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Michael Caine on Oscars Diversity: 'You Can't Vote for an Actor Because He's Black'

Michael Caine on Oscars Diversity: 'You Can't Vote for an Actor Because He's Black'

Michael Caine has weighed in on the Oscars diversity debate and he says the time “will come” for the frustrated entertainers to be recognized by the Academy.

“There’s loads of black actors. You can’t vote for an actor because he’s black,” the 82-year-old actor told BBC Radio 4 (via THR). “You got to give a good performance, and I’m sure there were very good [performances].”

It seems Michael hadn’t looked over the nominations list as he wanted to know if Idris Elba was nominated for Beasts of No Nation.

“The one I – I don’t know whether Idris got [nominated],” Michael said. “Because I saw Idris, and I thought he was wonderful. I thought he would get [nominated]. Did he not get nominated?”

“Well, look at me. I won the [European Film Award for] best actor [for Youth], and I got nominated for nothing else,” Michael added. When asked to give advice to black actors he said, “Be patient. Of course, it will come. Of course, it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar.”

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Posted to: 2016 Oscars, 2016 Oscars Diversity, Michael Caine

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  • Anastatia Bagans

    Tell em boy. I’m glad there’s some smart people out there willing to say what it is.

  • VanityInsecurity

    Thank you Mr. Caine .. Im glad more people are coming forward to show what this boycott is just a sham. There is no hidden agenda towards black actors. No one is holding you back but yourselves!

  • jeff_albertson

    This is a false debate.
    Jamie Foxx, Denzel, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman can just fart for 60mins onscreen and they will get nominated. Certain actors once they are recognized are shoeins to be nominated.
    But the thing with them is that they often star in Oscar friendly movies.
    You want to a film about civil rights or slavery….Ding, Ding, Ding… its an automatic candidate. just like you can crap out anything about the jewish holocaust and it will as well. boring films about boring people is what pretentious people want you to think is good movies. Not the Tyler Perry garbage.
    Comedies, cop movies, action flicks, sci-fi,etc do NOT get nominated. Star Wars make gazillions and will get nominated for some effects but no one will get nominated for acting or best flick.
    its not the actors that matter but the kind of films you make.
    look at Caine. hes a good actor but he also doesnt have a filter and will be in any piece of crap as long as he gets paid. you know if his coworkers are Steven Seagal or Batman in a film that there is no way he wou8ld ever get a nomination. but if he plays a gay jewish scientist who is looking for a cure for his dying paraplegic albino wife after losing his daughter, chances are pretty good that he will.

    And by the way, there are twice as many latinos than blacks and they are TOTALLY invisible in the entertainment industry and waaaaaaaay below blacks on that totem pole. How about them? Shouldnt there be twice as many latinos nominated?

    Im still surprised that jada pinkett is still alive, what does she do? movies of the week? and didnt Spike Lee get some lifetime achivement last year for a handful of decent films? oh wait…he’s trying to pimp his documentary about black on black violence in Chicago… his movies might be hit and miss but what he does best is promote his brand.

    you know who is to blame for this? democrats. everyone knows they hold power in Hollywood, not republicans but no one is taking them to task for this.

    there is no such thing as the best movie, its all subjective popularity contest. its all a question of big studios and big money and release dates a few weeks before the voting…its a rigged process from the start and nothing more than a hollywood circle jerk. no other industry throws so many awards for themselves.

  • Benny Ehud

    STFU!! Black PEOPLE don’t give a sh** about this. As a black person, I am thoroughly embarrassed that black actors actually give a sh** about this awards show.

    It shouldn’t be called a boycott. They just shouldn’t go or watch. I never watch.

  • Benny Ehud

    I don’t give a sh** about the Oscars or any awards show.

    However, why aren’t non-white, non-black actors or movies with those types in it nominated?

  • Curt Noydb

    We elected a Fraud, twice becasue he was black and gave him the Peace Prize too. Well…crap happens.

  • Curt Noydb

    I guess when Taylor Swift gets an Ebony Award for Artist of the Year…that question will be answered.

  • Benny Ehud

    Sam Smith won the BET Award for Best New Artist or something last year.

    I don’t think Ebony has an award show.

  • Barthelemy

    Well said

  • kellyf

    I’m glad to hear someone say this. The Oscars are just a Hollywood circle jerk. Aren’t there more important areas to examine potentials for racial biases?

  • AeeJay

    hey loser, why don’t you stfu.. or better yet go tell your precious black artists to stfu they are the one’s stirring pots.

  • LaCroix

    you’re telling someone to stfu & in the same sentence agreeing.. afflicted bunch aren’t you..

  • Stolia

    right black people don’t care about “racism” or so called racism. thats all that comes out of your mouths.

  • liss

    It´s more about starting a movement I think. To open more doors and bring up racism in more “white” places. It´s a good thing that this can make people talk! Even tho´ most likely nothing will change :/

  • Benny Ehud

    THEY SHOULD STFU!! Will, Jada, and SPIKE are embarrassing! It’s pathetic what they are doing. And, Al Sharpton is always embarrassing.

    However, the black artists can respond the way they want. And, the Academy can respond the way they want. If black artists don’t want to go and tell people that they aren’t going, they can do it. It’s stupid to me. But they can do it. If the Academy says they don’t give a sh** about these black artists complaining, that is OK with me, too LOL

  • VanityInsecurity

    little black people might not, but its very obvious that the black artist do very much.. starving for white approval.

  • Benny Ehud

    I don’t agree with them LMAO WTF are you talking about?

    “No one is holding you back but yourselves!” <— I wholeheartedly disagree with this statement. That's why I told them to STFU.

    I think the Academy WANTS to vote for whites most years. However, I don't give a sh**. That's b/c I don't care about ANY awards show. They are all full of sh**. They can vote for who they want to vote for.

  • Benny Ehud

    I agree with that statement. They are pathetic. They are utterly pathetic.

    But begging for the approval of anyone when you are ALREADY filthy rich is pathetic. If they were begging for a BET or NAACP Award, I would still call them pathetic.

  • Benny Ehud

    White people are not coming up off of their goods! LOL Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans better get like Asians and start graduating and higher rates and getting degrees in harder fields. That’s the only way they are going to make the inroads that they want.

    White people aren’t giving up cushy careers and large sums of money en masse to ANYBODY!!

  • Benny Ehud

    Black people don’t give a sh** about the OSCARS LMAO! That’s bullsh** to us. These black artists care about this sh**. They are embarrassing.

    Racism in everyday life is vastly different than worrying about who gets an Oscar.

  • Ariana

    I am happy that Michael Caine spoke up about this racist movement made by Jada, Will, Spike Lee, Clooney, Lupita and others.
    No person should be nominated on skin color but on their abilities and talent.

  • Ariana

    I am glad that a actual famous person has spoken out against this. Michael said it as bluntly as possible” You can’t vote for an actor just because he is black”
    Truer words have never been spoken.
    I am sick of the liberal and PC media shoving down their agenda all the time. I wish it would end.

  • Ariana

    Its obvious Will and Jada aren’t going because he isn’t nominated. Jada has no problem benefiting from the Oscars when her husband is a nominee. I think Will and others are jealous because everyone is saying its Leo’s year and we all know that Leo is not liked by Hollywood. Will probably feels he deserves it before an actor like DiCaprio.
    The same reason why Clooney is boycotting too. He hates Leo apparently.

  • Do Tell

    Look back at all the changes in history. They would not have been made if some people (also whites) didn’t get the gumption to do something about injustice.

    If you don’t play the lottery at all, you have zero chances to win. If no one addresses these issues, guess what?

    However, that said, I doubt things will ever truly be fair and equal for all, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to make things better. Things can always get better.

  • Do Tell

    Look back at all the changes in history. They would not have been made if some people (also whites) didn’t get the gumption to do something about injustice.

    If you don’t play the lottery at all, you have zero chances to win. If no one addresses these issues, guess what?

    However, that said, I doubt things will ever truly be fair and equal for all, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to make things better. Things can always get better.

  • Do Tell

    I like Mr. Caine too. What he said is true. Someone shouldn’t win just because they are a particular race.

    However, how will actors give the “best” performances if they don’t get the roles? That’s where it is unfair. They have to get the opportunities to act in serious roles that will be considered Oscar worthy.

    When I think about it, you can’t tell me Leo Dicaprio didn’t get a lot of “favor” in Hollywood. It’s not just because he’s a more superior actor than the rest. He’s been the star, the lead of “big” films. For a long time, I did not understand his great appeal. He looked 15.

    There are many black, Asian, Latino etc “trained actors” who, though not white, would have worldwide appeal like Denzel and Will Smith have. They can play roles other than the stereotypical ones for their race.

  • Do Tell

    I like Mr. Caine too. What he said is true. Someone shouldn’t win just because they are a particular race.

    However, how will actors give the “best” performances if they don’t get the roles? That’s where it is unfair. They have to get the opportunities to act in serious roles that will be considered Oscar worthy.

    When I think about it, you can’t tell me Leo Dicaprio didn’t get a lot of “favor” in Hollywood. It’s not just because he’s a more superior actor than the rest. He’s been the star, the lead of “big” films. For a long time, I did not understand his great appeal. He looked 15.

    There are many black, Asian, Latino etc “trained actors” who, though not white, would have worldwide appeal like Denzel and Will Smith have. They can play roles other than the stereotypical ones for their race.

  • Do Tell

    Nothing ever changes when people do what you’re saying. Not just about this subject, but other important issues in life.

  • Do Tell

    I respect your opinions, but I don’t agree. I don’t think people like Will and Jada Smith are like that. They never striked me as that insecure. Will is pretty confident. He’s not the greatest actor, but his confidence is one reason why I think he’s made it so big.

  • Do Tell

    Well, I don’t want to all of a sudden see a multitude of black actors popping up in a ton of low-budget and bad movies. I can see Hollywood responding like that to shut everyone up.

    It’s about all kinds of “serious” minority actors being able to play characters other than what is stereotypical of their race–and being leading men and women. Benicio Del Toro has gotten what after he won 1 Oscar? Who will be the next Denzel?

  • Benny Ehud

    I don’t care about the Oscars changing. It’s irrelevant to me. It should be irrelevant to everyone, especially non-white actors.

  • Benny Ehud

    This isn’t an issue. It’s the Oscars. It’s just an award show. It’s not sh**.

  • Do Tell

    Many of these actors and directors are aging now. They begin fading away and getting less opportunities. Mr. Caine worked a lot when he was young. Will Smith is near 50, but he looks good and healthy. That’s helped him, I think.

    Just saw the preview for George Clooney’s next film. I like Clooney–in fact, happy to see his current life with his wife–but he is aging poorly.

    Some of these people are on limited time. “The Martian” won as a “comedy” at the Golden Globes. That was a joke! Mr. Scott didn’t look too happy either. I think they felt obligated to award Scott, but placed him into another category so they could.

  • Do Tell

    The Obamas are leaving soon. I worry much more about who is coming in. There is no crystal ball.

  • Do Tell

    What the complaints boil down to is the issue of “discrimination.” That’s what the Smiths are claiming.

  • Benny Ehud

    They can discriminate if they want. It’s an awards show. LOL People are going to be left out.

  • disqus_tu0VPi4B9Z

    Smart words Mr. Caine! Not everybody win an Oscar and that don’t mean they aren’t worthy or greatest artists. Those black artists should think in what really is be an artist! It’s a genuine person who express art with passion and commitment and not a person who just seek the attention to be awarded.

  • disqus_tu0VPi4B9Z

    Smart words Mr. Caine! Not everybody win an Oscar and that don’t mean they aren’t worthy or greatest artists. Those black artists should think in what really is be an artist! It’s a genuine person who express art with passion and commitment and not a person who just seek the attention to be awarded.

  • disqus_tu0VPi4B9Z

    Smart words Mr. Caine! Not everybody win an Oscar and that don’t mean they aren’t worthy or greatest artists. Those black artists should think in what really is be an artist! It’s a genuine person who express art with passion and commitment and not a person who just seek the attention to be awarded.

  • disqus_tu0VPi4B9Z

    Smart words Mr. Caine! Not everybody win an Oscar and that don’t mean they aren’t worthy or greatest artists. Those black artists should think in what really is be an artist! It’s a genuine person who express art with passion and commitment and not a person who just seek the attention to be awarded.

  • disqus_tu0VPi4B9Z

    Smart words Mr. Caine! Not everybody win an Oscar and that don’t mean they aren’t worthy or greatest artists. Those black artists should think in what really is be an artist! It’s a genuine person who express art with passion and commitment and not a person who just seek the attention to be awarded.

  • VanityInsecurity

    thanks for respecting, but pls tell me the last time Smith had a hit? his movies has bombed since I am Legend/Hancock

  • SW

    Of course Jada Pinkett Smith thinks her husband did a great job and deserves a nomination and/or an oscar… But starting a discussion about racism and even trying to boykott the award show is just childish and demonstrating their jealousy.

  • ladynai

    People: he proves the point that Idris was passed over, but deserving. He thinks Idris deserved a nomination! And, no, Mr. Caine, he did not get nominated…that is exactly the point. He would have voted for him, I guess he did, but not enough other actors did. I like the point that Willian H. Macy brought up that most don’t watch the movies and just ‘like’ someone from another performance. The Academy should see that people view the screeners online or attend a screening event. Technology should ensure people aren’t voting based on friendship and actually *watch* the movies.

    Maybe the only people to get award nominations for black films were w-h-i-t-e (Straight ‘Outta Compton’s screenwriters and the documentary plus Rocky passed over the black director and star for Stallone whom they all “know”)…so did they just recognize the screenwriters names as ‘friends’ without watching the film or did they actually watch the films and skip the director, stars, etc. Like how can you have a screenwriting nomination and not the film…like they wrote a great movie which then turned out being a mediocre film? Huh?

  • ladynai

    I have to add this: Flint MI has a water crisis (poor children have more important issues and less resources than Hollywood) and I wish people would mobilize behind the less fortunate instead of only getting activist when Sony gets hacked or awards aren’t quite fair or women aren’t paid as much as men. All legit, but, so what…big picture, it isn’t like your children have lead poisoning. Boycotting? Fine, send your Oscar gown money, hair and makeup artists budget of thousands to the real underdogs, why dotcha’? You have private planes: put some water bottles in them and do something for the truly less fortunate.

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