Lupita Nyong'o weighs in on Oscar controversy, says she is 'disappointed' by lack of diversity

FP Staff

Jan 21, 2016 19:26:09 IST

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o says she's "disappointed" by "the lack of inclusion" in this year's Oscar nominations.

In a statement posted late Tuesday night on Instagram, Nyong'o said she was joining in "calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them." Following a second straight year of all-white acting nominees, lifetime achievement honoree Spike Lee has said he won't attend the 28 February ceremony, and the Reverand Al Sharpton has called for a boycott of the awards.

Nyong'o said the Oscars should be "a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today."

The 32-year-old, Kenya-raised actress won best supporting actress for her performance in 12 Years a Slave in 2014.

Lupita Nyong'o. AP

Lupita Nyong'o. AP

Lupita is not the only one who has spoken up about the lack of diversity in the 2016 Academy Awards nominees' list.

On Tuesday when the Rev. Al Sharpton said he would lead a campaign encouraging people not to watch the telecast. On Monday, Spike Lee, this year's Oscar honoree for lifetime achievement, and Jada Pinkett Smith announced they will boycott the ceremony in protest.

Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has led efforts to diversify the academy, responded late Monday evening with a forceful statement saying that those previous measures weren't enough.

Isaacs, the academy's first African American president, said that "it's time for big changes" and that she will review membership recruiting to bring about "much-need diversity" in the academy's ranks.

At a Los Angeles gala honoring Boone Isaacs on Monday night, actor David Oyelowo — who was famously snubbed last year for his performance as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma — expressed frustration with the academy.

"This institution doesn't reflect its president and it doesn't reflect this room," Oyelowo said. "I am an academy member and it doesn't reflect me and it doesn't reflect this nation."

Other stars began weighing in. George Clooney, in comments to Variety, said that after earlier progress by the industry, "you feel like we're moving in the wrong direction." He noted that movies like Creed, Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation and Concussion may have deserved more attention from the academy.

"But honestly, there should be more opportunity than that," Clooney said. "There should be 20 or 30 or 40 films of the quality that people would consider for the Oscars. By the way, we're talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it's even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it."

With inputs from AP

Updated Date: Jan 21, 2016 19:28:04 IST