Lupita Nyong’o, star of 12 Years A Slave, has spoken about the Oscars diversity row on US programme The Today Show (February 3) in support of a more open minded industry.
Talking to Savannah Guthrie about the current #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Oscar winning actress reiterated her previous support for those in the industry speaking out. The campaign is focused on promoting more diversity among nominees and actors.
“It’s a symptom of something else. What we are asking for is really for more stories to be told — for inclusion in the stories that are told.” Watch the video in full below, via Hollywood Reporter.
She won her award for her part in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and is currently serving her Broadway debut in Eclipsed. Lupita has also been confirmed to play a part in the new Star Wars film, which is due to commence filming soon.
“I think it’s good for all of us when we hear a diverse number of stories and are able to experience more diversity. It’s more reflective of the world we live in,” she continues. “And so I think that’s what we ultimately want — is for a diversity of stories to be told”.
The Academy has come under fire from a host of actors, directors and commentators, suggesting that the nominees for this year’s awards do not reflect the diverse market in which modern motion pictures are made.
This week, it was revealed that The Oscars has announced Quincy Jones and Kerry Washington are to hand out awards at the ceremony. Music producer Jones served as musical director for the ceremony in 1971 but will only present the awards if he is allowed to make a speech on the diversity row, according to The Guardian.
“They called me to go present with Pharrell and Common. “When I’m back [in Los Angeles], I’m going to ask [them] to let me speak for five minutes on the lack of diversity. If not, I’m not going to [present].”
Director Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tyrese Gibson and Will Smith are among those to have called for a boycott or stated that they will not be in attendance.
Last Friday (January 29), Smith explained his decision to boycott next month’s Academy Awards, saying that he wants to be “part of the solution” to the film industry’s diversity problem.
The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.