Michael Caine’s message to ‘non-white actors’: ‘Be patient, of course it will come’

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In the year 2000, Michael Caine won his second Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Cider House Rules, a role which… if we’re being fair, doesn’t even make the top-ten of Michael Caine’s performances. That year, he beat Tom Cruise, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jude Law and Haley Joel Osmond. If we’re being fair, anyone else should have won that year. Caine got his first-ever Oscar nomination in 1967 for Alfie, and he’s got six nominations and two Oscars overall. My point? Caine has a long history of being recognized by the Academy, and he is beloved by the Academy.

Late last week, Caine was doing an interview with BBC Radio 4 to promote his film Youth. He was asked – as I’m sure all actors are being asked these days – about diversity, #OscarsSoWhite, etc. It did not go well. It wasn’t as bad as Charlotte Rampling, but it was not good.

Michael Caine is the latest star to weigh in on the diversity issues at 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.”

Caine added he was sure there were “very good” performances last year among actors of color, specifically citing 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?”

Told by Robinson that Elba was not nominated, Caine replied, “Well, look at me. I won the [European Film Award] for best actor, and I got nominated for nothing else.” The 82-year-old actor had been in contention for his role in Youth.

“The great thing about it is you don’t have to go,” Caine said about failing to receive a nomination. He then joked that he wasn’t going to “sit there clapping for Leonardo DiCaprio. I love Leonardo, he played my [son-in-law] in a movie, but I don’t want to travel that far. I’m too old to travel that far to sit in an audience and clap for someone else.”

Asked by Robinson 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.”

[From EW]

While I think his comments are utterly off the mark, I wanted to offer the context of the full exchange, because I do think it’s somewhat noteworthy that Caine didn’t even know that Idris Elba had been snubbed. That, to me, says that Caine hasn’t been paying attention to the controversy, and it’s more than possible that he truly believes the whole controversy boils down to certain actors being upset that they weren’t winning awards. That’s the “best” interpretation I can give. But a plainer reading says that Caine comes across as incredibly patronizing to non-white actors. Non-white actors and artists aren’t mad that they’re losing awards to Leo DiCaprio. They’re mad that for two years in a row, all of their artistic contributions have been completely ignored by the most prestigious film academy in the world.

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87 Responses to “Michael Caine’s message to ‘non-white actors’: ‘Be patient, of course it will come’”

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  1. embertine says:

    Is this ‘OH MY GOD SHUT UP WHITE PEOPLE’ week? I’m white and even I’m sick of our bullsh*t.

  2. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    I think what he said was out of touch and patronizing, but I also think he’s old, not familiar with the controversy and doesn’t understand exactly what he’s being asked. I’m not trying to defend him, really, and yes, another white person opens mouth and emits cringe worthy sh@t, but I don’t think he fully understood the context of the question.

    • Luxe says:

      Agree. This was super-stupid and he needs to educate himself, but I was more offended by Rampling for sure.

    • Sixer says:

      You’re a nice lady GNAT and I agree he may not have been au fait with all the details. But that’s not cos he’s a lovable old national treasure and too ditsy to be up to speed; it’s cos he doesn’t give a flying fig.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Very good point. I’d like to know what his answer would have been when he was younger. You may be right that it would have been just as awful.

      • Sixer says:

        Honestly? I think it’s probably just as well Nick Robinson didn’t push him on it because he would have got stroppy and said something even worse! He’s of that school of people who say, “I made it and I was from a poor background so there are no excuses for anyone else. And that includes the black people, the brown people, the gay people and the women.”

      • BritAfrica says:

        Yes Sixer, but should he give a fig? I’m not sure. Whilst I agree that it is up to ALL of us to fight for equality, most people do not directly get involved in issues that don’t impact them directly.

        E.g. I have never joined a protest about not being able to access a building because I am in a wheelchair. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want full access ability for everyone; it just means that I haven’t bothered to spare the time to join in a protest about it. I am sure he is in favour of all actors being equally recognised for the work they do, but why should he be the one to fight for it? What I do take issue with, is his patronising ‘wait, it will come’. Unless you have a date, don’t say that to any group.

        BTW, thanks for the recommendations on Social Closure. It wasn’t a term I was familiar with.

      • Sixer says:

        Oh, he is not obliged to give a fig. But neither am I obliged to like him for not giving a fig. ;)

        (You should look up Bourdieu on “habitus”, BritAfrica. If you were interested by social closure, you’d probably be interested in that, too.)

      • Lilacflowers says:

        Aren’t his children of mixed race?

      • Sixer says:

        Lilac – yes. His wife is Guyanese Indian. I don’t think anyone is saying he is interpersonally racist. Just that he thinks success is based on the individual level and lack of success is equally based on the individual level. He’d be a denier that institutional racism exists. He’d probably use his marriage as evidence of that!

      • lilacflowers says:

        My point about his children was that he is basically saying his own children should wait. I think if anyone did that to his kids, it would wake him up – not that I think anyone should discriminate against his kids for that purpose.

      • Sixer says:

        Ahhhh. Gotcha! Yes. Quite.

    • Pepper says:

      I think he understood, he said something similar a while back when he did the Hollywood Reporter roundtable and he definitely didn’t miss the context there.

      Honestly I think he’s just extremely hung up on the hard time he got as a young actor with a Cockney accent when all the greatest UK actors were (or managed to come across as) posh. He mentions it in nearly every interview he does. I think he thinks he’s being supportive, like ‘look at me, I struggled to break in at first, and now here I am’. But it’s quite obviously not the same, and he clearly has it in his head that there’s some sort of proper order for these things ie. first the non-posh actors get a go, then non-posh actresses, and somewhere down the line we’ll get to POC actors…someday.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes. He thinks his success is evidence that anyone can have success. There’s nothing keeping you down but yourself: that’s how he sees it.

      • embertine says:

        Sixer, agreed. He has said words to this effect lots of times before. You would think that he would realise that painting yourself as the exception to the rule kind of indicates that there IS a rule, but apparently he’s not got that far in his reasoning.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Yeah, I was about to say that. I think he thinks that the situation is similar to his situation because it was somewhat revolutionary back then for an actor to be from a poor backround and not to use a posh accent. He had it hard in the beginning, but it is not the same, or even similar, but I guess that is his reasoning.

      • jojo says:

        That makes a lot of sense, about him equating his challenges with this issue. Of course it’s wrong and dumb still, but his statements make more sense as a result of him maybe over identifying with the situation and using himself as an example.

      • Sixer says:

        jojo – I think it does make sense. And even the equating makes sense because – as I am making a pain in the arse of myself arguing on the Hiddleston thread – the class debate in the UK is a culturally painful one in the same way the race debate in the US is a culturally painful one.

        But I don’t give Caine a pass any more than I give Hiddleston a pass. As Lilac points out below, there’s no excuse for industry-wide structural discrimination and he shouldn’t be defending it.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I agree GNAT, he’s not getting the question/problem.

    • Denisemich says:

      @GNAT,

      I was going to give him a pass too because this sounds like old man ramble. Clint Eastwood gave an old man ramble too.

      But then I caught myself. I don’t think Michael Caine is racist but I do think he can be an a hole.

      He is a two time academy award winner. Idris would have been nominated in a category in which he has clout. Is he so self centered and out of touch that he doesn’t even care about how votes are distilled into nominations?

      Then he shouldn’t be allowed to vote.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes, maybe I reacted too specifically to this interview, as I don’t know much about his personality otherwise. He just sounds sort of doddering here, like he doesn’t really get it. But I’m thinking from what everyone else said that maybe I spoke too soon and he has a history of being sort of a jerk.

      • lilacflowers says:

        I give no pass for old age. What is being discussed here is industry and workplace discrimination. He is still in the workforce and workforce laws apply to everyone in the workforce, no matter how old. He should be aware and more tolerant.

    • Nikki says:

      I agree w/ what GNAT said; the reporter fed him the question even, and he agreed. But it’s ironic because Dr. Martin Luther King gave a speech in which he said he could understand outright hatred or prejudice more than he could understand white pastors who kept saying to “be patient”, that his people would get their rights “in due time”! Terribly insulting and ignorant to say this in 2016!

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yes, it would be gross to ask people who have already waited 200 years to be patient, if that’s what he meant. I didn’t think he meant be patient and you will get equal treatment, though. I took it as saying to individual actors, be patient, it takes a long time to get an Oscar. However, I could have misinterpreted what he meant, and either way is not a great answer.

  3. Sixer says:

    Oh, I think you can condemn him.

    I don’t like him for his form on other issues – doesn’t like paying tax, has supported the Conservatives, thinks people on welfare are layabouts, thinks we should go back to forced conscription for the army for National Service, etc etc etc.

    From a British perspective, he’s just added another string to the bow of my disapproval of him. I love him as an actor. But as a person? Nuh uh.

    Condemn away, Celebitches!

    • spidey says:

      Mind you Sixer I wouldn’t have been too keen on paying tax at 83% in an uncertain profession!

    • Locke Lamora says:

      I never understood how can people from poorer backrounds support the Conservatives ( or how can anyone, to be honest) or condem people on welfare. Same goes for Gary Oldman. Do they honestly think that just because they made it everyone can? Are people really that naive?

      Speaking of politics, are there any Canadians here? We just got a new government and they are talking about changing the health insurance to be similar to the Canadian one. Apparently, that means it won’t cover the dentist, oftamologist or prescription drugs? Because if that is true, that is horrible.

      • maggie says:

        I’m Canadian. it depends in which province you live. I pay $136.00 per month for basic care for my husband and myself. It covers visits to your family doctor, most surgeries and some medication. If you buy extra coverage that will help pay for a portion of your prescriptions, dental care and visits to a specialist if they are recommended by your family physician. I recently had a dental implant. All of it was out of pocket other than the anesthetic used to put me out.

      • vauvert says:

        Canadian here, living in Ontario.
        The free medical care (keep in mind our much higher personal income tax and you can’t deduct your mortgage interest on your taxes) covers the following:
        All medical visits, hospital visits and surgeries, specialists.
        It does NOT cover vision care for adults (kids under 18 and seniors over 65 get free annual checkups). Eyeglasses or contacts – not covered for anyone.
        Also not covered: physiotherapy, dental care, alternative therapies, drug prescriptions.
        However, those of us with good jobs (hard to define good – think white collar full time job) have very comprehensive additional care. We can take just the basic offered by the employer (which say will cover 60% of dental/vision/etc.) or we can contribute to the insurance and we get something like 80-90% coverage. For our family of three it costs something like $250/month, and there are some limits – for example my kid’s upcoming huge orthodontist bill is capped at a lifetime of $3,000, which does not come close to paying for his braces.
        On the other hand my previous drug treatment costing $4,000/month (you read that right) was fully covered, my flex pays for my physio and massage therapy, when my child had a full educational/psychological assessment it was 90% paid for. We have a great plan. But our basic free health care is fantastic – in ten years of chronic illness we would have been flat broke otherwise (or I would be dead.) So there’s that to consider.

      • Jensies says:

        Your responses make me want to weep.

        I’m American. Even at jobs with “good” insurance, I’ve paid $80+ per pay period (ie every two weeks so double that number for the month) for insurance. Insurance that is only medical and sometimes light mental health. And I still had to pay a $30 deductible per doctor’s appointment. And $5-20 for medication.

        Dental is another fee. Vision is another. I’m (or I was at that time, sigh) young, single, female, and a non-smoker.

        And I read the money you guys pay a month for coverage that’s so much better, and I want to just scream at my whole stupid country.

        Sorry. /rant

      • Sixer says:

        Just to note that even the NHS here in the UK isn’t entirely free. In-work adults (children, pensioners and welfare recipients go free everywhere) have to pay for glasses or contact lenses, dental fees (although these are capped at £220) and a prescription charge (£8ish per item).

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Well, in our current system, everything you counted as additional is covered by our basic insuracne – dentist, oftamologist, orthodont, hospital stay, presription drugs etc. Our salaries are lover than in Canada and making people pay additional for better helath insuracne would be a huge burden.

  4. karen says:

    This has nothing to do with actors but I was watching the U.S. figure skating over the weekend and ccouldn’t help but notice how white it is. It’s always been this way for as long as I can remember. Yes, there are well known Asian skaters, but it’s very rare to find other races represented. It’s a super expensive sport, I assume that plays a huge part in why we don’t see much diversity. I wonder if anyone has ever called out a sport for being “too white”. Oh well, it was just an observation, nothing to do with actors, just something that is so glaringly obvious.

    • emilie says:

      Like the NBA?

    • NewWester says:

      Hockey is mostly all white and has been called out for that reason. Maybe this Oscar debate will get people looking at other areas in society that are not very inclusive

      • Mia4s says:

        Easily explained though. Hockey is also a super expensive sport, the economic barriers effect children of all ethnicities. We literally have a charity dedicated to access to the sport for low income kids. Plus remember that Canadians are dominate in the NHL. The ethnic make up of Canada is very different from the United States.

      • Malificent says:

        Outside of the professional teams, hockey is a very regional sport in the US. Really big in the Upper Midwest in the states that border Canada and not so much anywhere else.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Also most of the other countries where hockey is popular are mostly white.

      • mazzie says:

        Hockey Canada is trying to get more kids of all ethnicities into hockey. No idea if it’s working because I don’t watch hockey. <— bad Canadian.

    • spidey says:

      How many swimmers of colour are there?

    • Pansy says:

      Sports may have more to do with the demographics of a region though. I live in a very diverse area in the south, so our sports are baseball, football, and basketball, all of which are represented well with people of color. We’re not an affluent area (and a warm climate 9 months out of the year) so we don’t even offer things like ice skating, hockey, and swimming (no indoor pools around here, so no way to practice year round). Maybe that has more to do with it? Not every area is cool enough to sustain a youth program in those sports; and, to be frank, there are plenty of mostly white towns in the north and Midwest where it seems these sports are popular. There are pro hockey teams down here, but they don’t have big followings.

      • Krista says:

        Thank you for saying this. The sport a professional athlete plays has nearly everything to do with what type of access they had as a child. Hockey and ice skating are very expensive sports to participate in. If your family doesn’t have the means, then you won’t play. And if your town doesn’t have a pool or a rink, so sorry.
        Conversely, basketball is relatively cheap and seen by many as an upward mobility tool. However, as school sports programs are being cut in less affluent areas, we may soon see fewer and fewer POC in professional sports.

      • karen says:

        That might be part of it. However, many athletes that are hoping to compete in Olympic level sports often move away to live near the training facilities they require, sometimes living with their coaches or other families. Of course it’s not going to be practical for many, but it’s done. Anyway, it was just an observation. I just wondered if others had noticed. I live in the south as well, and ice skated as a child. It got to the point if I wanted to progress, I would need private (rather than group) lessons so I had to quit.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      But that has much to do with training, accessibility and interest. I mean yes, there are some aspects of racism in that there isn’t a huge demand for black talent (just like with golf) but there isn’t also a huge outreach program encouraging children to learn and hone their skills at ice skating.

      • Lilacflowers says:

        There was an article in yesterday’s Boston Globe about a program teaching city kids how to play hockey. Most of the kids come from places where there is never any ice and their parents never watched or played hockey but the program is full.

    • vauvert says:

      It is a combination of things, and as a Canadian hockey mom I can speak to this sport in particular. Of course sociology-economic factors play a huge role. Equipment is expensive, camps are expensive and even house league fees are steep for low income families. My husband coaches hockey, and no one on our team (or in our year) comes from what you would call poor. But we live in one of the richest neighbourhoods in the country so it is difficult to estimate how income affects participation. However, our league is diverse, we have Asian and black and Hindu kids on the team – but here is the thing, not in the same proportion as say, the percentage of non- white kids at my son’s very expensive private school.
      And this is where cultural aspects are involved: we have Muslim friends, none of their boys play because it would interfere with religious school on the weekend. Some of the Russian boys don’t play because Sunday they go to church and language school. Some of the Korean boys stopped playing because the parents wanted to focus on math and music. I am not stereotyping, it just is what it is. These are our friends and I totally understand their rationale, even though we have rinks galore in our community hockey was not the right sport for their families.
      Also, the parents need to be super committed to developing a NHL caliber playing. In addition to money, you essentially need a stay at home parent combined with a second, relatively high income parent to support the cost and effort required to get your kid on the ice five times a week, plus hiring private coaches, plus paying the league fees, plus the cost of attending out of town tournaments. Once the kids are older you need to be willing to send them away, at 16, to live wherever the farm team is located (junior teams feeding the NHL) with a host family, and unless you and the child have NHL as a 100% goal, not many people are willing to do that.
      I think there is a huge difference though between access to a sport for kids in a house league and what you end up seeing on the screen as a pro or Olympic athlete. Across Canada (and definitely in our community) we have lots of initiatives to help support low income families whose kids want to play hockey.

      • BlueNailsBetty says:

        This was a terrific read.

        I’m glad you broke down the economics of sports training. There is a huge difference in the financial considerations of a kid who enjoys playing sports and a kid who is training for college scholarship/professional level. And for kids who are playing for college/pro the finances/time needed are usually extreme.

      • antipodean says:

        @vauvert, thank you for that fascinating breakdown from your personal experience. This is why I love Celebitchy, such a diverse and intelligent bunch! I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about this! I have a daughter who is grown now, and she wasn’t what you would call a “sporty” sort, so I never had contact with kids who were interested in being totally involved with a team sport. The logistics, and economics of it all are beyond what I would ever have believed, and the reasons why some kids are attracted to the disciplines they are have so much to do with their geographical/financial/familial situations from what you say. It seems obvious when you explain it so well. Something for me to think about today!

  5. Astrid says:

    And why do we have Oscars at all? It’s not like there is an international award for Best Nurse or Smartest CPA. The awards are always going to be subjective, even when the Selection Board isn’t fully loaded by white people. Top actors get plenty of recognition and money, why a little gold statue?

    • Algernon says:

      They started giving each other awards in 1929, and to be fair most industries *do* have some form of board awards, and there are actually several national-level and internationally recognized “nurse of the year” awards. They’re just not televised. Why? Because television doesn’t matter to a nurse’s success in the field. The Oscars started being televised as a way of advertising films because as the cost of making films went up the studios needed to widen their audience base in order to make the money required to make the films. Even to this day, the “Oscar bump” is a real economic effect of receiving a nomination, let alone a win. The Oscars are messed up in many regards, but if you enjoy movies *at all*, then they’re something that has to be tolerated as part of the economic reality of making movies, same as commercials airing before movies in the theater.

      • lucy2 says:

        My industry has a ton of awards too – every organization within it, every publication, vendors, governments, etc, all give out yearly awards. And actually nursing and CPAs do too! I agree it is just different because it’s televised, plus it’s an industry where most of the general public has experience with the product and the people making it.

  6. lovemesseg says:

    Another problematic out of touch white actor.

    Le sigh

  7. Scal says:

    That’s right poc’s-you just need to wait 30 or 40 years. /sigh

    This is the same BS argument that has been used for minorities/women on so many fields through history. Be patient for a woman Doctor, people just aren’t ready for a black engineer, someday a Indian will be anle to vote etc etc. It’s complete crap and it always comes from those in power. Quit trying to be more and just wait until WE tell you you can do something.

    • BlueNailsBetty says:

      Right? It’s 2016 and the “just be patient” crap has been going on for over a century.

    • V4Real says:

      Cain said be patient it will come.

      Well the great Sam Cooke said It’s been a long time coming but I know a change gonna come. That was 1965 and we’re still waiting for that change.

  8. CornyBlue says:

    Ew ew ew ew. Do away with the old whites pls.

    • BritAfrica says:

      Not nice. That is definitely racist. You couldn’t transpose that ‘whites’ for ‘blacks’ and get away with that sentence.

    • Antigone says:

      @corny blue you will be “old” someday too (maybe not white but old). It’s funny to me that people seem to forget that if we are lucky we all will be old at some point. Plus just because you’re “old” doesn’t mean you have antiquated views. My Mom is 70 so I guess at this point she’s an “old white” but she’s progressive in her opinions.

      • CornyBlue says:

        I obviously did not mean your mom but people like Rampling and Caine and the many others such n the film industry and AMPAs

    • jc126 says:

      What a nasty, stupid comment.

  9. Patricia says:

    Someone needs to line up a row of chairs so this guy can take all the seats.
    And I say this as a fan who always gets a kick out of him in everything he does. But still, that doesn’t make up for this level of ignorance. Take all the seats!!!

  10. Nancy says:

    Michael Caine has been around forever. I don’t think his words were those of a racist. He seemed sincere in his thoughts about Idris. He’s from a different generation of Hollywood. It seems like the press is knocking each other over to get another headline on the Oscars. This man to me anyway, seems color blind and wouldn’t deny any man or woman their day because they’re not white. Can’t wait for the Oscars to be over.

    • V4Real says:

      The only fault I find with what he said was the be patient comment, it will come. People in the minority (not just Blacks) have been patient and that patience is running out.

      I do agree with him that people shouldn’t win an Oscar just because they’re Black. They shouldn’t win just because it was bought and paid for or the Academy feels as if they owe them their due. People should be nominated and win on the merits of a great performance. But in order for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians. etc., to be nominated they need more roles for these groups of people.

      Look at the best male actor category.
      Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs- a person of color couldn’t play that part
      Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl-a person of color couldn’t play that part
      Bryan Cranston for Trumbo- a Black actor couldn’t play that part
      Leonardo DiCaprio- The Revenant- a movie set in a time that wouldn’t allow for a person of color to play that role either.
      Could a Black man or another person of color have played the lead in The Martian? Of course they could have but the studio most likely never had a person of color in mind when casting for the lead.

      As for the women I don’t see one best actress nominee where the lead could have been Black unless you go with Room. It’s like studios choose and develop these films in such away that only a White actor or actress could be cast.

  11. lewissrl says:

    I don’t often post here but I do enjoy reading the comments. The more I read about some of the excuses regarding #OscarsSoWhite, I am reminded of a quote by Dr. King from his letter from a Birmingham jail:
    “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Council-er or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can’t agree with your methods of direct action;” who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a “more convenient season.”
    Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Thank you so much for posting this lovely accurate quote.

      You are right of course. So many of the ‘intelligent’ ‘emphatic’ white actors of Hollywood have been strangely (predictably) quiet about this topic and it simply reveals it’s safer to publicly lobby for protecting a rainforest or a strip of land than fighting alongside POC.

  12. QQ says:

    Fam, please, all these old rich white folks just need to stop with the talking about things they neither know nor care about, I’m doing your careers and Public Q scores a f*cking favor with tgis advice just full on stop, else this whole Oscar season will continue to be a race to the bottom with everyone careening to spew their precious verbal diarrhea in public

    • CornyBlue says:

      LOL but why stop ? Let the season expose all of them so i never have to bother with them again

  13. vauvert says:

    His comments are definitely out of touch. And if he has said similar things before, that is on him.
    But here is the thing, and I know many of you will disagree. My dad is the same age as Michael. Obviously every one ages differently but I can tell you from my experience that there is a definite loss of cognitive abilities on top of things like diminished vision, diminished reflexes, multiple health issues, etc. It changes a person dramatically, and it seems to narrow their scope a LOT. There are times I talk to my dad and I can hear the confusion and befuddlement and loss of patience- not to the point of dementia or anything, but he is much less than the person he used to be. So, yes, I don’t hold my dad (or Michael) to the same standard as I would someone else. Is this ageist? I would hope not, and like I said everyone is different, but just looking at Michael’s answers feels like hearing my dad talk. He would very much say the same stuff whereas 20 years ago his response would have been informed, aware, and on point.

    • Kate says:

      He’s been saying things like this for decades. If anything he’s gotten more diplomatic as he’s gotten older.

    • wood dragon says:

      I think you have something there. Plus he didn’t grow up here in the states. He is of a certain generation and from the UK. He meant well, but he isn’t in the thick of it around here. I’ve never heard a bad thing about him, so I am not going to get harsh on him.

  14. CornyBlue says:

    I also want to say how as he is a man we are all familiar with and has the grandad vibe going on people are so much softer on him tha they were on Charlotte Rampling. Obviously what Charlotte Rampling said was way more blunt but what he said is also very much in the same vein.

  15. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    People like him will never truly appreciate how long black people have been waiting. How long other ethnicities have been patient.

    This is why I think so many whites gasp and are troubled when issues become graphic. They want to believe it’s all so clean and easy. A peaceful protest. An MLK quote. Quick change.

    They don’t even fully comprehend that generations have come and passed waiting patiently, trying to do things the ‘right’ way, only to see nothing come off it. Then when there is a palpable anger, a boiling rage and willingness to do damage, get lost, step on feelings and feet they’re positively gobstruck.

    I watched a clip yesterday of a Native American woman going to the stage to refuse to accept the award for Marlon Brando because he could not stand the deplorable conditions and lack of respect towards Native Americans in acting…this was in the 70′s.

    How much longer should those folks wait Michael? Another 60 years for people like you to understand any injustice is unacceptable and lives can’t always be paused for your own comfort?

  16. WTF says:

    This Ahole needs to check his privilege. And PLEASE stop making excuses for him. I hope his wife give him the business when he gets home. (B/c she’s obviously not white)

  17. Sarah01 says:

    I like watching him and love listening to his voice. I think he’s been around long enough to know that diversity is an issue, but I agree that he’s not aware of the whole context. I found it funny when he says he doesn’t want to sit at a table and clap for someone else, I don’t think a lot of the people there feel the same except the winners and their peeps.

  18. FF says:

    I am absolutely waiting to see if he gets a nom next year. Ditto Rampling and Delpy. Tho probs not Delpy, as she called out the old guard.

  19. Josefina says:

    He’s old. He probably wonders why “#OscarsSoWhite” is written without spaces and with a hashtag. I’m 98% sure whoever did this interview knew exactly what they would get by asking an old white British dude about racism in Hollywood. Celebs saying ignorant things about race and gender is the ultimate click bait.

  20. Jaded says:

    Honestly, between Michael Caine and Roger Moore I’d give them both Oscars for the “Worst Examples of Rich Old White Men with Racist Tunnel Vision”.

  21. annaloo. says:

    I am worried what this all leads to down the line.. more specifically, the skepticism that will inevitably come whether a PoC has truly earned a position or an award or any achievement he or she receives. In college, I had turned down all race based grants and scholarships (much to the chagrin of my wallet, I realize) – but it was because I wanted to be able to know that whatever I had earned I could say that IT WAS I who did I, on my own, with no assistance and that my work and achievements were on par with anyone else who did not receive assistance. Is it wrong, that I happen to agree that people should not receive anything just because they are black?…but I also know how devalued we have been in the past for almost any field out there, and I am well aware that Hollywood has a diversity problem not only with blacks, but with Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, the disabled, the overweight, etc , but would future awarding any old performance from someone of color for a quota be the solution? Is it too reactive, especially for something as subjective as the arts?

    I hope that the steps the Academy is taking will produce a change. I don’t know if it’s the solution, but I think it’s a good start. Again, my WASP husband that I love dearly and who belongs to the DGA still has not screened Carol, or Straight Outta Compton or even the Danish Girl. But he’s watched HAteful Eight, The Revenant, Steve Jobs — he was on those films as soon as FedEx delivered them. Diversifying the academy, I think , is a good step in the right direction.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      The problem with Affirmative Action or what people misunderstand about it is that it as created because traditionally schools didn’t care about bringing in minorites.

      If 30 kids applied for school and only 5 of them were black, schools tended to repeatedly and without fail choose the white students insinuating all sorts of assumptions about the black students and their inability to compete. It’s only when a quota was put in place that those students – who were the top of the class already and would have done well in those schools – were finally given a shot.

      I can understand the decision you made and why but the sheer lack of numbers in certain schools never made me feel any better or worse for accepting aid. I don’t for one second believe that only 3 talented black kids applied to a high school I went to visit and yet that’s how many there were currently enrolled. When I went to visit as a potential student I sat in the office for an hour alone because they forgot to retrieve me (but not the other white students who had also come to visit). I read the writing on the wall early and made the decision to go to school somewhere that was more welcoming and diverse.

      Also, ironically, Affirmative Action helps white women more than POC. Which I suppose you can also see in Hollywood.

      • annaloo. says:

        I like your position and definitely see your reasoning. I also agree that a more diverse atmosphere normalizes expectations of all, but it has to be diversified in the first place! I just hate the stigmatizing whispers that anyone who is a PoC got somewhere bc of a hand up – my skin color is not a handicap! I just don’t want to see that trend grow. I want the best to be where they should be, secure in knowing they are the ones at the top of the game. I know this isn’t happening yet bc some people can’t even get in the door for consideration, but ultimately, that’s where I hope we truly land.

      • me says:

        I know there have been times I only got hired because of my skin color. I was qualified and educated but all the interviewer wanted to talk about was my ethnicity (which is illegal). But I was a new graduate, needed a job, and was happy someone finally read my resume and wanted to interview me. Sometimes you take what you can get, even though you are only there to fill their “quota”.

  22. Seltvik says:

    I dont think the problem is with the academy, the problem is more with the studios. Straight out of compton could have gotten a best picture nomination, but did not desereve any actor nominations and Concussion was just a bad movie. I have seen Creed yet so I dont know about that one

  23. Dangles says:

    “They’re mad that for two years in a row, all of their artistic contributions have been completely ignored by the most prestigious film academy in the world.”

    Cannes is more prestigious in my opinion because it’s more cosmopolitan and awards art over commerce. Unlike the Oscars which focus on the Anglosphere and mainstream entertainment.