Cynthia Erivo describes being the only person of color nominated for an Academy Award in this year’s acting categories as “bittersweet.”
The English actress is vying for an Oscar for her portrayal as Harriet Tubman in the biopic “Harriet” that tells the story of the slave-turned-abolitionist. While it’s always welcome to see talent recognized among minority groups, the annual award show’s lack of overall diversity prompted widespread criticism.
In an interview with morning show BBC Breakfast, Erivo says she wanted her nomination to serve “serve as an example of how we need to judge these films”.
“I want to make sure it doesn’t look like this every single time,” she continued. Erivo’s rivals in the Best Actress category includes Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy) and Saoirse Ronan (Little Women).
The Harriet star says that it was about time the industry takes action and “figure out how this happens”.
“There are people who also deserve to be a part of this,” she said referring to the prestigious recognition.
“Hopefully this year will be a turning point for everyone because we’re talking about it out loud and now it can start to make some changes. We can’t keep doing this and doing nothing about it so maybe now we start doing something.”
Erivo is up for another category in this year’s Oscars race with a nomination for best original song recognizing Harriet’s Stand-Up. She will be performing the song on stage at the awards show something that she says is “a dream come true in a real-time.”