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

Michael Caine - H 2014
AP Images/Invision

Michael Caine - H 2014

The Oscar winner, who wasn't nominated this year for his performance in 'Youth' advised frustrated performers to, "be patient. Of course, it will come."

Michael Caine is the latest British actor to weigh in on the debate about this year's all-white acting nominees for the Oscars.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, Caine was asked about the controversy, responding: "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].”

The 82-year-old acknowledged that he didn't know that Idris Elba, for example, didn't get nominated for his role in Beasts of No Nation. "The one I – I don’t know whether Idris 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?”

When his interviewer confirmed that Elba wasn't in the running for an Academy Award, Caine added: “Well, look at me. I won the [European Film Award for] best actor [for Youth], and I got nominated for nothing else.”

Asked about his advice for black actors frustrated by the situation, Caine said: “Be patient. Of course, it will come. Of course, it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar."