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Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Adds her Voice to the Oscars’ Lack of Diversity



HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses in the press room at the 86th annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/WireImage)

HOLLYWOOD, CA – MARCH 02: Actress Lupita Nyong’o poses in the press room at the 86th annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/WireImage)

Lupita Nyong’o is letting the world know that she is also displeased at the lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Award nomination list.

The 32-year-old actress, who won an Academy Award for her performance in 12 Years a Slave back in 2014, released a statement on her Instagram account.

She wrote “I am disappointed by the lack of inclusion in this year’s Academy Awards nominations. It has me thinking about unconscious prejudice and what merits prestige in our culture. The Awards should not dictate the terms of art in our modern society, but rather be a diverse reflection of the best of what our art has to offer today. I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”

Lupita also included a quote from James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason LaVeris/WireImage


  1. X

    January 20, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Lupita should go and sit down joo. Her performance in ’12 years a slave’ was so overrated but yet she won and no one complained.
    To me…no Oscar worthy black actor/actress for the year 2015 except for the folks from ‘Beast of No Nation’

    • Iris

      January 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Lol but they didn’t nominate those guys either. I think Straight Outta Compton should have been nominated and I don’t even like rap like that. Maybe black people in America should just create their own award shows and improve them like the rest of the world has done theirs *shrugs*. They already have NAACP and BET awards.
      On another note, I haven’t seen Revenant but this time Leonardo has gone and sat in a dead animal… If he doesn’t win he should file a discrimination complaint.

    • ejiro

      January 20, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      But if igbos want to create Biafra you people will start shouting. Yes, they are black but they also belong to the USA so why should they go and create their own? Why should they be segregated to be recognized?

    • ejiro

      January 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      But the “Beasts of no Nation” people weren’t nominated though. So your point?


    January 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

    That’s why i love Nollywood. We have our problems, yes but we gradually stepping up and gaining international recognition without having to beg or pass thru Hollywood for validation.
    On a lighter note, i won’t be suprised Lulu is forming “vocal” a;ka following the black crowd for fear of being called a coon , cos she got called out in the past for criticizing Dencia while endorsing Lancôme who also has a range of lightening creams.
    Dencia fearlessly defended her hustle tooth and nail during that time not minding the insults . And I’ll like to see how Lupita will stand her ground if pple try to shut her downfor “speaking up”.
    I’m sure Dencia too is chopping popcorn and watching….

    • observer

      January 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Nollywood is stepping up and gaining international what? Nollywood is a joke. I hate to put the hardwork of those with their hearts in the right places (who can’t still make good films) down, but the industry is a hoax. I don’t understand why it has failed to produce a well written, acted, filmed and humane motion picture that tells fundamental Nigerian stories or depicts the true Nigerian culture till DATE! Everything coming out from the industry lacks artistic depth or truthfulness. It’s not even about the melodrama, the poor storytelling and mediocrity masked with a sense of entitled arrogance exhibited by the filmmakers and practitioners is jarring.

      Nollywood is in no way gaining international relevance. White people are barely “aware” that a group of Nigerians posturing as artistic people with camera and lenses have been screaming action and that thes people produce “quantity” films because there is a market for it. That’s all Nollywood is gaining. It’s film makers are looked at with a smirk, it’s actors have no ground where it matters. Don’t get your panties in a twist, nobody takes this industry serious where film making matters. And it’s all our fault.

    • BC

      January 21, 2016 at 3:46 am

      Quality or not, international recognition or not, we are not begging anybody for visibility on TV or film. Nollywood LIVES. Nollywood is one of God’s saving grace for Nigeria and Africa. Black Americans are not asking just to be given film roles. They are begging and pleading for a chance to just be given more roles, sometimes no matter how small. And frankly I am tired of seeing them beg all the time . I am just sick of it. They should learn from Nollywood and DO THEIR OWN. Lord knows they have abundant talent. So don’t degrade Nollywood please. They are not asking to be in a quality film. They are begging to be in any film. Lets be very thankful for Nollywood. I lOVE Nollywood!!

    • Debbie Ade

      January 21, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      When I first moved to the US, I was stunned to know that many people from the Carribean watch Nollywood movies and they enjoy it thoroughly. Easy on the criticism OBSERVER. Slowly and surely, Nollywood will get there!

    • molarah

      January 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Hei! *hands on chin* Which universe are you typing from? Look, hate all you want on Nollywood, but it is going places! Even with all its lows and “crappy” releases, Nollywood has sold Nigeria to the African continent in many ways than you can ever imagine. Why the need to mention if whites reckon with it, please we don’t rate our popularity on those kinds of stuff, away with that inferiority complex! Africa is a big enough market for ALL OF US, let that be clear. I can’t even deal with your criticism on lacking depth and artistry, maybe you stopped watching 10 years ago: because a lot of recent releases are raising the bar. If we can’t celebrate our own I wonder what right we have to shout when others try to put us down.

  3. Riri

    January 20, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Watch and see how white people ball her back to Kenya. I am honestly tired of all this complaints. David Oyelowo sounded so dumb. He wanted ride along with Kevin hart to win an oscar. For real? If anybody should be boycotting the oscars is Leonardo Dicaprio and all his devoted fans. Must we make everything about colour? About Idris Elba, The oscars do not nominate films made for netflix. And will smith deserved nothing for ruining the Nigerian accent. Who else…. Straight outta compton? Okay. The only nomination that was deserving is Wiz khalifa and charlie puth. Stop making everything about colour. Lupita stop jumping wagons. And I am far from a hater but I THINK IT IS BECAUSE OF THIS TYPE OF PROTESTS AND THE FEAR WHITE PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT BEING CALLED RACISTS THAT LED THEM TO Give Lupita an Oscar for her performance in 12 years a slave. I dont understand this protests and Jada Pinkett will protest just because she was expecting to wear a fancy cloth and pose beside her husband at the oscars but they bumped her.

  4. abiola

    January 20, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    The only Oscar worthy black actors are Samuel l Jackson, morgan freeman, chiwetel, Denzel, Whoopi. And maybe a few from way back ‘ cnt remeber now. Others I am sorry still need to keep tryin. As for halle berry and lupitanyongo, they were dashed the Oscars to depict inclusion thereby depriving legit actors like decaprio and ?????? I am black and it is not always about colour . If they are that pained, then they should pioneer an award show that white people too will whine about. Black people need to get over the race thing and stop riding on the coat tails of white people. Create your world class prestigious award too! if they don’t include u. It’s not by force.

    • chill

      January 20, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      they have their own – a few award shows oh – none of them worthy for oscar at present especially will smith – like you said – just the old school ones – leonardo is a top actor n he aint won yet – can you imagine if it was a black man – kai na so the whole world will hear about it – its because am black – so boring and i cringe when i hear black people uses the race thing.

  5. Chu

    January 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Please keep the comments coming.

  6. reqe

    January 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    If the Oscar awards has pple so pained, why not go to BET awards. Wasn’t BET created for black ppl?

  7. prince

    January 20, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    But truth be told If you’ve seen most of the movies those whites are nominated for, you will know that there are more movies done by blacks that deserves even more noms, sentiments aside.
    Those white did this intentionally and believe me, they know what they’re doing.

  8. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    January 20, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Dear Lupita, you only earn the right to complain when you go return that plaque on your shelf for that undeserved 12secs role you played in 12 Years A Slave. You know you didn’t deserve that award. You were beaten, you cried, what else madam? Please we can see through this BS you typed up there.

  9. Ebony

    January 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Hello Bella Naija, please there is nothing like ‘former Oscar winner’. Once you have won an Oscar, you are an Oscar winner for life.

    • D

      January 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Exactly! Lupita is and will always be an Oscar winner, not a ‘former’ winner. Unless she decides to return her Oscar to the Academy.

  10. chill

    January 20, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    yes oh – you don’t see leonardo complaining -yet you see these so called black americans moaning – they have BET but no white man is complaining they aint receiving an award for their contribution to art when its BET. – go on about africa as motherland – most of them not been to africa – they complain too much jor – i don’t see hispanics and other races complaining – they should all thane a seat. chris rock do your presenting and collect your cheque jare.

    • ejiro

      January 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      You must not have lived outside Nigeria or you are dumb/ignorant.

  11. Wale

    January 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    My people, I don’t think awards are given based on the number of times an actor appears in a film but how he or she delivers her performance. Lupita spoke not for herself but for all black actors!

  12. The Kinkster

    January 20, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    LOL! Lupita should keep quiet and stand in one corner abeg!!!! Its tokenism that got you that shiny award you have, definitely not your acting skills (that we saw for all of 5min on 12 years!) shushhh!

    • observer

      January 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Actually Lupita delivers a master piece performance in 12 Years a Slave, but I agree that she shouldn’t have joined this protest.

      Despite her lack of meaty role offers which is mainly because white writers aren’t writing about black women that much and at that they white actresses barely even get roles, she has managed to build up a good slate of films. Being in Star Wars is great, and there’s Jungle Book, Queen of Katwe and Americanah. She should have just zipped it up. She’s been more privileged that lots of working black American sistas.

    • Becca

      January 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm

      It wasn’t a masterpiece, she was in it 5mins and barely spoke a word nor expressed a range of emotion. She just got flogged. Any Nigerian or rather African that’s done ‘6yrs A BOARDER’ in a non-aje butter school could have acted that part easily.

      It was a pity vote, people watched and white guilt made them pity and endear to her. That award was undeserved. I watched and was like it that it?

    • observer

      January 21, 2016 at 12:05 am

      You must be mistaken if you truly believe what you wrote. Kerry Washington in Django Unchained played a similar role as Lupita’s in 12 Yrs a Slave and the difference between both of them is that Lupita’s was three dimensional. She didn’t just cry and get flogged. She a voice. She wasn’t just objectified.

      The “All I ask is end my life” scene and “I stink so much I make my self gag” monologue was masterpiece. She didn’t need to say more than that, she delivered the suffering and misery of that character through with the little dialogue she had. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but no “6 years A BOARDER” (that was funny) African kid can give that performance easily because they were suffered as boarders. There has to be talent and ability to understand the character and EMOTE. Haven’t felt an emotion in real life is different for making an audience feel a characters emotion.

      I dare say the only Nigerian actresses that could give such a master piece performance is Edith Jane Azu and Genevieve Nnaji because they play suffering souls to T and have carried almost similar such roles with equal dignity. My younger sister told me of a very popular Nigerian actress she schooled with who was a boarder and was sadly beaten and ganged raped by a holigan of beasts in a toilet, but with all respect to her (and I hope she has found healing), that experience didn’t make her great at showing pain of a character.

      So if you want to discredit Lupita do it right. And I’m afraid there’s no right way here. Acting is not as easy as it seems.

  13. sharon

    January 20, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    I’m disappointed in most of the comments, well then again that’s why Nigeria is the way it is, we’re all ready to swallow shit. How many of the white movies nominated are oscar worthy? Lupita should shut it because she’s giving her opinion on discrimination? Are you guys for real? A wise person once said, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Nigerian youths need to evaluate their thinking

    • observer

      January 21, 2016 at 12:32 am

      The problem with standing with the boycott white Oscars and all is that is that it supports sensationalism. Black people are blaming the academy voters when infact it’s not the voters fault so to say.

      Which nominated film deserved Oscar? The Revenant was epic. I don’t think it had much of a story but it’s an artistic statement. Room was mindblowing and if Brie Larson doesn’t win the Oscar I might sult. Spotlight reminded me of Red, a old classic Hollywood film. Carol was beautifully acted and directed. Mad Max was a technical accomplishment. The Martian was Matt Damon at his best since Good Will Hunting and was good sci-fi film. The Danish Girl was wonderfully acted. Too many positives in the nominations. The only person lacking in the award was Idris Elba. But so was Sarah Silverman, Helen Mirren and many more.

      Black people need to channel their outcries to the studios or build themselves studios and fund their shit.

    • ElessarisElendil

      January 21, 2016 at 3:30 am

      Sorry that we’re too busy with our problems to give a shit about rich people whining about their lack of “recognition”.

      Actual problems bothering Nigerian Youths. That in UNILAG you’re expected to buy Public address system for the school. That a vast majority of our schools are useless. That electricity is rare. That our parents are being owed. That our roads are terrible.That one Senator’s son stole your girl.

      So I ask you again why should I be bothered a bunch of Americans weren’t nominated for an award I never watch, did they snub Nigerians. What have “African-Americans” ever done for me??

      Perhaps you should reevaluate your love for taking panadol for other people’s headache.

  14. skits

    January 21, 2016 at 7:58 am

    i watched 12 yrs a slave and i kept wondering if i missed something about Lupita’s acting cos it was definitely not worth an oscar!

  15. iyke

    January 21, 2016 at 9:12 am

    observer i hope you are a paid writer , if not sorry is your name. you write well

  16. Ty

    January 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Nigerians you need to change . You so full of yourselves to the point you don’t realize any other person that is not Nigerian is good enough or better. all people of color around the world have let out their voice to state the obvious but you. here is something you can sleep on..Lupita is an Oscar award winner whether you in agreement or not. And yeah yeah your grandma can act better than her but 7 generations after your gone your blood line still won’t have an oscar. It’s true that black people don’t need approvals from whites to believe they are good enough but they also don’t need people who believe that people they are born with are the only brothers and sisters. sad that the sixth black woman to win an Oscar did not come from nollywood but a country you would bet to never produce an actor. You support the Oscar team because you know it’s the same shit you do to the rest of Africa.

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