"I regret that my comments could have been misinterpreted ... I simply meant to say that in an ideal world every performance will be given equal opportunities for consideration. I am very honored to be included in this year's wonderful group of nominated actors and actresses."
Two-time Oscar winner Sir Michael Caine offered similar thoughts:
"There's loads of black actors. In the end you can't vote for an actor because he's black. You can't 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 and I'm sure people have. I saw Idris Elba (in Beasts Of No Nation)... I thought he was wonderful."
Caine added that black actors should "be patient": "It took me years to get an Oscar, years."
For some reason Chelsea Clinton, neither black nor an actress herself, decided to weigh in publicly on Rampling's comments. On Twitter, Clinton called Rampling's statement "outrageous, ignorant and offensive":
Chelsea Clinton’s leap into the Oscar attack is just one more indication of how racist liberals have become. The assault on the Oscars by Sharpton, Spike Lee and the white leftist rat pack is a transparent attempt to impose a racial quota on the awards. Thanks to political pressure like this, blacks already have a privileged place on Oscars night compared to say Hispanics and Asians.But who in his or right mind thinks that the Hollywood liberal set has denied a nomination this year to Will Smith - who has already been nominated twice for an Oscar - because he is black? It is far more likely that a wannabe actress like Halle Berry got her Oscar because she was black.