Cynthia Erivo won’t perform at BAFTAs following all-white nominations

"I felt like it didn't represent people of colour in the right light"

Cynthia Erivo has said she will not perform at the BAFTA awards ceremony, despite her song ‘Stand Up’ from Harriet being nominated.

The actress and singer was snubbed from the nominations for her performance in the film as activist and abolitionist Harriet Tubman – as was every other person of colour.

The slate of nominees exclusively features white actors, and failed to nominate any women for Best Director. Erivo told Extra why she declined the offer, saying, “I felt like [the invitation] didn’t represent people of color in the right light.”

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Erivo continued: “It felt like it was calling on me as an entertainer as opposed to a person who was a part of the world of film, and I think that it’s important to make it known that it’s not something you throw in as a party trick, you know? I work hard and every single person of color who is working in these films this year has worked really hard, and there are many of them who deserve to be celebrated… and no women directors, I was just like…’C’mon.'”

Several awards bodies this year have demonstrated a problem in terms of diversity, as on many occasions the homogeneity failed to reflect the strength of the films released this year.

Erivo has now been nominated for two Oscars for Harriet, both for Best Actress and for Best Original Song. She’s the second person in history to achieve this, after Lady Gaga last year for A Star is Born.

If Erivo wins, she’ll be the 16th person in history to achieve the EGOT – winning an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.

The 92nd Academy Awards will take place on 10 February 2020.

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