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Charlotte Rampling in December 2015
Charlotte Rampling in December 2015

PARIS — Invited on French radio Europe 1, British actress and Oscar-nominee Charlotte Rampling has weighed in on the controversy over the lack of diversity this year among Academy Award nominees, saying that filmmaker Spike Lee's call to boycott the ceremony was "racist against whites."

The 69-year-old English-born actress, famous for her movies in three languages (English, French and Italian) and nominated for Best Actress at the 88th Academy Awards for her role in Andrew Haigh's drama 45 Years, suggested that "maybe the black actors didn't deserve to make it to the last leg."

Speaking in French, she responded to a question about quotas: "Why classify people? Today we're living in a world where everyone is more or less accepted, but there'll always be problems like "this one is less handsome, that one's too black, that one's too white" ... So we'll always classify people in thousands of little minorities everywhere."

Challenged by the interviewer that African-Americans feel that they are still an under-represented minority, Rampling switched to English: "No comment."

For the second year in a row, the 20 nominees in the top four acting categories are white. This lack of diversity has led high-profile Hollywood figures like Jada Pinkett-Smith and husband Will Smith to announce they were boycotting the Feb. 28 ceremony. Others like actors David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o, George Clooney, and Idris Elba have publicly criticized the lack of nominees of color.

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Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

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In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

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