignoring a huge problem in Hollywood? Are actors being ignored for their immense talent because of the color of their skin? If so, then Michael Caine’s suggestion to just be patient and step up their game is insulting to those who have been putting out amazing performances.
It seems that the line has been drawn when it comes to the 2016 Academy Awards and many are taking sides on the debate over the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees. Michael Caine clearly thinks the Oscar noms are fine and that those who haven’t been acknowledged for their fine performances simply need to work harder and do a better job.
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) January 22, 2016
In the BBC4 radio interview, Caine said of the Oscar controversy, “There’s loads of black actors. You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black. You got to give a good performance, and I’m sure there were very good [performances].” Indeed, Mr. Caine and that is why so many people are so upset about the obvious snub of black actors by the Academy Awards for the second year in a row.
The bigger issue here is what to do or say about those who don’t believe there is a problem in ignoring actors of color and literally dismissing them in the way that Michael Caine did. Caine’s comments came right on the heels of Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling, who said the Oscar boycott is “racist to whites.” As if those affected by the constant disregard for their talent should just be quiet and go away. Or maybe they should be patient and wait forever for something to change, as Michael Caine suggested, rather than speaking out and doing something about it.
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) January 22, 2016
[Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]