Oscars race row takes centre stage at Standard film awards

    9 February 2016

    As awards season gets underway, racial equality has become the top subject of conversation in the surrounding press coverage. Will Smith — along with a host of other stars — has said that he will boycott the Academy Awards this year over the lack of black actors on the shortlist. One of the biggest snubs went to Idris Elba who missed out on a nomination for his performance in Beasts Of No Nation despite being recognised in other award shortlists.

    Alas, not everyone is getting behind the cause. Charlotte Rampling — who is nominated for her role in 45 Years — made headlines after she suggested the boycott was ‘racist to whites’ before questioning whether the black actors even deserved to make the list. So, perhaps it was for the best that Rampling decided to give this week’s Evening Standard film awards a miss. Idris Elba was awarded the top gong for his role in Beasts Of No Nation and used his acceptance speech to highlight the issue.

    When it came to Rampling’s turn to collect her Editor’s Award, her 45 Years co-star Tom Courtenay took to the stage to do the honours. After making Rampling’s apologies — explaining that she was in Los Angeles, the Doctor Zhivago actor couldn’t resist causing a bit of mischief. ‘Charlotte would be very pleased to hear that Idris Elba won Best Actor,’ he quipped — before exiting the stage with a cheeky smile.

    While much laughter followed, Miss Steerpike suspects it would be best for all concerned if Rampling collects her own awards in future.