Earlier today Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o joined the roll call of Hollywood stars to join the #OscarsSoWhite debate criticising the “lily-White” Oscar nominations.
Nyong’o who won the 2013 Best Supporting Actress award for 12 Years a Slave wrote on her Instagram, “The awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our hart has to offer today.”
“I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”
A photo posted by Lupita Nyong’o (@lupitanyongo) on
Her comments come in the wake of Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith announcing on social media they would be boycotting this year’s ceremony on account of its lack of diversity and criticism from fell actor David Oyelowo at Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award Gala in Los Angeles.
Presenting an award to Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Oyelowo who is of Nigerian descent who was overlooked last year for his portrayal of King in Selma said, “For 20 opportunities to celebrate actors of colour, actresses of colour, to be missed last year is one thing — for that to happen again this year is unforgivable.”
A more moderate view came from Whoopi Goldberg who appeared on the US chat show The View. The US star who won a Best Supporting Actress gong in 1990 for her performance in Ghost said, “Boycotting doesn’t work and it’s also a slap in the face to Chris Rock. I find that also wrong. So I’m not going to boycott but I’m going to continue to bitch… Because I’m tired of seeing movies where no one is represented except a bit of the population.”
#OscarsSoWhite began trending on social media following last week’s nominations for the Academy Awards where the top 20 actor nominations were dominated by Caucasian actors. In a statement made on Monday, The president Cheryl Boone Isaacs promised “big changes.”