It is high time we begun to show that we are not taking any crap from the colonizers. Cynthia Erivo has taken the lead this year by turning down #Baftassowhite.
Actress and Tony Award–winning Broadway star Cynthia Erivo might have been invited to this year’s BAFTAs in February. But because no performers of color were voted onto the awards’ four acting categories, she won’t be attending them after all.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts drew criticism this week. After it was revealed this year’s slate of acting nominees. Specifically for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, are all white. Additionally, no female nominees made it onto the Best Director list. So, when she was asked to perform at the awards, the Harriet actress took a hard pass. Providing the entertainment at a show where no actors or actresses of color were being recognized. She explained, felt like she was being “throw in as a party trick.”
“I felt like [the invitation] didn’t represent people of color in the right light.” Erivo told Extra at the premiere of her latest show, HBO’s The Outsider. “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 that you just throw in as a party trick. You know?”
Cynthia Erivo Oscar Nominations
The actress is nominated for two Academy Awards for the film “Harriet”. Best actress and original song for “Stand Up.”
While the Academy has not yet released a list of who will perform at this year’s ceremony, it would make sense that Erivo would be tapped given her double nomination.
Erivo was the only woman of color nominated for an acting Oscar this year.
“To receive two Oscar nominations for a film paying tribute to Harriet Tubman. A person whose heart and spirit are the embodiment of courage, makes this morning’s news beyond anything I could have ever imagined.” Erivo said in a statement to CNN on Monday.
“This is more than a dream come true. When I got the opportunity to play this incredible woman,”. she continued. “I felt truly honored that Kasi [Lemmons, the film’s director] and our producers saw fit to have me play the part. Being asked to co-write and perform the song in the film was the icing on an already wonderful cake. I continue to feel overwhelmed with gratitude today to the Academy for recognizing my performance and our song ‘Stand Up’.”